Probate or administration of estate is a term commonly used to refer to the manner in
which the people responsible for dealing with the deceased's estate carry out their duties.
A Grant (otherwise known as a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration) is a legal document granted by the Probate Registry, which confirms that the personal representatives have authority to deal with the assets in the deceased's estate. All of the deceased's assets and liabilities have to be ascertained and valued.The assets less any liabilities are known as the estate. If the deceased left a valid Will, then the executors appointed are the only people entitled to deal with the estate. They will need to apply for a Grant of Probate (if necessary) and can start dealing with the estate straightaway.
If there is no Will, then the estate will be administered in accordance with the Intestacy Rules and the deceased's spouse or nearest blood relatives, known as administrators, will need to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration. They will have no access to the deceased's estate until they have obtained the Grant. If the value of the estate is over £5,000 and the deceased left a valid Will, it may be necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate. Where there is no Will then a Grant of Letters of Administration must be obtained. Where the estate is £5,000 or less, it may be dealt with under the Small Estates Procedure.