Many people often believe that if a relative or close friend left a will, that is the only document they need to handle that person’s affairs. Occasionally, this is true, but often a Probate Grant is required to reach this conclusion. But what is a Grant of Probate, and why do you need one?
What Is A Grant Of Probate?
Grants of Probate are documents that confirm the executors of a will (the person or people responsible for carrying out the directions in the Will) have authority over the assets of a deceased person. The Grant of Letters of Administration is required if someone dies intestate (without a will) to distribute assets by intestacy laws (rules that determine who gets what when there is no will).
What Is The Need For a Grant of Probate?
Many people think that leaving a Will to their heirs is enough. Probate, however, is also required to honour the Will. Even if you have nominated an Executor in your Will, that doesn’t mean that they are automatically responsible for managing your assets. Executors of a will bear a tremendous amount of responsibility. It’s their responsibility to carry out a person’s last wishes who have passed on and manage assets like stocks, pensions, and bank accounts. The probate of a Will validates this responsibility and carries out your wishes. Grants of Probate are only necessary in cases where there is a Will. An individual who has passed away without having written a Will require a different type of grant of representation, known as a Letter of Administration. If the Estate is small, there are some circumstances in which it does not require a Grant of Representation. If you do not know which Grant of Representation applies to you, you should seek legal advice.
Probate: How Does It Work?
The process begins with your nominated Executor applying for a Grant of Probate. A court can only grant the grant of probate in your local jurisdiction. After a person’s death, the Executor must notify the court to apply for the Probate or Grant of Representation. Anyone who objects to the Will or the appointment of the Executor/s can do so by filing such an objection. The executor/s will then need to apply for probate. There are steps when applying for probate, which may be done on your behalf by a solicitor or trustee company.
Filing of Probate Application should be alongside the original Will, both copies of the Death Certificate, and an affidavit of the Executor. Affidavits are legal documents setting out the details of the deceased and providing confirmation to the court to grant the probate to the affidavit maker, the Executor. Grants of Probate are generally granted within a few weeks, depending on their complexity.