Grant of Representation Explained
A Grant of Representation is a formal legal document issued in England and Wales to the Personal Representative (Executor or Administrator) of the Estate of someone who has died.
A Grant of Representation allows the Personal Representative to deal with all the deceased person's assets and liabilities, and to complete the administration of the Estate.
Once you have the Grant of Representation, you can close bank accounts, pay off any outstanding debts, pay any taxes due and distribute the assets (money, property, belongings) to the beneficiaries named in the Will.
The process of getting a Grant of Representation is slightly different depending on whether or not the person who died left a valid Will.
- If there was a valid Will, you will need a Grant of Probate
- If there was no valid Will, you will need a Grant of Letters of Administration
Both these documents show that you have the legal right to administer the Estate and is why they are collectively known as Grants of Representation.
Confused? Don’t worry our Probate Solicitors can deal with as much or as little of the Probate and Estate administration processes as you want. We can just apply for the Grant of Probate, or with our Full Probate Service we deal with everything on your behalf; and our fees are paid for by the Estate.
For free initial legal advice call our Probate Solicitors.
How to Apply for Grant of Representation
Before you can apply for a Grant of Representation, you need to do some things first. They are:
- Register the death within 5 days (England or Wales)
- Value all the Estate assets, including property, shares and cars
- Complete and send the correct Inheritance Tax form to HMRC
- Pay the Probate Registry (Court) fees
- Pay any Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax due
If there is a valid Will, you and potentially some others, will be named as Executors. That’s how you know you can apply for the Grant of Representation, as the Will says so.
But if the person who died didn’t leave a Will, you’ll need to confirm that you have the right to be their Administrator. Inheritance laws called the Rules of Intestacy apply and they outline who can act as the Administrator of the Estate. They are:
- Husband, wife or civil partner
- The children or grandchildren of the person who died
- The mother or father of the person who died
- Brothers and sisters (full or half-blood related)
- Aunts and uncles (full or half-blood related)
If the brothers, sisters, aunts or uncles died before the person who made the Will did and there is no one else, their children can also be an Administrator.
Is Grant of Representation Always Needed?
You may not always need a Grant of Representation. It does depend on the value and the assets in the Estate. If their Estate is valued at less than £5,000 then you may not need to apply for Grant of Representation.
Grant of Representation is usually required when:
- The Estate is worth more than £5,000
- They left property or land
- They left stocks and shares
- There were insurance policies
If you’re not sure about how to value the Estate or what needs to be included in that valuation, speak to one of our Probate Solicitors. They can help you to make sure you know exactly what you need to do or complete the whole process for you.
Please note, as Executor or Administrator, you are legally responsible for making sure that the Probate process is completely correctly, and that the Estate is distributed to the beneficiaries according to the Will or the Rules of Intestacy. There is no room for error.
How Long Does it Take to Apply?
It can take between 16 to 20 weeks for the Probate Registry (Court) to issue a Grant of Representation.
There are no time constraints when applying for Grant of Representation, but you must pay Inheritance Tax due by the end of the sixth month after the person died, so time is limited to value the Estate.
Our Probate Solicitors can support you throughout this process and make sure you meet all the important deadlines throughout the administration of the Estate.
For free legal advice call our Probate Solicitors
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