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Welcome to our page relating to Grants of Probate and how to obtain one. We are a firm of probate solicitors who specialise in dealing with obtaining grants of probate and estate administration work. At Seatons, we offer a helpful and friendly service with low fees that provide exceptional value for money.  Please call us today for a free, no-obligation chat on 01536 276300 or use our online enquiry form.

What is a Grant of Probate and how to get one

A Grant of Probate is a court order that provides legal authority for the deceased’s Personal Representatives (called Executors) to administer and distribute the deceased’s estate. Without this document, banks, building societies, insurance companies and other financial institutions will not hand over the deceased’s assets.

If you have recently lost a close relative, and have been named as the executor of their estate, it is important to have a basic knowledge of probate law and an understanding of what a grant of probate is. You must be able to understand and implement your responsibilities lawfully and effectively in relation to the administration of a loved one’s estate. This page will provide a brief overview of how to get a Grant of Probate.

The different types of Grants
  1. Grant of Probate – a Grant of Probate is a Grant of Representation that is provided when a will has been created and an executor has been appointed. It is evidence of the executor’s authority to manage and administer the deceased’s estate with the authority stemming from the Will itself.
  2. Grant of Letters of Administration – Letters of Administration are granted when the deceased has died without a will. This grant bestows authority to act upon the person who is legally entitled to administer the deceased’s estate (the “administrator”).
  3. Grant of Letters of Administration with Will – This Grant of Representation is appropriate where the deceased has made a will but has either failed to appoint an executor or all the executors named in the Will have died or are unable to act. This is a rare and unusual occurrence and legal advice is usually needed to deal with this.
What the Court Will Require

To obtain a Grant of Probate, the Court will normally require:-

  1. The original Will (if there is one);
  2. An official copy of the death certificate;
  3. The oath or application form, completed and signed by the Personal Representatives;
  4. An Inland Revenue Account (IHT 205 or 400);
  5. A receipted invoice from the Inland Revenue that any Inheritance Tax has been paid.

You can apply for a Grant of Probate yourself without using a solicitor. However, it is up to you to consider certain factors such as how much time you have on your hands, how good you are at form filling, whether you can cope emotionally with the stress and hassle of doing it yourself and of course the time saved and the costs incurred in delegating the Probate Process to a firm of solicitors. By instructing Seatons Solicitors to obtain a grant of probate for you, we can sort your situation out and make the administration process as fast and smooth as possible.

Probate Forms

There are various forms to complete to obtain a Grant of Probate, some of which are quite lengthy. If a Personal Representative applies without using a solicitor, they will need to obtain all the appropriate forms and then complete them fully and accurately. The Court might want to interview the personal representative making the application for the Grant of Probate.

There are different tax forms to complete depending on the value of the estate and whether or not inheritance tax is payable. If no inheritance tax is payable then you will need to complete IHT 205. If inheritance tax is payable you will need to complete an IHT400 form although ideally, you should seek legal advice at that stage.

Sending The Application Off To Court

Once the Grant of Probate forms have been completed and signed, they will need to be sent to the Court.

Upon receiving the Grant of Probate application, the Court will want to check it through and contact you if any further questions need to be answered. The Court might want some further information or other documents to be filed.

Court interviews when trying to get a Grant of Probate

If you have instructed a firm of solicitors, such as ourselves, to deal with the legal work then you will not have to attend an interview, as we can sort this all out for you. However, if you are dealing with the application for a Grant of Probate yourself then the Court may write to you and ask you to attend an interview.

They will ask you various questions and check the information you have put on the Grant of Probate form is correct. They will then ask you to sign and swear the form in front of the interviewing officer on a religious book of your choice. You will need to take along to the interview some photographic identification such as a driving licence or passport.

Issue of The Grant Of Probate

If the application is successful, the Court will send by post the original Grant of Probate with a number of sealed copies and will return the original death certificate. The Personal Representative will then have the legal authority to administer and act on behalf of the deceased’s estate. The Personal Representative will be able to contact any organisation where the deceased held assets and legally arrange for them to be released.

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Adrian Chambers - Seatons Solicitors

Probate & Estate Specialists

I’m Adrian Chambers and specialise in Probate and Estate matters. We aim to provide our clients with an outstanding legal service.

We will help and support you through the Probate process and most importantly we work hard for you.

For information about our costs on probate work please click here.

If you need help getting Probate or assistance with Probate, please contact us for an initial free, no obligation chat on 01536 276300 or contact us online.

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