What is a Grant of Probate?

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“Why do I need a Grant of Probate?” I am frequently asked. Clients frequently feel that because a family or friend made a will, that is the only document they will need to handle the deceased’s affairs. This is true in certain circumstances, however it is frequently essential to get a Grant of Probate.

A Grant of Probate is a document that indicates the executor(s) of a will (the person or individuals in charge of carrying out the desires expressed in the Will) have the right to deal with a deceased person’s assets. If someone dies intestate (without having written a will), a Grant of Letters of Administration is necessary, which allows assets to flow under intestacy rules (laws that determine who benefits when there is no will).

So, why do you need a Grant of Probate?

It is required to offer the executor(s) legal power and to provide confidence and protection to anybody holding money for the deceased or wishing to acquire assets from the Executor. You wouldn’t be happy if you paid £200,000 for a house from the Executor specified in a will only to discover that there was a more current will and you were no longer entitled to the house. Similarly, a bank holding £50,000 might not be happy if it turns out that the person to whom the deceased’s money was delivered was not the rightful recipient.

So, how does one obtain a Grant of Probate?

The procedure of obtaining the Grant of Probate should be quite simple because it is just a series of commitments made by the Executor(s). The Non-Contentious Probate (Amendment) Rules 2018, which went into effect on November 27, 2018, require executors to go through a statement of truth. Unfortunately, applying for Probate also necessitates the submission of an Inheritance Tax report to HMRC detailing the deceased’s financial situation on the day they died. As with any transactions with HMRC, it is best to seek professional guidance to ensure that you are filling out forms accurately and supplying all necessary information. As a result, I always advocate hiring a Professional Member of Solicitors for the Elderly to offer you piece of mind that you have done all necessary of you and that there will be no unpleasant surprises in the future.

Isn’t it easier not to have a will if you have to go through this process?

Certainly not. If you do not have a legal will, you must still go through a comparable, and often more difficult, process.  It is critical that you have a properly crafted will to guarantee that your assets go where you want them to go rather than according to the government-imposed regulations of intestacy.


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