Executors have the power to deal with the deceased’s assets from the date of death.
But if the value of the deceased's estate exceeds £5,000, then the executors will need to obtain a ‘grant of representation’ in England & Wales - called a ‘confirmation’ in Scotland - to prove their authority to those institutions and authorities that hold assets in the deceased’s name.
For estates that require a grant, executors only have authority to act from the date of the grant of representation or confirmation.
The different grants in England & Wales
There are three main types of grant of representation in England & Wales:
1. Grant of probate
A ‘grant of probate’ is issued if executors appointed under a Will are administering the estate.
2. Grant of letters of administration with Will annexed
If the deceased left a valid Will, but didn't appoint executors or they are unable or unwilling to act, then a ‘grant of letters of administration with Will annexed’ is issued.
3. Grant of letters of administration
If the deceased died ‘intestate’ i.e. leaving no Will, then the Probate Registry will issue a ‘grant of letters of administration’.
In Scotland, there is only one form of confirmation.
In England & Wales, there are slightly different probate processes involved depending on which type of grant of representation you are applying for, but in practice, the probate forms are all used in the same way.
Different probate forms will be also required depending on whether inheritance tax is due.
The probate forms you will need to complete to apply for a grant or confirmation are as follows:
England & Wales
England & Wales, and Scotland
In England and Wales, grants of representation are issued by the High Court through probate registries.
In Scotland, confirmation is issued by the Commissary Department of the Sheriff Court in the area where the deceased was domiciled at death.
Published on: June 14, 2012