When a loved one passes away, it is essential to understand the legal procedures that follow, particularly when it comes to administering their estate. A Grant of Representation is a crucial document that enables you to handle the deceased’s affairs, including managing their assets, paying debts, and distributing the estate.
Whether you are a family member or an appointed Executor, we explain what a Grant of Representation entails and how you can successfully apply. MSC Notaries aim to ensure you are well-informed during what can be a challenging time.
What is a Grant of Representation?
A Grant of Representation is an official legal document in the UK that authorises an individual’s legal authority to manage and distribute a deceased person’s estate, which can include selling property, dealing with bank accounts and savings, and paying any debts.
The Grant of Representation documents are issued by the Probate Registry and there are various documents and procedures to follow when applying before they can be granted.
What are the different types of Grants of Representation?
There are two types of Grants of Representation that can be required depending on the circumstances:
- If there is a Will that names representatives known as Executors, these individuals will need to obtain a Grant of Probate to be able to legally administrate the deceased’s estate and assets.
- If there is no Will, a Grant of Letters of Administration will need to be issued for an individual to be able to administrate the deceased’s estate.
- If there is a Will, but it is invalid or the people named as representatives in the Will are unable to apply for probate, then a Grant of Letters of Administration with Will Annexed is required for an individual to administrate the deceased’s estate.
When is a Grant of Representation required?
A Grant of Representation is required when the deceased’s assets cannot be accessed or transferred without this legal document being presented. For example, if there is property in only the deceased’s name or bank accounts containing a large sum of money under only their name, you will need the Grant of Representation document as legal proof that you have the authority to manage these assets.
Circumstances where a Grant of Representation is required:
- Property owned in the name of the deceased person only
- Bank accounts in the name of the deceased person only
- Bank accounts containing a certain amount of money (usually over £5000, however, thresholds differ across banks). If the bank account contains under the threshold for a Grant of Representation to be required, you will need to obtain a Small Estates Declaration document instead to confirm this with the institution.
Circumstances where a Grant of Representation is not required:
- If the total value of the deceased’s assets is under £10,000
- If the estate is made up of the following:
- Property jointly owned (with two names on the deed)
- Bank accounts jointly held
- Personal possessions such as cars or jewellery
- Life insurance policies and pensions
- Debts that exceed the total value of the assets
Applying for a Grant of Representation
The key steps to follow for applying for a Grant of Representation are as follows:
- Identify the type of Grant of Representation required.
- Obtain all the required documents.
- Fill out the required PA1 forms and an inheritance tax form if required (this is dependent on the value of the estate).
- Pay the application fees if applicable.
- Submit your application and forms to the Probate Registry.
- Obtain your Grant of Representation.
What documents are required to apply for a Grant of Representation?
To submit an application, there are various documents you will need to gather:
- Original Will (in circumstances where one exists)
- Death certificate
- Documents related to the deceased person’s estate, such as property deeds, bank statements, pensions, life insurance policies, debts and more.
- Application forms, which will depend on the type of Grant you need to apply for
Who is eligible to apply for a Grant of Representation?
The individual eligible and responsible for applying for a Grant of Representation depends on the circumstances, primarily whether there is a Will or not. If there is a Will, the Executors named will generally apply for a Grant of Probate. If there is no Will or the named Executors are unable to apply, the next of kin is responsible for applying for a Grant of Letters of Administration according to the laws of intestacy.
How long does it take to obtain a Grant of Representation?
It can take an average of up to 16 weeks for a Grant of Representation to be obtained. However, the timeframe it can take to be granted the document is dependent on various factors including the number of beneficiaries, the deceased’s estate, and how soon the application and relevant documents can be submitted for review.
Various aspects can delay the process including disputes among beneficiaries as to who should apply, complications with gathering and valuing the deceased’s persons estate, or external factors like backlogs of applications.
How much does it cost to obtain a Grant of Representation?
There is a fee of £273 to apply for any type of Grant of Representation if the deceased’s person’s estate is valued at a total exceeding £5000. If their estate is less, then there is no fee to apply. The fee to apply is also reduced if you are using a professional probate service however of course this does involve paying the legal fees for them to arrange your application.
Need help applying for a Grant of Representation?
At MSC Notaries and Solicitors, we understand that navigating the legal intricacies surrounding estate administration can be overwhelming.
Our team of experienced professionals is here to assist you every step of the way. From guiding you through the application process to providing expert legal advice on estate matters, our experienced probate solicitors are committed to providing an efficient and seamless service. We can ensure that everything is completed and submitted accurately and as efficiently as possible.
Contact MSC Notaries and Solicitors today and we can provide you with a free quote to assist with all areas of the application process.
What is estate administration?
When someone passes away, their ‘estate’, which refers to their assets, debts or taxes, must be managed and distributed. This is known as estate administration, whereby the individual legally responsible must review the deceased’s estate, pay off any debts and taxes where applicable, and distribute their remaining assets to beneficiaries.
If there is a Will, the assets are distributed according to the terms set out, and if there is not, or the Will is invalid, the assets are distributed according to the UK’s laws of intestacy.
What do I do after I receive the Grant of Representation?
Once you have been granted the relevant Grant of Representation document, you can use this to begin administering the deceased person’s estate. You can present copies of the document to institutions to be able to access their accounts, transfer property from their name, pay any debts and more, to settle their estate according to their Will or UK’s laws of intestacy.