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What is Probate?

Probate or ‘administering the estate’ as it is sometimes called is the legal term used for talking about the right to manage a deceased person’s affairs. When a person dies and has a legal Will, your lawyer will apply for a ‘Grant of Probate’ from the Court. Probate will then be granted to the executors of the Will who will then have the right to administer the deceased person’s estate. This is called a Grant of Representation and it is issued by the Probate Service.

Do I always need to obtain a Grant of Representation?

There are some situations where a grant is not required. They are:

  • Where a home is held in joint names and the ownership is simply passing to the other surviving joint owner.
  • If you hold a joint bank account with the deceased person a death certificate may be enough to obtain transfer of the account to the surviving person.
  • If the amount of money is small some institutions will release funds without a grant.

What if there is no Will?

If a person dies without a legal Will it is known as dying intestate. Intestacies can be tricky, complex and elicit nasty surprises for those close to you so we strongly advise you have a legal Will drawn up. Please see our Wills (nternal link to Wills page needed) page for further information.

If there is no Will your lawyer will apply to the court for a Grant of Letters of Administration. This will grant an individual (usually someone close to the deceased) to administer the estate according to the Rules of Intestacy. Only married people, people in civil partnerships and some relatives can inherit under these rules. Children are only entitled to inherit if the estate is valued at over £250,000 and step-children are not recognised as able to inherit under the rules.

Obtaining Probate

If you need to obtain a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration then contact our office and our empathetic staff will guide you through the process. You can also phone us on 01444 235 232 to make an appointment.

At times of personal distress we can help alleviate some of the pain experienced by ensuring probate is dealt with in a sensitive and compassionate manner.

Our probate services are carried out by our experienced private client team who provides the expertise and reassurance necessary for those recently bereaved and continues what Bennett Oakley have been doing for over 65 years.

Our Probate Team

Celeste Bushell

Senior Associate

Bernadette Paramytha


Brendan McNicholas


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