When someone dies, it is often necessary to obtain a Grant or Probate or Letters of Administration to deal with their estate (i.e. their property, money and/or possessions).
A Grant of Probate gives the Executors named in a Will the legal right to sell, gift or otherwise dispose of the deceased’s estate in accordance with their Will. Letters of Administration, on the other hand, are necessary where the deceased did not leave a Will or where there is a Will but no Executors are appointed. In this instance there is an order, laid down by statute, as to who can make the application to obtain Letters of Administration. Priority is given in the following order: a surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, surviving parents, siblings, nieces/nephews and then any other relative.
A Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration may not be required where assets pass to the spouse or civil partner due to them being held in joint names (for example, a joint owned property or a joint bank account). However, every financial institution has its own rules and therefore there is no guarantee that a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration will not be required. Where any property was owned solely by the deceased or substantial funds are held in the deceased’s sole bank account, a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration will almost certainly be required.
For informed and comprehensive advice in relation to obtaining a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, please telephone 01267 237441 (Option 2) to arrange an appointment with our experienced Wills & Probate team.