Why is a Grant of probate needed?

The term probate means the issuing of a legal document called a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration authorising the Personal Representative to deal with the estate (the money, property and possessions) of a person who has died.

What to do when someone dies- immediate matters

  • It is important that you register the death at the local Registry office as soon as possible. A death certificate will be issued and you should obtain several copies.
  • Appoint a funeral director to begin funeral arrangements
  • Locate the Will and notify the Executor(s)
  • The Executor will then assist in notifying the relevant organisations, freezing accounts, cancelling subscriptions, direct debits, returning a passport and/or driving licence. This is not an exhaustive list.
  • Obtaining a valuation for each asset in the estate.
  • The Executor may then need to apply for Probate.

Why is a Grant of probate needed?

A Grant is proof that the Personal Representative named on it is entitled to collect in the assets of the deceased and distribute them. Some organisations will not release monies until they have seen the grant. The property of someone who has died cannot be sold or transferred unless a grant is obtained.

It is always best to ask the person holding the deceased’s money whether or not they will release the money to you without seeing the Grant.

How is a Grant of probate obtained?

The application forms are available from the local Probate Registry. These need to be completed with the relevant tax forms IHT205 or IHT400 and sent to the Probate Registry with the original Will, Death Certificate and the relevant fee.