Probate is the generic term used to indicate the legal proof that a person has been validly appointed as an Executor of a Will and is willing and able to administer the estate of a person who has died leaving a valid Will. It confirms the authority granted by their appointment in the Will, which exists immediately following the death of the person who created the Will. In Scotland, a significantly different process is known as Confirmation.
The information on this page applies in full to England and Wales. Check the differences that apply to a Grant of Probate in Northern Ireland and Probate (Confirmation) in Scotland.
A PDF leaflet version of UK probate is available here to print.
Sometimes referred to simply as a Grant of Probate, the precise type of Grant that is issued depends on the exact circumstances of the situation and who is taking out the Grant.
There are many types of ‘Grant’ and the correct term which covers all the types is a ‘Grant of Representation’. This is a generic term referring to proof of authority to deal with the estate of someone who died.
Where there is no valid Will left by the deceased person, the correct term is a Grant of Letters of Administration; if there is a valid Will but no person named who is willing or able to apply for it, e.g. the named executors have died, the Grant will be a Grant of Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed.