Probate

When a person dies, the executor of their estate may require a Grant of Representation. This is either a Grant of Probate for someone with a will or Letters of Administration for someone who died without a will.

When is a Grant of Representation required?

  • Where the deceased owned any land, houses or buildings
  • Where the deceased held assets with banks or other institutions. Some banks require a Grant for any amount, others have a limited amount they can release without a Grant.

A grant is not required where a person owns their entire estate jointly with another person, or if their estate is worth less then £5,000.

Applying for a Grant of Representation

To obtain a Grant, an application must be made to the Probate Registry. Prior to this however, the accounts for inheritance tax must be submitted to HMRC if any tax is due, or to the Probate Registry if there is no tax due.

If there is a will and a Grant of Probate is being sought then the executors of the will can apply with or without a solicitors help. If applying on their own behalf the Executors will need to complete several forms and attend an interview to swear an Oath for Executors at the local office of the Probate Registry. Originals of the will and the receipted tax summary from HMRC will also need to be lodged.

If a solicitor has been instructed to act on your behalf then the Oath for Executors will be sworn in their offices and the solicitors will then lodge the necessary documents. There will be no need to attend an interview with the probate registry.

The costs for a personal or instructed application differ, and there is a charge per copy of the Grant provided by the court.

If there is no will, then the next of kin for the deceased will apply for Letters of Administration. Again, this can be done personally or by a solicitor. As there is no will and therefore no executors, the application can be made by the next of kin. The identity and relation must be demonstrated to the Registry or your solicitor. An Oath for Representatives will also be required.

This process can take between 6 to 8 weeks once the application has been submitted.

Is a solicitor necessary?

As mentioned above, personal applications can be made for a Grant of Representation. However, a local solicitor can offer some advantages:

  • Advice on Inheritance Tax
  • Assistance with completing the Estate Accounts for submission
  • A local office or home visit to sign the Oath, as the registry office may be quite remote
  • Experience with completing applications, able to avoid pitfalls and delays

Our Services

We offer a full probate service, where we will complete all the tasks necessary to obtain a suitable Grant of Representation, the prices for which can be found here. We also offer an estate administration service, and you can find more details of that here.