Proving The Will
PROVING THE WILL
Whether there is a will or not, the people administering the estate need to obtain a Grant of Representation from the Probate Registry before they can begin (see Figure 13). The Grant of Representation is a legal document which authorises a person or persons to collect the money and assets of the deceased, pay outstanding bills and distribute the estate. Banks, insurance companies and other organisations holding the deceased’s money and assets will normally wish to see the document before they will release any of the assets.
Is it really necessary to apply for probate? In most cases, yes, but there are two possible exceptions:
- If the estate is held jointly and everything passes to the surviving owner.
- If the estate is very small (with no assets worth over £5,000) some organisations mayrelease the money to you without the need for a Grant of Representation.
Generally speaking, it is wise to err on the side of caution and assume that you need to apply for a Grant of Representation. Your local probate registry can give you advice on this, and you could also call the Probate Helpline or access the relevant pages of the Court Service website.
In Scotland probate is known as confirmation. It has to be obtained at the sheriff court of the sheriffdom in which the deceased was living at the time of death.