Dealing with the Estate
A Grant of Representation (emboldened) is the court's authority given to a person or persons to administer the deceased’s estate. If there is a Will the Grant is called Probate, if no Will exists the Probate Service will issue Letters of Administration.
Why do I need a Grant of Representation?
- It confirms that the Will made by the person who died, is valid (the validity of a Will remains open to challenge after probate has been granted).
- It protects the interests of the estate and beneficiaries. Before releasing money or other assets owned by the deceased, those holding the assets (such as banks) need to know that they are dealing with someone who has the legal authority to deal with the deceased’s affairs
You may not need a Grant if:
- A home is held in joint names and is passing to the surviving joint owner
- A joint bank or building society account is held.
- The amount held in an account is small.
- The estate does not include land, property or shares
A death certificate may be sufficient in such cases.
An Executor’s role is to:
- Assess the size of the estate
You will need to obtain:
- The death certificate (several copies is recommended to avoid long delays)
- The original Will
- Evidence of the deceased’s assets and liabilities.
- “Date of Death” values for all accounts, before closing them
- A valuation of any property
- Apply for and obtain a Grant of Representation where necessary
- Complete Probate Application form PA1 and inheritance tax form (either IHT205 or IHT400)
- Pay any inheritance tax due
- Send to the Probate Registry the above forms with the original Will (plus three copies) and any Codicils; original death certificate and probate fee
- You will receive an appointment to attend your local registry where you will be required to swear an executor’s oath, in some cases the oath may be sworn at a solicitor’s office.
- Ensure assets are gathered and distributed in accordance with the Will once any debts have been paid.
- Assets will be transferred to the Executor’s account
- Where appropriate any property should be sold
- Estate accounts prepared and finalised
You can choose to use a solicitor or find help here to apply for Probate yourself.