Confused about the UK probate process? This jargon-free guide will help you to make sense of it

When you lose a loved one, it can be a very distressing time.

And, while they may have been fortunate enough to have all their affairs in order before they passed, it is more than likely that in the weeks following their passing, you will need to go through the process of probate.

A very complicated area of UK law, probate is defined as the managing of an estate of a person once they have passed. To complete probate, you must be listed or given the title of the executor of the estate and thus, you are responsible for ensuring that your loved one’s bills, inheritance, and assets are handled correctly and according to their will. There could be a chance that a will may be contested due to the family tree being questioned, if this is the case, there are options to help prove or disprove a link. For those who are interested in this, they can visit websites such as to see how they can be assisted during this time.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it isn’t! Trying to undertake this process alone is immensely complicated and so, you should contact probate solicitors in Portsmouth as soon as you can once your loved one passes.

But what is the process associated with probate? Read on for a quick and jargon-free guide to probate in the UK.

The will

If your loved one left a will, then probate is very simple. You, as the executor of their estate, simply apply for probate with the help of probate solicitors near Portsmouth, and you are then given the legal right to handle their assets.

If your loved one did not leave a will, you will have to apply to become the executor of their estate by applying to the Probate Registry. If the grant is given, then you can handle the estate and assets. This process is to ensure that the most suitable party has access to managing the estate of the person that has passed.


In society, many people have debts that will usually still be there when they pass away, such as mortgages, credit cards, etc.

As the executor of the estate, your probate solicitors from Portsmouth will help you to identify any unpaid debts and use the estate to pay them off. This is required to occur before the inheritance is divided among those named in the will.

Grant or Probate

This is a piece of legislation that you will usually complete at the beginning of the probate process but is relevant to the value of the estate.

If your loved one’s estate is valued at over 5,000, leaves a property only in their name, if they had stocks or shares or had certain insurance policies, then in order to manage their estate, you will need a Grant of Probate, even if you are named as the executor.

Inheritance Tax

When you are left an estate to manage, you will be responsible for paying HMRC inheritance tax.

This will be based on the value of any property or assets that they may have owned; it is marked at 40% and is only applicable to states worth 325,000.

Exemptions from probate

If your loved one left an estate worth less than 5,000, then you will not have to apply for probate.

Written by Karl Peters

Karl is a university graduate with years of experience in casual writing and freelance services. Always up to date on the latest trends and working hard to bring these trends to the forefront of the public eye. Lover of beer, dogs and cars and dedicated to being the best bachelor bro.