Written by Graham Cutbill-White
Probate is a legal process which takes place once someone has died. It’s the procedure involved when dealing with the assets (property, money, possessions and the like) of the deceased’s.
Probate may be needed before family, friends or an Executor of the will can distribute the assets to the rightful recipients.
It’s usually required when a property or land is owned by the deceased, or if a bank or other financial business requires it because the sum of money held in the account is above a specific amount.
Depending on the circumstances, you may be required to get a Grant of Probate. Or if there was no will in place when the person passed away, you’ll need Letters of Administration.
Once you’ve received these (if you’re required to obtain them) you can begin the probate process.
Probate can either be carried out by an appointed professional or you can do it yourself. Naturally, hiring someone to handle the process can be costly, but it can be time-consuming to do it yourself and at an already-tough time.
You should get as much information as possible about what is required to complete probate before deciding to hire someone or not.
If you decide to handle the process by yourself, you’ll need to start by assessing the size of the estate which has been left. You’ll also need to work out all their liabilities (debts) and potentially pay inheritance tax, depending on the value of the assets.
Once HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) have accepted the valuation and you have paid any tax you need to, you’ll be granted probate.
You can then get any funds from the estate released and distributed to the necessary parties.
The process can take weeks or potentially months depending on the situation, so you should be prepared if you’re handling the probate yourself for it to be a time-consuming process.
Of course, this is a brief overview of what happens, and we recommend seeking more information if you find yourself in this situation.
Upon the death of the policyholder, the house insurance arrangement ends. That means that the building and any contents are left without cover, and it falls to the Executor of the will to determine what do next, until probate is completed and responsibility transfers to the new owner. Keeping insurance in place is an important part of ensuring the deceased’s estate is looked after, particularly since there’s no saying how long probate could take.
Yes, you can get house insurance during probate. Many insurers offer specialised property insurance for this situation, and you’ll be able to take out a policy so long as you can prove you have an ‘insurable interest’ in the property. Policies will usually be confirmed in the name of the executor, with he beneficiaries listed as additional policyholders.
Vacant homes cannot only become damaged over time and fall into disrepair, but they’re also often easy targets for squatters, vandals and general anti-social behaviour.
As well as damage to the building, if you haven’t cleared the house, there may still be valuable property inside which could be targeted by thieves and because no insurance is in place, you could have to pay hundreds or thousands of pounds for replacements.
Temporary home insurance could be a big help during the probate process, as you only pay for the duration you need. Sitting alongside any existing executor insurance or other executor insurance policy you may have, probate insurance i available from 7 days to 28 days and is ideal because you’re not tied to any long-term contracts. So when everything is resolved, you don’t have to pay any cancellation fees.
If you find that probate takes longer than you expected; a couple of months, for example, you can get another policy quickly and easily.
Think of it as a weekly or monthly direct debit on home insurance, without being forced to pay out for a whole years’ worth of cover you may not end up using.
A house cannot be sold before probate is granted, so until probate has finished and you’re free to sell the house or start a new annual policy, probate house insurance gives you that peace of mind that should anything happen, you’re completely covered.
For total reassurance during what is already a stressful and exhausting time, probate home insurance is the fast, flexible, and affordable way to get the cover you need for the duration you want during this complex process.
There are two types of short-term home insurance depending on what level of cover you require.
This option will cover against ‘all-risks’ unless something is specifically excluded in the policy wording. This is the complete peace of mind approach which will ensure that the property is covered should almost anything happen.
Your other option is a reduced level known as FLEEA cover. This insures the property against the specific threats of Fire, Lightning, Explosion, Earthquake, and Aircraft.
This doesn’t just cover direct damage from one of these perils, but also any associated damage caused by one or more of them – For example items dropped from an aircraft or smoke damage from a fire would also be covered.
Depending on whether the house is empty or not, you can choose to insure just the building, just the contents or both. By customising the policy to suit your specific situation you’re able to get the cover you actually want without paying for things you don’t.
To find out how much probate insurance could save you while you’re going through the process, get a quick and easy quote now.
If your circumstances are different then have a look at our temporary home insurance page instead.