Do I need a Grant of Representation? (Probate/Letters of Administration)
If the deceased leaves assets in their sole name, it is usually necessary for the estate to obtain a Grant of Representation. If there is a Will. Probate is proving the Will so it is clear who is entitled to deal with the estate.
If there is no Will you may be able to obtain Letters of Administration. This will depend on who benefits under the Intestacy rules. This is a document from the Probate Court confirming who is able to deal with the estate.
You may not need a Grant of Representation to deal with:
- Money in a bank or building society - especially if the account has less than £20,000 but possibly up to £40-50,000 depending on the banks' internal policies
- Stocks and shares usually if worth less than £5,000
- Certain insurance policies
You will almost always need a Grant to deal with land, including land held as "tenants in common" irrespective of the value.
If the deceased's estate is worth less than £5,000 a Grant of Representation is not usually required. If it is worth between £5,000 and £50,000 a Grant may or may not be required. You should check with whoever holds the asset i.e. the bank.
If the deceased owned an asset jointly with someone else, as a "joint tenant" on a property for example or as a signatory on a joint bank account, it may pass to the surviving joint owner.
Similarly, anything held in a Trust usually does not belong to the Deceased.
If the estate is worth less than £5,000 you still may need to obtain a Grant of Representation, if:
- The bank or building society insist on seeing a Grant of Probate
- Insurance policies are involved which need to be paid to the estate rather than direct to a beneficiary
- The person has Inheritance Tax issues perhaps due to life time gifts, jointly owned property/bank accounts or an interest in a life interest trust
If you have any queries please contact: