Probate and Succession

Probate and succession concerns the administering of the estate of a deceased person, and includes validating a will if there is one. In a will, an ‘executor’ should have been named by the creator of the will, and they are the person chosen to carry out the demands of the will.

Probate and succession are two different parts which make up the handling of a deceased person’s estate. Probate refers to the legal document required by an executor to be allowed to legally fulfil the wishes of the deceased. The executor, in the absence of interested parties, must obtain the grant of probate, upon their oath. Otherwise it must be proved in ‘solemn form’. Its validity can be established at a probate Court, and anyone concerned can be made a party to the action. If there is no will, then the estate will be divided out in a pre-determined way, based on the Rules of Intestacy.

Succession refers to the inheritance of assets by someone when another person has died. The details will be stated in a will, but if there is no will then the destination of the assets will be down to the law. Often, but not always, the assets pass to the next-of-kin.

Probate and succession can be a complicated area of law, so it is always recommended to create a will, and make it as clear and concise as possible, to minimise the potential difficulties that could be encountered after you die. This also ensures that the people you want to leave specific items to will receive those items.