After we have applied to the Probate Registry on your behalf, the grant of probate or letters of administration will then be issued. This will normally take a minimum of 16 weeks from the date the application is received by the Probate Registry. This may take longer in cases where additional information is required.
We will then receive sealed copies of the grant of probate or letters of administration depending on how many copies were requested and paid for during the application process. The amount ordered will depend on how many asset providers there are who require a copy of the sealed grant.
The Probate Registry will keep the original Will and any other testamentary documents submitted with the application, such as a codicil, which will become a public record and can be purchased at a fee (if required).
There are three types of grant depending upon the position with the estate. Each document gives the same authority, authorising the personal representative to start dealing with the administration of estate:
- a ‘grant of probate’ - if the person left a Will
- ‘Letters of administration with Will annexed’ - if the will does not name an executor or the named executor cannot apply
- ‘Letters of administration’ - if the person did not leave a Will.
As a personal representative (an executor or administrator) you are legally responsible for the money, property and possessions of the person who has died – called the ‘estate’s assets’. This can be an overwhelming responsibility and the reason why many personal representatives choose to instruct a solicitor to act on their behalf to ensure the estate is properly administered.
If you have also chosen Stephensons to administer the estate, following instructing us to apply for the grant, we will then on your behalf administer the estate and:
- Collect in the assets,
- pay any debts left by the person who died,
- sell assets such as properties or shares,
- Liaising with HMRC in respect of income tax for the current tax year up to date of death,
- report the estate value, income and tax liability to HM Revenue and Customs,
- Preparing estate and distribution accounts;
- Distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.
If you are an executor or administrator and require assistance with the grant of probate/letters of administration application and administration of an estate please call our specialist Wills and probate solicitors at Stephensons on 0161 696 6238 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you directly.