In the UK a Grant of Probate, also known as a Grant of Representation, is official permission to carry out the wishes of a person in accordance with their will after their death. Usually this will be someone who has been chosen by the person to be the executor of their will. If the person has not made a will or specified an executor, their next of kin can apply for a grant of probate. To obtain the grant an application form needs to be filled out, as well as an Inheritance Tax form. The applicant is also required to take an oath to promise that they have the given correct information in the application, to the best of their knowledge. This form can be obtained via the government website (www.gov.uk) or by phoning the Governments Probate and Inheritance Helpline number to get the forms sent by post. The advisors can also provide free advice and help filling out the form.
The application can be made by the executor personally or through a solicitor. The form can take some time to fill out and depending on the knowledge of the executor, as well as the complexity of the estate of the deceased, can be complicated. In such cases a solicitors advice is recommended.
Once the form has been submitted and the oath taken, the grant should arrive by post within 10 working days. If it is not possible to issue a grant, the Probate Registry will inform you of the reasons for this in writing. Once the grant is received, the executor needs to contact organisations such as banks, or in some cases corporations for example, who are currently holding the deceased assets. The assets can then be released to the executor in order to carry out the task of transferring them to the deceaseds beneficiaries.