The Probate Service –
extract from Government Report on The Probate Service April 2016.
When a person dies somebody has to deal with their estate (money property and possessions left) by collecting in all the money, paying any debts and distributing what is left to those people entitled to it.
Probate is the court’s authority; given to a person or persons to administer a deceased person’s estate and the document issued by the Probate Service is called a Grant of Representation . This document is usually required by the asset holders as proof to show the correct person or persons have the Probate Service’s authority to administer a deceased person’s estate.
In October to December 2015, 64,293 grants of representation were issued. Grants of representation are known as either:
Probate (when the deceased person left a valid will and an executor is acting). These made up 78% of grants in October to December 2015.
Letters of administration with will (when a person has left a valid will but no executor is acting). These made up 7% of grants in October to December 2015.
Letters of administration (usually when there is no valid will). These made up 15% of grants in October to December 2015.
These different types of grants of representation appoint people known as personal representatives to administer the deceased person’s estate.
In October to December 2015, 62% of applications were made by solicitors and 38% were personal applications.
Current structure of the Probate Service The Probate Service is currently made up of:
The Principal Registry in London
11 District Probate Registries
18 Probate Sub-Registries situated throughout England and Wales
In October to December 2015, 7% of grants were issued by the Principal Registry and 93% by District Registries and Sub-Registries.
When a probate case is contested, The Chancery Division of the High Court deals with the matter. See the Guide to Court and Administrative Justice Statistics for more information on The Chancery Division. There were 20 contested cases in October to December 2015, and 86 for the whole of 2015, the lowest number in recent years.
If you need to contact the Probate Service, their contact details are on the linked page (we are not The Probate Service, we’re probate solicitors.)