When a person dies they usually leave behind an estate (assets, money and/or property) and, hopefully a will.
The will should name one or more executors who are responsible for administering the estate and one of their first duties is to apply for a Grant of Probate from the Court.
What is Probate?
A Grant of Probate is an official document which the executors may need to administer the estate. It is issued by a division of the Court known as the Probate Registry.
Do I Need to Apply for Probate if there is no Will?
If a person dies intestate then a relative or close friend of the deceased will need to apply to the Court for a Grant of Letters of Administration. The person to whom Letters of Administration is granted is known as the Administrator. They are responsible for dealing with the dispersement of the estate in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy.
Do I Always need to Obtain a Probate?
You do not need to obtain probate if the deceased’s estate is worth less than £5,000 or they own everything jointly with another person.
Should I Engage a Solicitor?
If you are dealing with a large estate then it is wise to obtain professional legal advice. You can find a list of Solicitors who deal with probate here.
A Solicitor can also apply to the Court on your behalf for a Grant of Probate.