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Do you need to obtain a Grant of Representation?

If you know you need to obtain a Grant of Representation in England or Wales then this article will explain what it is, why it is required and how to go about obtaining it.

And if you’re not sure whether you need to obtain a Grant of Representation, you’ll get total clarity on the circumstances in which you need to obtain it.

What is a Grant of Representation? 

A Grant of Representation is a formal legal document granted by the Probate Registry division of the High Court.

A Grant of Representation is also known as “Probate” where there is a Will, and “Letters of Administration” where there isn’t a Will.

A Grant of Representation is required to deal with a deceased person’s assets after they’ve died. 

Here’s an example:

high-court-justice

Examples where a Grant of Representation is required are where the deceased owned:

  • Property; the property cannot change ownership, either by a sale or transfer to a family member, without a Grant of Representation.
  • Bank/building society accounts
  • National Savings & Investment products e.g. Premium Bonds
  • ISAs
  • Shares
  • Pensions
  • Insurance policies
  • Investments held through financial advisers e.g. Unit Trusts
  • Investment Bonds

These assets are ‘frozen’ and inaccessible after the financial organisation is notified of the death until a Grant of Representation is obtained.  

A Grant of Representation isn’t required for jointly owned bank accounts and property, or to sell motor vehicles and personal possessions.

Think of it then as the passport the next of kin need to handle the deceased person’s finances and property.

How to apply for a Grant of Representation

The first step is to identify the person who is legally entitled to apply for the Grant of Representation:

# If the deceased left a Will the ‘Executor’ of the Will should apply for the Grant of Representation.

# If the deceased did not leave a Will the responsibility lies with the legal next of kin. To identify that person just look at the list below. The person(s) that appears highest up the list is responsible for applying for the Grant of Representation:

The person entitled to apply for Grant of Representation should then take these steps, in order:

Can you apply for Grant of Representation yourself?

Yes, providing you are the Executor of the Will, or if there isn’t a Will the legal next of kin, and have the right instructions and documents to support you through the process. 

You do not need to use a solicitor to apply for Grant of Representation. Solicitors’ fees are typically in the range of £3000-£20,000 so this is a significant cost saving if you deal with the Grant of Representation application yourself.

How do you know if you’re doing it right?

It’s an important question.  Yes, obtaining Grant of Representation is straightforward in almost all cases, but it’s still very important to get it right, as getting it wrong can create more issues – clearly, it is a critical legal process, and if you incorrectly fill the forms in, there can be consequences.

For example, if you don’t correctly collate the value of assets, this can have implications for HMRC, which is something no one wants to get wrong.

As a result, it’s useful to have a guide or framework that’ll help you ensure you’re doing the right things at the right stage, and that’s why we put together a free Grant of Representation FAQs + Checklist that’ll help you ensure that at each stage, you’re doing the right things.

What will the Essential Grant of Representation Checklist help me with?

Essentially, it guides you through the process, explaining what you need to do and in what order.

Here’s what the Essential Grant of Representation Checklist will help you with:

In short, the Essential Grant of Representation Checklist gives you a framework you can work through to complete the legalities and obtain Grant of Representation without using an expensive solicitor, and we’re happy to give you them for free.

To access the forms, and keep making progress on your Grant of Representation application, just fill in the form below now and we’ll send you your free copy now.