When do I need a grant of probate?
When is a grant of probate needed?
Most of us understand that writing a will helps your loved ones deal with your affairs after you have passed away. We are often asked “What is a grant of probate and do I need one?” This is an area of law which is commonly misunderstood.
What is Probate? It simply means the process of dealing with the estate (assets/liabilities) of someone who has died. If the person had a will, the executors have authority to deal with the person’s estate immediately and obtaining a Grant of Probate allows the executors to collect in the assets and deal with the distribution of the estate.
If there is no Will
If there is no will, there is no authority to deal with the person’s estate until a Grant is obtained from the Probate Registry. In this instance, a Grant of Letters of Administration would be required. Only upon receipt of a Grant of Letters of Administration would the person appointed (the administrator) be able to collect in the assets and deal with the distribution of the estate.
Generally, the person dealing with the estate will need to deal with the deceased’s money, belongings, sale of any property and ensure that the beneficiaries receive their share.
The process and complexity for dealing with a person’s estate will depend on whether you choose to do it personally or instruct a professional solicitor.
A Grant is required if there is a property to be sold or transferred and if there are assets to be collected. If the person died with limited assets it may be that a Grant is not needed as some institutions will release funds to the executors or the next of kin when the value of the accounts held is low.
Protect the estate & beneficiaries
Although a Grant is not always required, it is always recommended to obtain a Grant to protect the estate and the beneficiaries. With married couples, it assists when the survivor also passes away and their estate needs to be dealt with.
At Levins we have an experienced and dedicated team who can assist you in this process. We fully appreciate that emotions are running high and you need a solicitor who can assist you sensitively and professionally.