Grant of representation

A grant of representation is the legal permission given to personal representative to prove that they can legally administer the estate of the deceased. This will include collecting money from banks and building societies, or any other institutions that may hold assets belonging to the deceased.

The grant of representation is an A4 document with an official stamp. It also details information such as the name of the deceased, address, date of death, value of estate and obviously the name of the personal representatives.

A probate solicitor can assist in helping you achieve grant of representation.

There are generally three types of grant of representation that can be granted by the Probate Service when applied for:

  • Probate

Probate is granted to the executors named in the will

  • Letters of administration (with will)

Letters of administration with will is granted when there is no executor named in the will or when there is an executor named but they are unwilling to act.

  • Letters of administration

Letters of administration are issued when the deceased did not leave a valid will or died intestate.

Why is a grant needed?

Without a grant some banks or other societies that hold assets that belong to the deceased may not release them. Also if any transfers need to be made the Land Registry would want to see a grant before they process it.

When is a grant needed?

As previously stated a grant is essential in order to sell or transfer property held in the deceased’s name. This transaction cannot be carried out until a grant is obtained.

In other circumstances a grant is not always needed and this is generally if the value of the estate is below £5,000.  Additionally a grant may not be essential when:

  • The property is held in joint names and the rules of survivorship apply. This is common in marriages and civil partnerships
  • The amount held in a bank was a low value amount; however it is down to the discretion of the bank or building society if they would allow money to be accessed without a grant.
  • The account is a joint account. Some banks and societies may be satisfied with a death certificate before transferring money to the surviving owner.

Carrying out duties before a grant is obtained

Some parts of the probate process can be carried out before the grant is issued. This may include contacting banks and building societies to see if they can release assets without a grant. This may also include valuating the estate and placing the house on the market.