These are two questions we are regularly asked because it’s a phrase that people come across at the time of a bereavement but sometimes think that a Grant shouldn’t be needed because their deceased relative left a Will. 

A Grant of Probate is a document obtained from the Probate Registry providing authority for the executors named in a Will to deal with the assets of a deceased person. It can be used to close bank accounts, sell or transfer a house, deal with shares and investments. 

Why is Probate needed if there’s a Will? The answer lies not in whether there’s a Will, but in the make-up of a deceased person’s estate. If a person has assets in their sole name worth more than £5,000 then the law states that a Grant of Probate can be required in order to deal with those assets. However, a lot of banks and financial institutions have increased the threshold at which they require a Grant of Probate. Some banks and institutions keep the level at £5,000 whilst others have set their requirement at a much higher figure of up to £50,000. 

In the case of assets held in joint assets, for example a married couple, where one spouse dies then any assets in joint names will automatically pass to the survivor. A Grant of Probate isn’t generally needed to deal with joint assets. But if the house is in the sole name of the deceased, or the deceased had ISAs or other assets in his/her sole name then a Grant may be needed.

We are always happy to have an initial no-obligation consultation with you to advise you in relation to any estate and see whether a Grant is needed, and assist where you need any help. Feel free to contact our Practice Development Manager Richard Bruce on 01925 263273 or for further details.

The contents of this post do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only