Welcome to our page explaining Grants of Probate. We are a firm who specialise in dealing with 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 contact us online.
If you have recently lost a close relative, and have been named executor of their estate, it is important to have a basic knowledge of probate law in order to understand and implement your responsibilities lawfully and effectively. At Seatons, we are here to help you through this difficult time and give helpful, friendly advice in this complicated area.
A Grant of Probate provides legal authority for Personal Representatives to administer and distribute the deceased’s estate. Without this document, banks, Building Societies, insurance companies and other similar organisations will not hand over the deceased’s assets.
The phrase “Grant of Probate” is a general term that is often used to describe obtaining a “Grant of Representation”, of which there are three types:
- Grant of Probate –Probate is a Grant of Representation provided when a will has been created and an executor has been appointed. It is evidence of the executor’s authority to manage the deceased’s estate with authority stemming from the Will itself.
- Grant of Letters of Administration –Letters of Administration are granted where the deceased died without a will, and the grant acts as authority for the administrator to act.
- Grant of Letters of Administration with Will –This Grant of Representation is appropriate where the deceased made a will but either failed to appoint an executor, or all the executors named in the Will have died or are unable to act.
If the value of the Estate exceeds £5,000, then it may be necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration from the court. The Grant of Probate or the Grant of Letters of Administration is the legal authority given by the court to enable the deceased’s estate to be distributed accordingly.
If the value of the net estate is over £5,000, excluding jointly owned assets or policies written into trust, then a Grant of Probate will often be needed. However if the value of the estate is less than £5,000, excluding jointly owned assets or policies written into trust, then a Grant of Probate may not be necessary.
Jointly held assets such as joint Bank or Building Society accounts or even jointly held property, will often automatically pass to the surviving joint owner on death. These assets will therefore normally be excluded from the deceased’s estate and a Grant of Probate from the Probate Court will not be necessary.
Organisations such as Banks and Building Societies, National Savings and Insurance Companies often have their own policies and procedures when dealing with small estates and obtaining Grant of Probate.
Small sums of money up to and in excess of £5,000 can often be paid and distributed from various institutions and a Grant of Probate would not be needed. However each organisation has their own rules and procedures and can, if they want, insist on a Grant of Probate being obtained from the Probate Court.
Cash, jewellery and personal effects of modest value can also be distributed without the need for a Grant of Probate so long as all the beneficiaries agree.
It is sometimes the case that assets are Nominated or Written in Trust to a named beneficiary. In these instances, the asset might be excluded from the estate and payable direct to the named beneficiary. The beneficiary can usually claim the money directly from the organisation without the need to produce a Grant of Probate from the Probate Courts.
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.
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Please contact us for a free, no obligation chat on 01536 276300 or contact us online.