All advice contained within this section relates to England and Wales only.
A grant of probate – often referred to as just probate – is a legal document that confirms the authority to deal with the estate of a person who has died. It is not always necessary of the executors to obtain a grant in order to administer an estate.
If you're an executor of the deceased’s will, you may need to apply for a grant of probate – also known as a grant of representation.
You will always need a grant to deal with the deceased's house if owned in the deceased's sole name or if the deceased owned a share as a tenant in common. You will also need a grant if the deceased owned shares or if banks etc require it.
Most banks and building societies will need to see proof of probate before releasing funds that belonged to the deceased, although some may agree to release money that’s needed to pay for a funeral and inheritance tax.
Which? Legal Service’s probate specialists can guide you through each step of the probate process and answer any questions that you may have including:
Our lawyers provide individual, jargon-free legal advice on dealing with a deceased person's estate.
We offer an easy, affordable and time efficient solution to putting your affairs in order without having to visit a high street solicitor to make your will. Find out more