Applying for a Grant of Probate in England or Wales.
In most cases, you must apply for a Grant of Probate to be able to gather in and distribute the deceased’s assets. The executors (people doing the job) must apply to the probate registry for a Grant of Representation or ‘grant’.
This process is known as applying for a grant of probate. It confirms who has the legal right to collect in the assets or indeed to sell them. We will continue to call it a “grant” of probate as that is what most people think of, even if (technically) it is often not!
We refer only to the process of applying for a grant of probate in England and Wales. If you need help applying for probate, please click the link and contact us.
What is the purpose of applying for a Grant of Probate?
Technically, the grant of probate is a “Grant of Representation.” There are three types of Grant of Representation:
1) A Grant of Probate.
Where there is a valid Last Will appointing executors, a Grant of Probate is issued to the executor(s) named in the deceased person’s will.
2) Grant of Letters of Administration (with the Will)
A grant of letters of administration (with the Will) is the one issued when the Last Will does not name an executor, or if the named are unable or unwilling to apply for the grant or probate.
3) Grant of Letters of Administration.
Letters of Administration are issued when there is no Last Will or where the Last Will is invalid – which is not uncommon.
Is a grant of probate always needed?
Not always. It may not be needed if:
• The home is held as joint tenants (rather than tenants in common) and is passed automatically by survivor ship to the other joint owner(s). Our current fee for checking this is £60. (October 2016.)
• For joint bank or building society accounts. They may only need the death certificate to arrange for the money to be transferred to the other joint owner. A grant of probate could still be needed to gather in assets held in other bank accounts or insurance policies.
• The amount held in each account was under £5,000. Institution’s have different policies in this respect, you will have to ask if they will release the assets without a grant of probate.
If none of the circumstances above apply, a grant of probate may be required.
A grant of Probate must be obtained to sell or transfer a property held in the deceased’s sole name or a share of a property held jointly with the deceased person’s spouse or partner as tenants-in-common. Tenancy-in-common is a written agreement between people who own a joint asset (usually land or buildings).