A Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration when dealing with an intestate estate i.e. one where there is no Will) is a Court Order which confirms the appointment of the Executor(s) (or Personal Representative).
Do you always need a Grant of Probate ?
Many institutions such as banks, insurance companies, share Registrars, Land Registry (for the sale or sometimes the transfer of a property) require a Grant of Probate to realise or transfer assets. A Grant is not always required; it depends on the assets within the estate.
How long does the Grant of Probate Take?
An application for a Grant is made to the Court. It usually takes two weeks for the Court to process a correctly submitted Grant application. A prerequisite to applying for the Grant is declaring the correct valuation of the estate to HM Revenue and Customs, this is generally done by completing either the IHT205 or IHT400 form depending on the circumstances of the estate. If the latter is applicable, the process of applying for the Grant will be elongated as a special tax number is required to complete the inheritance tax form and an issued certificate from the Revenue to confirm the payment of inheritance tax must be lodged with the probate application.
What is entailed in the Administration of an estate ?
This is where the deceased’s estate is managed by the executor (or personal representative) in accordance with the Will (or Rules of Intestacy i.e. where there is no Will). It is not advisable for a lay executor to administer an estate unaided; professional help will guide an executor smoothly through the administration process so to avoid any personal liability for mistakes and/or omissions for lack of knowledge and to ensure the administration is carried out in accordance with the Will and the law.
Can I refuse the role of an Executor ?
If you are named as an executor in a Will but do not wish to take on the role, we could assist in relieving you of this role if certain circumstances are met. Please note, if you are unsure whether or not you want to take on the executor role, you must not interfere with the deceased person’s estate in the intervening period.
If you wish to take on the role of executor or administrator but want to appoint an attorney to carry out the work on your behalf, then we are able to assist with that or even act as your attorney if required.
If the deceased was non-domiciled, we are able to assist in re-sealing the foreign Grant in the UK to administer assets here, if required.
Original Will lost
If you have a copy of a Will but cannot trace the original, we can assist you with the administration of the estate whether by making an application to the Court to accept the copy Will (under limited circumstances)
Please contact a member of our experienced team to talk through your questions and queries.