Q: My mother has recently passed away and she appointed me to be her executor in her Will. I have started dealing with her assets but have been told I need a Grant of Probate. What is that and how do I obtain it?
A: A Grant of Probate is a legal document which confirms that a person is entitled to administer the estate of someone who has passed away. It is issued by a division of the court called the probate registry and will be needed in order to deal with some assets of your mother’s estate.
Some assets within your mother’s estate may be closed with just a death certificate, for example her bank and savings accounts, if the balance isn’t too high. However, you will need a Grant of Probate to give you the authority to deal with other assets such as a house.
In order to obtain a Grant of Probate you will need to gather valuations of all of your mother’s assets and liabilities. You then need to complete an Inheritance Tax return to confirm whether or not Inheritance Tax is payable on the estate. Her estate will have a £325,000 tax free allowance, with other exemptions available too if necessary. Once you have completed the Inheritance Tax return and paid any Inheritance Tax owed, you will then need to swear an oath to confirm you are the person entitled to deal with the estate. The application can then be submitted to the probate registry who will issue the Grant of Probate shortly afterwards.
If you require any help and assistance at any point with obtaining the Grant of Probate, you can consult with a solicitor who can support you through the process.