What is a Grant of Representation?
A Grant of Representation is one of the steps in dealing with a Will and the subsequent Estate. Simply put, it serves as a document to confirm your legal status and ability to deal with the Estate of someone who has passed away. It can sometimes be known by other names such as Grant of Probate but always serves the same purpose; to prove authority in the administration of the Estate.
There are a few cases in which a Grant of Representation is not necessary, namely if the Deceased shared their Estate with someone who is still living or if the Estate value is less than £5,000 and consisted of only cash.
When do I need a Grant of Representation?
This document makes up one of the steps in sorting out an Estate. The steps are generally in this order:
1. Check if there is a Will
2. If there is a Will, an Executor or Executors will be named. (Identity who these parties are)
3. Obtain a value of the Estate
4. Pay any taxes that may be necessary. An Inheritance Tax, or IHT, is common on Estates
5. Executors or next of kin apply for the Grant of Representation
6. Once confirmed as executor/s, sort out financial assets and debts
7. Distribute the Estate per the wishes of the Will.
What if there is no Will?
A Will makes the above process a lot easier but there are instances in which a Will has not been drawn up. This is known as Intestacy and usually involves blood-relatives the closest to a named executor. It is important to remember step-children are not included in the blood-relative category so writing a Will is in the best interest of both you and your loved ones.
If Intestacy is the case, you must first apply for the Grant of Representation. Once awarded you will become a Personal Representative. This will empower you or whoever applies to deal with the Estate of the deceased giving access to everything from assets to bank accounts.
Work with the Professionals
While legal systems try to make the process of dealing with the Estate of loved one as easy as possible, it helps to have a professional in your corner.
At Smith Partnership, we have honest and open solicitors committed to helping you with clear, jargon-free legal advice. We have a wide network of offices and experience ensuring you get the legal help you need from a progressive and plain-speaking expert.
If you need help with either a Will or any similar matter, contact our team and see how they can support you today.