If you’re settling someone’s estate after they’ve died, you might need a grant of representation to get things done. In fact, applying for a grant is one of the key steps in the probate process. But what is a grant of representation, and how do you get one? Let’s take a look.

 

What is a grant of representation?

A grant of representation is a legal document that you can use to prove your authority to sort out the legal and financial affairs of someone who has died. You can apply for it if you’re the executor of the estate or (if there’s no will) the next-of-kin.

Banks, mortgage providers and other financial organisations often ask to see a grant before they’ll let you access accounts. But they might not call it a ‘grant of representation’. That’s because…

 

There are two types of grant:

  • A grant of probate is applied for when the person who died had a will, and is used by the executor of the estate.
  • A grant of letters of administration is the grant of representation for when there’s no will. It’s what you’ll need to settle the estate if you’re a close relative of the person who has died.

Both are covered under the general term of ‘grant of representation’.

 

When do you need a grant of representation?

Sometimes, the estate of the person who has died is so small and simple that a grant of representation isn’t really necessary. But you’ll likely need one if:

  • The estate is worth more than £5,000
  • The person who died owned property
  • The person who died owned their own business
  • The estate includes stocks and shares

You can find out more about when a grant is required in our guide here.

 

How much does a grant of representation cost?

At the moment, it costs £157.50 to apply for a grant if you’re using a professional probate service, and £215 if not. This is set to change to a means-tested fee structure soon.

Applying for a grant of representation is a complicated and often stressful job. You might prefer to ask a professional probate service to take on all the hard work for you. Costs here vary – you can find out more about them in our guide here.

 

How to apply for a grant of representation

If you choose to work with a probate professional, applying for a grant of representation is pretty simple. You’ll help them find out the information they need to fill out the necessary forms (one for inheritance tax, which is very complicated, and a slightly simpler one for the grant itself) and they will take it from there.

If you’ve decided to apply yourself, it gets quite a bit trickier. You’ll need to start by working out the total value and extent of the estate. That means bank accounts, property, stocks and shares, belongings – everything they own. After that, you’ll need to report the value of the estate to HMRC.

Only then can you apply for the grant. If inheritance tax is due, you may also need to start paying it before the grant will be sent.

Find out more about how to get a grant of representation (or probate) in England or Wales here. For our Scottish confirmation guide, click here.

 

Need a hand?

Applying for a grant of representation can take quite a bit of time, effort and savvy. You’re also liable for any mistakes made when settling the estate, so it’s really important to get it right.

If you like, we can take care of it for you. Our stellar estate administration service starts at just £657.50 (includes cost of the grant). Swift and professional, we’ll make sure you don’t have to worry about a thing. Call today for your personalised quote on 0800 054 9896.

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