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Dealing with someone’s affairs when they die

Applying for probate gives you the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions (their estate) when they die. 

In England and Wales, there are two types of grants which give you this legal right: 

– Grant of Probate – if the person left a will 

– Grant of Letters of Administration – if the person did not leave a will (intestacy)

Both these documents are often referred to as Grants of Representation. In both circumstances, the application process is the same. 


If the person left a will 

If you’re the executor, you’ll need to find out whether or not to apply for a Grant of Probate. 

A grant of probate is an official document issued by the Probate Registry (part of the HM Courts & Tribunal Service). It gives you the legal right to deal with the estate of the person who died. 


If the person did not leave a will

If the person did not leave a will you can apply to be an administrator of their estate. This gives you the legal right to deal with the person’s estate when they die. 

You can usually apply to be an administrator if you: 

– are their next of kin (usually a close relative) 

– were married to them, or 

– were in a civil partnership with them 

To apply to be an administrator of an estate you follow the same steps as applying for probate. 

If successful, you’ll get a grant of letters of administration. 

Before applying for probate, a solicitor can help you estimate the estate’s value and report it to HM Revenue & Customs. Depending on the value, you may have to pay inheritance tax. 


Instructing Powell Spencer & Partners

Whether acting on behalf of an Executor or an Administrator, or acting as Professional Executors, we can help with all aspects of Probate, ensuring the correct distribution of an estate is carried out according to a loved one’s wishes. We understand that this may be a difficult period in your life and applying for probate is time consuming and can be frustrating.

We can guide you through the stages of applying for probate as follows: 

– tell you if you need to apply for probate 

– value the estate 

– submit inheritance tax forms to HMRC 

– apply for a grant of representation for you 

– collect the assets of the estate 

– make sure the estate is distributed accurately 

We believe in providing you with straightforward, practical, timely advice and service. We can deal with any estate or legal issue, no matter how complex, in the most sympathetic and efficient way.

For further information please Contact Us.  

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Absolutely professional and helped me with every step to create a very concise will. Andrew is an expert and covers all angles.

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