News Stories

Sep 17, 2013

What is Probate?

If you find that you have been appointed to act as an Executor of someone’s Will, you might need to apply for a Grant of Probate (sometimes referred to as a Grant of Representation). Even if there is no Will, as next of kin, you still might need to apply for Probate, but in this instance, you would be applying for Letters of Administration (also sometimes referred to as a Grant of Representation).

A Grant of Representation is a document issued by a Probate Registry local to you, that confirms you are the appointed Executor of a Will or the next of kin of someone who has died and therefore the right person to deal with the bank accounts, shares, property and other belongings of someone who has died (the assets of the estate).

Depending upon the size and nature of the estate, you may need a Grant of Representation before you can do such things as close bank accounts or pay bills from a bank account. You will definitely need a Grant of Representation if you find you will need to sell shares or sell a property.

How do I apply for Probate?

To apply for Probate, you will need to first establish the values of the assets and debts of the estate.

You then need to fill in a Probate form, which you can either obtain direct from a local Probate Registry or from a Solicitor, who can help you fill it in. Either way, the form is then delivered to the local Probate Registry, who in turn, issue you with a Grant of Representation.

How long does it take?

For a simple estate, the process of obtaining a Grant of Representation usually takes between 4–6 weeks. For a more complex estate, the process can take anything between 8–12 weeks or maybe longer, depending upon whether or not there is inheritance tax to pay.

What happens when the Grant is issued?

Once a Grant of Representation has been issued, the appointed Executor or next of kin can then begin to close bank accounts etc. This process usually takes a further 2 – 4 weeks, depending upon the types of assets you need to deal with.

The sale of shares or a property will, of course, take longer.

Why should I contact a Will & Probate Solicitor?

Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard and you may feel you need some assistance or guidance with the paperwork involved in obtaining a Grant of Representation.

Why choose Johnson & Gaunt?

We are a local, approachable firm, whose friendly and efficient staff can help guide you through the process of dealing with a death.

For more information and assistance please contact Sarah Horton in our Banbury office on 01295 759400 or or Teresa Ingarfield in our Chipping Norton office on 01608 643051 or

01295 759400
01295 266451
Doc. Exchange
DX 24208 Banbury
Johnson and Gaunt Solicitors