Probate is a term often used when talking about applying for the right to deal with a deceased person’s affairs. It is often used in relation to proving Wills after people have died. Depending on whether or not people have left Wills, different terms are actually used.
If you leave a Will
When writing your Will you should name one or more executors to deal with your affairs after your death. The executor then applies for a grant of probate from a section of the court known as the probate registry. The grant is a legal document which confirms that the executor has the authority to deal with your assets, this includes property, money and possessions. They can use it to show they have the right to access funds and collect and share out your assets as set out in your Will.
If you do not leave a Will
If you do not leave a Will, a close relative can apply to the probate registry to deal with the estate. In this case they apply for a grant of letters of administration. If the grant is given, they are then known as administrators of your estate. Like the grant of probate, the grant of letters of administration is a legal document which confirms the administrator’s authority to deal with your assets.