When someone close to you dies, you may need to obtain what is known as a Grant of Representation meaning you have the legal authority to administer the estate of someone who has died.
A Grant of Representation is a legal document issued by the High Court, allowing personal representatives of the deceased to obtain the authority to distribute the estate of someone who has passed away.
Estate administration is often a lengthy and complex process wherein the personal representatives of the deceased are responsible for managing the deceased’s assets, liabilities, and inheritance tax before funds can be released to those benefitting from the estate.
When a person dies, they will most likely leave both assets and liabilities, which must be correctly valued to extract the Grant of Representation meaning you must:
- Value the individual assets owned by the deceased person at the date of their death;
- Collate information of any debts owed by, or to, the deceased person at the date of their death;
- Calculate and subsequently pay any inheritance tax due on the estate to HMRC;
The personal representatives are responsible for ensuring the application for probate.
Is a Grant of Representation the same as probate?
To those unfamiliar with the process of obtaining a Grant of Representation, you may be asking yourself is a Grant of Representation same as probate?
A Grant of Probate is a type of Grant of Representation meaning you have a legal document confirming your authority to administer the estate of someone who has died. There are different types of grant of representation.
The two most common types of Grant of Representation are:
- Grant of Probate<
- Grant of Letters of Administration<
Grant of Probate (wills)
If the person who died with a valid Will in place, the Executors named in the Will would usually be responsible for applying for the Grant of Probate.
The Will of the deceased person will describe how their estate should be distributed, and the Grant of Probate will allow the Executors to administer the estate accordingly.
For a Will to be valid in support of an application Grant of Probate, a list of certain conditions must be met such as ensuring the Will has been signed and witnessed correctly and ensuring that the person who had signed the Will had the mental capacity to understand the implications of their Will.
If the deceased person died with a Will but it was valid in the eyes of the law, the deceased’s estate would be administered as if the person died without a Will in place, and a different set of rules would apply.
Grant of Letters of Administration (no will)
If a person dies without leaving a valid Will, their next of kin would typically apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration instead of a Grant of Probate.
This document works in much the same way as a Grant of Probate, but instead of having the deceased’s estate distributed in accordance with their wishes set out in a Will, the law of intestacy would determine who receives the deceased’s estate and their share of the entitlement. Our article on no will probate: What to do if there is no will, explains this further.
No will probate: What to do if there is no will?
So in answering the question is a Grant of Representation the same as probate the answer is yes but it is a generic term and also includes a Grant of Letters of Administration.
In any event, the process of obtaining a Grant of Representation and subsequently administrating the estate can be very stressful and confusing for the personal representatives of the deceased, making an already difficult time even more overwhelming.
We’re here to help. If you need assistance in obtaining a Grant of Representation meaning either a Grant of Probate, a Grant of Letters of Administration or any other grant for someone who has passed away, please do not hesitate to get in touch today for a free 30-minute consultation.
We service clients both nationally and internationally and so if you have any queries or would like to seek our specialist advice in respect of any of the matters set out above then why not get in touch on 0333 009 0808 and book a free consultation.
Article by Tyla-Mae Matthews