I had power of attorney for my loved one. Do I still need Probate?
The short answer is yes, you may still need to apply for a Grant of Probate to administer your loved one’s estate. A Power of Attorney (usually a Lasting Power of Attorney) is a document which is valid only during a person’s lifetime.
You may have had authority to manage your loved one’s affairs under a Power of Attorney during their lifetime. However, this authority ends upon your loved one’s death.
Once a person passes away, the responsibility for managing their estate then passes to the executors named in their Will, or under the rules of intestacy, if they did not leave a Will. In the case of an intestacy, this will usually be their closest living relative.
As an executor (or administrator, if no will exists), the need for Probate depends on the nature of the estate. Specifically, it will depend on what your loved one owned, how they owned it, and the value of those assets.
It is common for someone to name the same people as attorneys and also as executors to their will. They will have appointed someone whom they can trust, and who is capable of making decisions on their behalf.
If you were named as an attorney for your loved one, and you now find that you are appointed as the person responsible for dealing with their estate, you should still seek professional advice on whether Probate is required. You should check that you have the correct authority, either under the will or under the intestacy rules, to administer the estate.
You may find the below guide useful on what Probate is and whether you need it. Once you have established the need for Probate, check out our guide to applying for Probate. This will explain to you the steps required and forms you will need to apply for Probate.