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What is probate?


What is probate?
Probate is when one or more people obtain the right to handle the possessions and property of someone who has died. They are given the legal authority to handle any outstanding debts and collect any money owed as well as to follow the terms of the deceased person’s will by handing out their property to their beneficiaries – this is sometimes referred to as ‘administering the estate’.

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What is grant of probate?
A grant of UK probate is a formal document issued by the Probate Registry when someone has died leaving a will. It confirms the authority of the executors to act and deal with the deceased’s estate. It is not always necessary – if the only assets are, for example, joint bank accounts, it will not be required. Our Probate Solicitors will advise you about this.

Where someone dies without a will (“intestate”) then a grant of letters of administration is applied for instead.

Sometimes although the deceased left a will, the executors named in it are not able to act and no

substitutes are appointed. In this case, a grant of letters of administration with the will annexed is applied for.

The term “grant of representation” is sometimes used as a global term for any type of grant.


Who can apply for a grant?
If the person who had died left a will, the people named in the will as executors apply for a grant of probate.

If someone dies without a will, then the intestacy rules apply and there is a list of people who are entitled to apply for a grant. These rules are quite complex – so please ask us for advice.


Personal representatives – who are they and what do they do?
“Personal representatives” is the overall term for executors – who are appointed by will – and administrators, who are appointed by the intestacy rules. They are responsible for ensuring that the terms of the will are carried out or, if there is no will, that the estate is dealt with in accordance with the intestacy rules. Being a personal representative is an important and responsible role and personal representatives can face personal liability in some circumstances.


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Probate Service UK  – UK solicitors specialising in Probate Legal Services 

Bonallack & Bishop Solicitors (76483) – authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority


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