Grant Of Probate
Knowing what probate is and trying to sort out the estate administration can be time-consuming and challenging. However, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. We can help.
Seeking help and assistance and delegating some aspects of your loved one’s estate to a firm of specialist solicitors like ourselves is perfectly normal.
In fact, many people who ask the question “What is Probate?” use solicitors to sort out the administration of their loved one’s estate.
By delegating the probate process and the administration of the estate, hopefully you can find some time and space to concentrate on more important things such as starting the grieving process and coming to terms with your loss.
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Free Probate & Estates Information Guide
We offer a free, no obligation guide called “How to Administer a Loved One’s Estate. It is packed with useful information and hints and tips on what to do and explain what probate is. So if you are not sure what to do at the moment, and simply want some further information, then download our free information guide.
What Is A Grant of Probate?
A Grant of Probate is a court order that gives legal authority for the deceased’s Personal Representatives (called Executors) to collect in assets, pay debts, administer and distribute the deceased’s estate in accordance with the deceased’s Will. Without the Grant of Probate, banks, building societies, insurance companies and other financial institutions will not hand over the deceased’s assets.
If you have recently lost a loved one, and have been named as the Executor of their Will, it is important to have a basic knowledge of probate law and an understanding of what a Grant of Probate is so that you can implement your responsibilities lawfully and effectively in relation to the administration of your loved one’s estate.
A Grant of Probate will only apply when the deceased left a Will. If the deceased died without making a Will then a different Grant, called a Grant of Letters of Administration will be needed.
The Different Types Of Grants
- Grant of Probate – a Grant of Probate is a Grant of Representation that is issued when a Will has been made and an Executor has been appointed. It is evidence of the Executor’s authority to administer and deal with the deceased’s estate with the authority stemming from the Will itself.
- Grant of Letters of Administration – Letters of Administration are granted when the deceased has died without a Will. This Grant gives legal authority to act to the person who is legally entitled to administer the deceased’s estate (the “Administrator”).
- Grant of Letters of Administration with Will – This Grant of Representation is appropriate where the deceased has made a Will but has either failed to appoint an Executor or all the Executors named in the Will have died or are unable to act. This is a rare and unusual occurrence and legal advice is usually needed to deal with this.
When Do You Need Probate?
If the value of the deceased’s net estate is over a certain amount then it is necessary to get a Grant of Probate so as to get the assets released from various banks, building societies and other financial organisations.
Legally if the net estate is over £5,000 then a Grant is needed. However most financial organisations will only insist on a Grant of Probate if the value of the asset held with them is in excess of £30,000.
You need to make enquiries with the financial organisation to find out if they are insisting on a Grant of Probate being produced. If they are, then there is not much you can do about it and you will just have to make the application to the court to obtain the Probate and then produce it to the financial organisation and they will then release the money to the Executor.
However, in some cases where the value is less than £30,000, then most financial organisations will release the money without a Grant being needed. It varies from organisation to organisation.
What Will The Court Require?
To obtain a Grant of Probate, the Court will normally require:-
- The original Will (if there is one);
- An official copy of the death certificate;
- The application form, completed and signed by the Personal Representatives;
- An Inland Revenue Account (IHT 205 or IHT400);
- A receipted invoice from the Inland Revenue that any Inheritance Tax has been paid.
You can sometimes apply for a Grant of Probate yourself without using a solicitor. However, it is up to you to consider certain factors such as how much time you have on your hands, how good you are at handling paperwork, whether you can cope emotionally with the stress and hassle of trying to do it yourself and of course the time saved and the costs incurred in delegating the probate process to a firm of solicitors.
By instructing Seatons Solicitors to obtain a Grant of Probate for you, we can sort your situation out and make the administration process as fast and smooth as possible.
Click here for details of our probate costs.
There are various forms to complete to obtain a Grant of Probate, some of which are quite lengthy. If a Personal Representative applies without using a solicitor, they will need to complete and submit all appropriate probate forms fully and accurately.
There are different tax forms to complete depending on the value of the estate and whether or not Inheritance Tax is payable. If no Inheritance Tax is payable then you will usually need to complete IHT205 form. If Inheritance Tax is payable you will need to complete an IHT400 form, we recommend ideally, you should seek legal advice at that stage.
How To Apply For A Grant Of Probate
Once the Grant of Probate forms have been completed and signed, they will need to be sent to the Court to be processed.
Upon receiving the Grant of Probate application, the Court will consider the application. The Court might want some further information or other documents to be filed.
The Issue Of The Grant Of Probate
If the probate application is successful, the Court will issue the Grant of Probate and will send by post the original Grant of Probate with a number of sealed copies. The Executors will then have the legal authority to administer and act on behalf of the deceased’s estate.