What is Probate? 

When someone passes away, it can be a very distressing and confusing time for loved ones.

Probate is the general name given to the process of administering the deceased assets and liabilities after they have . The more accurate description is Estate Administration

A Grant provides the deceased’s personal representatives the authority to collect and distribute the deceased assets.

There are three common types of Grant:

A Grant of Probate.

This is the most common type of Grant. This occurs when the deceased has a valid Will and appointed an Executor.

An Executor is a person who has the legal authority to collect the deceased assets and distribute the inheritance to the nominated beneficiaries who are written in the Will.

There is a common assumption that an Executor cannot be a beneficiary. However, that is not the case. An Executor can inherit under the Will if the Will was drafted to include them also as a beneficiary.

Professional bodies such as Solicitors, are also able to be appointed Executors. There are many positives for appointing Solicitors as Executors. You will have peace of mind that your assets will be given to your beneficiaries as stated in your Will and the reassurance all the technicalities, relevant documents and tax forms will be correctly completed.

To apply for a Grant of Probate, the Executor must value all the assets of the deceased including any joint or overseas assets. The value of the assets would then need to be included within inheritance tax forms for HMRC to approve.

Once the tax forms have been approved, you can complete the application for a Grant of Probate. If you have instructed Solicitors, they are able to complete this quicker for you. Any application includes sending the original Will to the Probate Registry.

If the Probate Registry does not raise any queries, they will send a sealed Grant of Probate for the Executor to finalise the Estate.

Grant of Letters of Administration

This type of Grant is issued when the deceased does not have a Will.

As a result of the dying without a Will, known as intestacy, their assets will be distributed by the statutory guidelines and not necessarily to their loved ones. The person who has authority to deal with their estate, is known as an Administrator. To apply as an Administrator, the order of priority is as follows:

1. A married partner or civil partner of the person who has died

2. A child of the person who has died

3. A grandchild of the person who has died

4. A parent of the person who has died

5. A sibling of the person who has died

6. A nephew or niece of the person who has died

Grant of letters of administration with Will annexed.

This type of Grant is issued when there is a Will, but there is a problem with the appointment of Executors. This would apply when the Will is not valid, there are no executors named in the Will, or the executors cannot or are unwilling to act.

If you require any advice on this matter, please contact the Private Client team via the contact form below or by phone on 01702 662963 (Essex)  020 35537115 (London).