Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration

What is a Grant of Probate?

An Executor can obtain Grant of Probate from the Probate Registry and it is a legal document which gives them authority to administer the estate in accordance with the law and to distribute the estate in accordance with the will.

What is a Grant of Letters of Administration?

A Grant of Letters of Administration is obtained by a beneficiary when there is no Will. It is a legal document issued by the Court which authorises someone to administer the estate and distribute the residue in accordance with the law. Until this is obtained, an Administrator does not have the legal power to handle the Estate’s affairs.

Is a Grant of Probate needed?

Normally, you need a Grant if the value of the deceased’s estate (after paying the funeral account) is over £5,000. These days, banks and building societies impose their own discretionary limit upon when they need a grant of probate before releasing assets.

An Executor appointed by a Will, can give good receipt for Estate Assets without obtaining a Grant of Probate but when there is no will, whilst it is not uncommon for a bank to deal with a potential beneficiary without a Grant of Letters of Administration they will normally ask for a personal guarantee or indemnity, meaning that this person would be liable should it transpire they were not entitled to receive the funds.

If the Deceased owned property (real estate) in their sole name, then you will always need a Grant to deal with that property.

RMNJ are always glad to discuss any questions you have without obligation and at first instance entirely free of charge.

Back to RMNJ's Guide to Probate