What is Probate?


“Probate” is the name given to a legal document that entitles the person looking after the deceased’s Estate to deal with assets such as property or savings and investments.

This is needed because when a person dies many of their assets become frozen to stop them ending up in the hands of the wrong person. The only individual who can legally ensure they go to the correct beneficiaries of the deceased’s Estate is the person(s) named on this legal document we call “Probate”.

In practical terms, the person named on the Probate will be able to, for example, sell a property or access the deceased person’s bank accounts.


To help with some (in our opinion rather unhelpful) legal terminology, the name of this legal document we have been referring to is the “Grant of Representation”. You may come across this term in letters such as from banks. However, the Grant of Representation is also called a “Grant of Probate” when the deceased left a Will. When the deceased left no Will it is called “Letters of Administration”. It is ultimately the same thing though and the application process for either a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration is almost identical. The most commonly used term for all of the above, however, is simply “Probate”, and the legal document itself referred to as the “Grant”.

When is Probate required?

Probate will either be required if there is a property to sell or transfer (unless it was held as joint tenants) or a bank or investment company ask to see the Grant. Whether or not a bank or investment company asks to see Probate will depend on their own threshold for whether or not to ask for Probate. These can be as a low as £5,000 and as high as £100,000.

What to do if you need Probate

If you are unsure about whether you need Probate, what it is or how to go about obtaining it, please don’t hesitate to speak with one of our friendly Trustd Legal Services advisers. You can email us at or call us on 0330 311 9728.

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