Once you have all valuations for the assets and liabilities in the estate as at the date of death, you have everything you need to begin putting together the application to obtain the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration.
The Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration (collectively known as Grant of Representation) is the legal document issued by the Court (Probate Registry) providing the Executors, Administrators or Personal Representatives of the estate with the legal authority to deal with the deceased’s estate.
A Grant is not always required and there are some instances where the administration of an estate can be carried out without obtaining a Grant. For example:
- Where a property is held in joint names (joint tenants) and passes by survivorship to the other joint owner(s)
- Where there are joint bank accounts and only a death certificate is required in order to have the deceased’s name removed from the account and transferred into the survivors sole name
- Where the amount in any solely held bank accounts is small (banks and building societies have limits as to the value of assets that they will release without seeing a Grant)
There is a common misconception that you if you have a Will, a Grant of Probate will not be required, which is certainly not the case. The need for a Grant is dependent upon the types of assets in the estate and the value of those assets.
Where there is any property owned solely by the deceased or where they own a specified share in a property (as tenants in common), then a Grant will always be required in order to sell or transfer that property/share of that property