Common Question: “Why do I need Probate as my mum left a Will?”

This seems to be one of the biggest misconceptions – that if there is a valid Will in place there is no need for an application for the Grant of Probate to be made.

Most estates with or without a Will need to go through Probate but trust me it is far easier and cheaper to do this with a valid Will.

The Grant of Probate is the legal document that will allow your Executors a legal right to gather in your assets and then distribute them according to your Will.

Most organisations such as banks, building societies, life assurance companies need to ensure they are paying over a deceased person’s money to the correct person and the Grant of Probate is the proof. The Executors are named on the Grant and the organisations pay them accordingly to then pass over to the beneficiaries.

Generally speaking if someone owns a property and / or has over £15,000 of cash assets held with a bank/building society a Grant of Probate is going to be needed. Please note however that banks/building societies have their own rules so they may wish to see the grant for a lower figure than £15,000.

If the deceased held everything jointly with their spouse than the Grant of Probate is not going to be needed just simply show the death certificate to the bank/building society and they will remove the deceased spouse’s name.

All of the above deals with situations where the deceased left a will – what happens where there is no will? Well, the basic rules are the same but the people who will administer the estate are known as Administrators (instead of Executors). They will apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration (instead of a Grant of Probate) and the distribution of the estate will take place according to the rules of intestacy.

At Abbotts we are able to advise clients when dealing with Probate / Letters of Administration so if you need some assistance feel free to contact us (0845 313 3353 or

  • Will Writing Services

    A will is one of the most important legal documents you will ever produce, and is the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out and your estate is divided in the way that you choose.

  • Probate Services

    Probate is a legal process that occurs once an individual has died, where your Executors/Personal Representatives handle your estate, including taxes, debts and distributions of inheritance.

  • Estate Planning

    Sometimes your circumstances may require additional clauses in your will to protect your assets against remarriage or bankruptcy or divorce of a beneficiary or to assist in mitigating inheritance tax.

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