What is Probate?

In England and Wales, when a person dies somebody has to deal with their estate (the money and possessions left) by collecting in all the money, paying any debts, set up any trusts and distributing what is left to those people entitled to it. In order to get authority to do this they usually need to obtain a legal document call a Grant of Representation from the Probate Registry.

There are three types of Grant of Representation.

1. Probate – Issued to Executor/s named in the deceased’s Will

2. Letters of Administration (with Will) – Issued when there is a Will but there is no Executor named or when Executors are unable or unwilling to apply for the Grant.

3. Letters of Administration – issued when the deceased has not made a Will or any Will made is not valid.

Why is a Grant Necessary?

All Estates worth over £5,000 require a Grant of Representation as organisations holding money in the deceased’s name need to know to whom that money should be paid and the Grant is proof that the the person named in it may collect the money.

When a person dies the Estate left passes to the people named in his or her Will. If there is no valid Will it passes to his or her next of kin. See Intestacy flow chart.

The distribution of the Estate is the responsibility of the person named in the Grant, i.e. the Executor.

N.B. a Grant is always required to sell or transfer a property held in the deceased’s sole name.


If an Executor makes a mistake and does not follow the directions of Trustees Acts they could be held personally liable to the deceased’s creditors. Professional assistance is recomended.

How our Probate Services Work

An initial consultation and assessment is made to discuss services that may be required, be advice on the completion of form PA1 and IHT 205 or D18. Or in the case of larger Estates setting up of Trusts and associated matters.

After the initial meeting a quotation is supplied, for the services agreed, prior to commencement of any work being carried out.

Terms of business and necessary documentation is signed.

Adminstration is handled by a professional/trustee who will complete the operation as swiftly as possible, keeping you fully informed of progesss at all times. Our service offers a substantial cost saving over the traditional providers, i.e. Banks and Solicitors etc. Our current typical costs are approximately 1-2% of the gross Estate value plus usual disbursements. Or we can offer a fixed price modular pricing structure to suit individual needs.

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