Probate Service

The Probate Service is part of Her Majesty’s Court Service which administers the system of probate, which gives people the legal right to handle the estate (for example, money, possessions and property) of a deceased person.

Many members of the public obtain probate without using a probate solicitor. Significant savings can be made if you deal with probate yourself.  
If you with to conduct probate work yourself you should take advantage of engaging the help of your local probate registry. The staff are there to help you – but please note that they cannot give you legal advice. For this, you will need the assistance of a probate lawyer.

An Introduction to Probate.

In most cases where a person dies, they leave an estate (including property, possessions and money). In many cases there is a will.

A will should name one or more executors who are responsible for collecting in all the money, paying any debts and distributing any legacies left to individuals or organisations.

In order to access the estate, the executor needs to apply to the probate registry for a document called a Grant of Representation or ‘grant’. This process is called probate. The grant establishes who can legally collect money from banks, building societies and other organisations which hold assets belonging to the deceased person.

In most cases, applying for probate is a straightforward procedure. The Probate Service administers applications for grants throughout England.

Why a Grant of Representation is needed.

Grants of Representation set out who can legally collect money from banks, building societies and other organisations that hold assets belonging to the deceased person. Three types of Grant of Representation exist:


Probate is issued by the Probate Service to the executor(s) named in the deceased person’s will.

Letters of Administration (with will)

Letters of Administration (with will) are issued when no executor is named in the will, or when the executors are unable or unwilling to apply for the grant. Page

Letters of Administration

Letters of Administration are issued when the deceased person has not made a will, or the will they have made is not valid.