Written by Krishna Patel – Paul Robinson

A grant of representation is a document obtained from the probate registry to prove legal authority to deal with a deceased person’s estate (generally referred to as personal representatives). This document allows personal representatives (also known as executors or administrators dependent on the type of grant of representation) the legal authority to deal with the deceased’s person’s estate such as transferring or selling a property or closing bank accounts over a certain figure.

Three main types of a grant of representation

  1. Grant of probate: This is where the deceased left a will appointing an executor (male form) and/or an executrix (female form). 
  2. Letters of administration: This is where the deceased passed away without a will and administrators.
  3. Letters of administration with will annexed: This is used where the deceased left a will but for one reason or another it did not appoint an executor/executrix.

Do you need a grant of representation?

You will not require a grant of probate where the estate is below £5,000. However, it is always advisable to apply for a grant of representation to kick start the 6 month limitation period for which beneficiaries can bring a claim against an estate under the Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependents) 1975 Act.

How do you apply for a grant of representation?

Before making an application to the probate registry you will need to gather details regarding the deceased’s assets and liabilities. You can apply on your own using https://www.gov.uk/applying-for-probate/apply-for-probate or where you need assistance you can appoint a solicitor.

The role of a personal representative

Personal representatives are bound by duties under section 25 of the Administrator of Estates Acct 1925, some of which include:

  • Identify the deceased’s liabilities and assets.
  • Obtain payment of any debts due to the deceased.
  • Gain control of the assets
  • Convert those assets into money (where appropriate)
  • Deal with inheritance tax (where appropriate)
  • Distributing the assets

On occasion there may be disputes and/or concerns regarding how a personal representative is carrying out their duties as a personal representative. Equally, personal representatives may face difficulty from a difficult beneficiary causing obstacles in carrying out their duties.

To enquire further regarding any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0208 049 5888.