All advice contained within this section relates to England and Wales only.
When someone dies leaving a will, the persons named as the executors may need to obtain a grant of probate in order to deal with the deceased’s estate. The grant of probate is issued by a court called the Probate Registry and confirms the legal right to manage and distribute the estate according to the deceased’s will.
If the person died without leaving a will or there are no executors to a will, the process is a little more complicated. A family member (who may instruct a solicitor) can apply to the court for a grant of letters of administration. The person who applies is known as the administrator.
The general term for a grant of probate and letters of administration with or without a will, is a grant of representation.
Which? Legal can help
Which? Legal's probate specialists can guide you through each step of the probate process and answer any questions that you may have about obtaining a grant of representation including:
Our specialist advisers provide individual, jargon-free legal advice on applying for probate or letters of administration.