>> Dec 23, 2012
A death in the family, especially if completely unexpected, can come as quite a shock to the rest of the family members. While the deceased is remembered and commemorated through a variety of functions, including a funeral and possible wake, the affairs of the deceased must also be addressed. There's always the unsettling and sometimes complex issue of properly distributing the deceased's assets. If the individual had planned ahead, they would have created a will, and signed it in front of witnesses, preferably at a solicitor's office, so that it would retain full validity after their death. If however, they did not have a will, the process for distributing their assets is slightly different and potentially more complicated.
Whether a will exists or not, the initial process for those individuals that are going to take charge of collecting and dispersing the deceased's possessions and assets remains pretty much the same. They have to be appointed by the High Court, who will grant them the official legal authority, using what is known as a Grant of Representation. Once this is granted, they will be known as the Personal Representatives of the deceased's estate, and will be able to act with full authority. But to get to that point, they will first have to fill out a number of probate forms at the local Probate Registry Office.
There Are Locations Nationwide
Understandably, the principal Probate Registry office is located in London, at the First Avenue House. However, one does not necessarily have to travel to London from across the country to obtain the forms and submit them. There are many Probate Registry offices located in England's major cities:
ü The Probate Registry of Birmingham District is located at the Priory Courts
ü The Probate Registry of Bristol District is to be found at the Civil Justice Centre
ü The Probate Registry of Ipswich District is to be found on the ground floor at 8 Arcade Street
ü The Probate Registry of Leeds District is located at 31 York Place
ü The Probate Registry of Liverpool District can be found at the Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts in Derby Square
ü The Probate Registry of Manchester District is located on the ground floor of the Civil Justice Centre
ü The Probate Registry of Oxford District can be found at the Oxford Combined Courts Building
ü The Probate Registry of Winchester District is located on the fourth floor of Cromwell House
ü The Probate Registry of Wales, which serves the entire country, is located on the third floor of the Cardiff Magistrates Court in Cardiff
Any Personal Representative will have a variety of forms to fill out, depending on the circumstances surrounding the person they're representing. There is some basic information that will always be required, such as the number of surviving relatives and their relationship to the deceased, as well as a complete list of all their assets and a comprehensive description of their entire estate.
It's a Good Idea to Get Some Professional Advice
Probate forms can be complex and confusing for those who have never filled them out before. It's not a bad idea to get some professional advice in the matter; it's a smart move to make the entire process as smooth and error-free as possible.
Mike is a US-based lifestyle writer covering the latest trends in modern society, and all of its implications, including probate forms. He writes on a freelance basis for many of the major lifestyle blogs.