Cute piggybank image to reflect the law type Probate and Estate Administration

What is a grant of probate?

A guide to understanding and achieving grant of probate

Dealing with someone’s affairs when they have died

What is a grant of probate?

A grant of probate is the official document which allows the executor to collect money and assets and distribute them.  It is obtained after death by applying to the Probate Registry.


Do I need a grant of probate?

In very low value estates, around £15,000 or less, sometimes banks and other institutions will release money without a grant of probate, but that is their decision, and many banks or financial institutions take different views on this.  If the estate is worth more than a few thousand pounds the executor will almost certainly need to get a grant of probate.


Do I need a solicitor to get a grant of probate?

In modest, simple estates, with no tax issues, an executor may be able to get a grant of probate without using a solicitor.  Many people choose to use a solicitor because it is a stressful time, and it may be easier for a solicitor experienced in these matters to get the grant.  They will charge fees though, and there are also fees to pay to the Probate Registry.


Does a surviving spouse need to get a grant of probate?

If all assets are held in joint names as joint owners, then probably not.  However, if there are any significant assets held in the deceased spouses sole name then it will be necessary to get a grant of probate.  There are no special exemptions for spouses in respect of property held in the deceased’s sole name as far as getting a grant of probate is concerned.