Probate can be an extremely difficult subject to understand, the process can be long and stressful, and takes place when a family is already feeling down due to the loss of a loved one.
We hope we have made this as easy to understand as possible and if there is anything that you feel wasn't explained clearly enough or you would like to give us any suggestions we would love to hear from you
Probate is a legal document which can confirm who has legal responsibility for your estate. Receipt of probate is the first step in the process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property under a will. A Probate court decides the legal validity of a Will and grants its approval, this also known as granting probate, to the Executor.
Proof of Probate is often required when dealing with banks and other financial institutions, local authorities, tax and pensions, insurance and estate agents, if selling a property. In most cases, the relevant institution will need to see the grant of Probate before transferring control of the assets.
If a person dies leaving a will, then usually one or more 'Executors' are named in the will to deal with the deceased person affairs after their death. The Executor(s) applies for a 'Grant of Probate' from a section of the court known as the Probate Registry. The Grant is a legal document which confirms that the Executor(s) have the authority to deal with the deceased person assets (property, money and possessions).
On the other hand, If a person dies without leaving a Will, then it is possible for a close relative of the deceased to apply to the Probate Registry to deal with the Estate. In this case, they apply for a 'Grant of Letters of Administration'. If the Grant is given, they are known as 'Administrators' of the Estate. Like the Grant of Probate, the Grant of Letters of Administration is a legal document which confirms the Administrators have the authority to deal with the deceased person assets.
The Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration) can be shown to anyone who is asked to release any money or other assets belonging to the Estate of the deceased.
Letters of Administration
Letters of Administration are granted where the deceased did not leave a will but most people still refer to it as 'Probate' because, for all practical purposes, the two types of grant are identical. There are some differences in the process before the grant is issued.
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