Whilst many people may believe this to be true, it is in fact a common misconception and whilst it might be the case that Probate isn’t required to deal with a deceased person’s estate, the existence of a Will has no influence on this.
A Grant of probate: Is it needed?
A Grant of Probate is the document produced by the Probate Registry (a division of the Courts) which confirms that the executors named on the Grant are legally authorised to administer the estate of the deceased in accordance with the terms of the Will.
If you have made a Will it is the value of your estate which determines whether a Grant of Probate is needed. This can be a grey area. For example, one high street bank states that if the deceased person held accounts with that bank with balances totalling less than £50,000 they will not need sight of a Grant of Probate in order to close the accounts and release the balance(s). A different bank has set the limit at £25,000, another at £15,000 and so on.
If the deceased person owned property, especially in his or her sole name, a Grant of Probate will almost always be required to sell or transfer that property.
If the deceased person did not make a Will the same principles in terms of value apply but instead of a Grant of Probate the administrators of the estate must apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration from the Probate Registry in order to administer the estate.
Our specialist team can advise executors and administrators as to whether an application to the Probate Registry needs to be made and, if it does, can assist and deal with that process. For more information please get in touch by calling 0114 218 4000, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or completing this request form.