This week’s article continues this theme and looks at what you need to do when someone dies, to get a Grant of Representation to be able to deal with their estate. A Grant is the legal court order that gives you the authority to deal with their assets. It is not like a Grant where someone gives you money. In fact, it costs you money to get it!
First question- Does the person who has died have any assets in their own name? If they don’t, then you won’t need a Grant.
Assets in joint names generally pass to the surviving owner, again without the need for a Grant. There are exceptions which we can look at in a later article, but the main exception is where someone has joint assets held as ‘Tenants in Common’, where their share is dealt with on the terms of their Will rather than passing to the survivor.
Small Estates- this is a pretty loose definition, but most banks and building societies will accept a ‘Small Estates’ declaration if the accounts that they have are less than £5,000, up to £15,000 in some cases. It is worth asking the question and having a look at what their rules state and how their declaration is worded. It is a big time and money saver if it applies. A lot of life insurance companies will also be happy to accept declarations on smaller policies.
If you come to see us, these are all the issues we will look through with you first and again, we often send clients away with enough advice from a free first meeting to be able to deal with matters without having to go near a court application.
If you can’t deal with an estate as above, you need to get a Grant (a Court sealed order with your name on it) from the court to show that you are entitled to deal with their estate. If there is a Will and you are the Executor, you get a Grant of Probate. If they died without a Will, you get a Grant of Letters of Administration by proving that you are the right person (or one of the right people) in the pecking order to inherit.
Next week’s article looks at the forms you need to fill in and the procedure to get the Grant. Fancy a trip to Liverpool?
Telephone Michelle on (01229) 402279 or Jane on (01229) 402243 for a free appointment without obligation to discuss the options.
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