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Common Questions On Probate

Do I need to obtain a Grant of Probate or of Letters of Administration in order to deal with the affairs of someone who has died?

You may not need a Grant if the person who died had a small estate and did not own any property. If you have any doubts about whether a Grant is needed or not, please contact us to discuss the matter in more detail.

As a general rule it is likely that you would need a Grant if the deceased owned land in their sole name or had a savings of more than, say, £15,000 at any one bank.

What is a Grant of Probate?

A Grant of Probate is a legal document issued by the Probate Registry, which recognises the right of the Executors named in the Grant to deal with the affairs and property of someone who has died.

What is a Grant of Letters of Administration?

A Grant of Letters of Administration is similar to a Grant of Probate, but is issued when there is no Will. There are rules governing who can apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration, however, it is often the closest family member to the deceased that is in a position to take this role on. The rules also govern who will inherit the deceased’s estate.

If you aren't sure whether you are able to apply for a Grant or not, then please contact to discuss the issue. Please make a note of the deceased’s family structure before contacting us, as this is information we will need before we can properly advise you.

What is involved in the administration of someone’s estate?

The amount of work involved differs with each estate. It would normally include the valuation, collection and distribution of the deceased’s assets; preparation of the Oath required for the Grant of Representation; dealing with HM Revenue and Customs and completion of Inheritance Tax paperwork; dealing with any outstanding monies owed by the deceased; dealing with the deceased’s final income tax return; prepare estate accounts.

What happens if you can not find the Will?

In certain situations it may be possible to apply for a Grant without the original Will. Please contact us if you would like to discuss this issue in more detail.

What if there is a dispute or you think there will be a dispute

It is very difficult to give generic advice in this area. Please contact us to discuss your matter in detail. Depending on the nature of the dispute there may be time limits after which you are no longer able to make a claim. It is therefore important to get independent legal advice as soon as possible

If you would like to speak to someone about probate please do not hesitate to call us on 01432 355301 or

Alternatively you can email:

Harry Fairbairn Harry Fairbairn
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