Making a Will has a huge emotional connection – as does dealing with the financial aftermath when a loved one passes away.
It’s important that your solicitor isn’t just clear when helping you with these matters, but also compassionate.
Below are four terms commonly used in the world of Wills and probate… but what do they mean in everyday language?
1. BeneficiaryA beneficiary is someone who receives an inheritance from a deceased person’s estate. If a Will is present, the deceased person will have chosen their own beneficiaries. If there isn’t a Will, a set of laws called the rules of intestacy will determine who the beneficiaries are.
2. ExecutorAn executor is someone who has been named in the deceased person’s Will to finalise their estate. This person has been appointed under the Will and they are responsible for going through probate and the estate. An executor can, however, step down if they choose to do so.
3. AdministratorAn administrator is someone who is responsible for finalising the estate of a person who has died without a Will. There are rules around who an administrator can be: typically, this person is the deceased person’s main beneficiary.
4. ProbateProbate is a legal process you must go through in order to get the legal authority to deal with a deceased person’s estate. If there is a Will, the executor will apply for probate. If there isn’t a Will, the administrator will apply for probate. Unless probate is completed, no one will be given the legal authority to do things like access the deceased person’s bank accounts or sell their property.
If you’re looking at writing a Will or need the services of an experienced and compassionate law firm around probate, please do contact us here.