Can you please explain what a grant of representation is, in regards to a will, and how it works. My grandmother has just passed on, and she left a will, but I am being told that the grant of representation needs to happen, before her estate can be distributed to us.
The Answer from Solicitors Online
What is a grant of representation?
A grant of representation is a court order and evidence of a person’s right to deal with the deceased’s estate. The person who is given this right, is regarded as the personal representative of the deceased’s estate and is to distribute the estate in accordance with the will of the deceased.
For a grant of representation to be given out, an application must be made to the court.
There are three types of grant:
(a) Probate. This is the issue of grant of representation to an “Executor”, a person appointed in the will of the deceased as having the role of distributing the estate, or a codcil (an attached document to the will signed formerly signed by the deceased)
(b) Letters of Administration with will annexed. This grant is appropriate where there is a will but for some reason it is not possible to make a grant of probate to an Executor.
(c) Letters of Administration. This grant, often called ‘simple administration’, is issued where the deceased died intestate. Meaning the deceased died without leaving a valid will, or only a partial will, that did not cover all the property that she owned.
What are the rules regarding bringing a claim for inheritance in relation to a will?
For an applicant to be successful in bringing a claim:
(a) The applicant must apply within the time limit – this is within six months from confirmation of the personal representative of the deceased’s estate taking place. This is known as the grant of representation.
(b) The applicant must meet the criteria of people stated in Section 1(1) of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, who can make a claim in regards to Inheritance.
(c) The person bringing the claim must prove to the court that the will of the deceased or intestacy, does not make reasonable financial provisions for them.
Grant of representation and Executors
Executors are personal representatives that the deceased named in their will or codicil. An Executor has full authority to deal with the deceased’s property even without a grant by the court. However a grant of representation known as a probate for Executors, acts as confirmation of the Executor’s role, and is also acceptable legal proof of their role.
If a firm of Solicitors have been appointed as the Executors in a will, it will be the partners at the date of the will or codicil who are entitled to act as Executors. If a will specifies that the Executor has been appointed only for specific parts of the deceased’s estate only, the grant of representation that a court gives to the Executor will contain the same limits, meaning that they can only act for property as so far as the grant of representative states and they will not have authority over all of the deceased’s estate.
Grant of representation and Administrators
Administrators administer the estate of the deceased in the case that a person dies without a will, known as intestate. A grant of representation is needed to give an Administrator the authority to administrator an estate.
Without a grant of representation, an Administrator does not have the legal authority to distribute the estate of the deceased. Only actions taken by an Administrator after the court has given them a grant of representation will be legally valid.
If you require further advice on grant of representation regarding a will, or Executors and Administrators you can speak to one of our Wills and Probate Solicitors online right now.