What is Probate?

A Grant of Probate is the official proving of a Will at the Probate Registry.

Once the Probate Registry has validated the Will, a court-sealed document called a Grant of Probate will be produced.  The Probate Registry may alternatively issue a Grant of Letters of Administration (if the deceased died without leaving a Will) or Letters of Administration with the Will annexed (if the deceased executed a Will but the executors have died or are not willing to act).  The generic term for all three documents is a Grant of Representation.

It is not always necessary to obtain a Grant of Representation when someone dies.  The deceased may have left only a small amount of money in a bank account, or hold all assets jointly with a family member.  A Grant of Representation will usually be required if the deceased was the owner of a property, owned shares or held in his/her sole name a bank account with a balance of more than £10,000.

The executors of the Will, or the beneficiaries (as determined by the intestacy rules), will have to take these initial steps to obtain a Grant of Representation:-

  • Inform the relevant banks and other financial institutions that the deceased has died
  • Ascertain the value of the assets and liabilities of the estate at the date of death
  • Establish whether Inheritance Tax is payable
  • Submit the relevant HM Revenue and Customs account and the initial Inheritance Tax payment, if appropriate
  • Submit the probate application papers together with the court fee

The administration of each estate can be very different, as each individual will possess different assets and have individual wishes regarding their estate.  At Blaser Mills we offer you a flexible and tailored approach which will ensure that your estate is administered in a tax-efficient and timely manner.

Please note that the above is a very simple overview of the law relating to the administration of an estate.  If you have any queries regarding the administration of estates or Grants of Representation, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Wills Trusts and Probate team at: enquiries@blasermills.co.uk