What is probate?

When someone dies somebody has to deal with their estate (the money, property and possessions left) by collecting in all the money, paying any debts and distributing the estate to those entitled. The Probate Registry issues the document which is called A GRANT OF REPRESENTATION.


There are 3 types of grant.
  1. Probate issued to one or more of the executors named in the will.
  2. Letters of Administration (with will) issued when there is a will, but no executor named or unable to deal with the estate.
  3. Letters of Administration issued when the deceased has not made a will or it is not valid.

PROBATE OFFICE BIRMINGHAM 0121 681 3400
 
Why is a grant necessary?

Organisations holding money in the deceased's name need to know to whom the money is to be paid. The distribution of the estate is the responsibility of the person named on the deed. Is a grant always needed?


Is a grant always needed?

A grant is sometimes not needed if the deceased's money will be released without the holder seeing a grant, when the amount held is small and there are no complications.


Different terms associated with probate
 
If the person who has died leaves a will

In this case one or more 'executors' may be named in the will to deal with the person's affairs after their death. The executor applies for a 'grant of probate' from a section of the court known as the probate registry. The grant is a legal document which confirms that the executor has the authority to deal with the deceased person's assets (property, money and possessions). They can use it to show they have the right to access funds, sort out finances, and collect and share out the deceased person's assets as set out in the will.


If the person who has died didn't leave a will

If there is no will, a close relative of the deceased can apply to the probate registry to deal with the estate. In this case they apply for a 'grant of letters of administration'. If the grant is given, they are known as 'administrators' of the estate. Like the grant of probate, the grant of letters of administration is a legal document which confirms the administrator's authority to deal with the deceased person's assets. In some cases, for example, where the person who benefits is a child, the law states that more than one person must act as the administrator.

For more detailed information please go to www.direct.gov.uk