Probate may be required when someone passes away. It refers to the ‘Grant of Probate’, officially known as the ‘Grant of Representation’ in England and Wales, and ‘Confirmation’ in Scotland.
Probate is the legal document required by law, if the deceased owned any property in their sole name or if a financial institution (e.g. bank or building society) needs to see the ‘Grant of Probate’ in order to release funds. Probate may not be required if the assets were held jointly as they will automatically transfer to the surviving spouse or civil partner.
To put it simply, estate administration is the process of handling a person’s legal and tax affairs after they have died. This means dealing with assets, paying any Inheritance Tax and Income Tax, and distributing to the beneficiaries. Estate administration is required after every death, whether or not there is a Will. The process can often be extremely complex, time-consuming and an added stress at an already difficult time. However, the Executor or Administrator does not have to take full responsibility and can appoint a professional to handle the estate on their behalf.
To sum up the difference between probate and estate administration; probate is just one part of the wider estate administration process. Probate provides you with the legal right to carry out the estate administration, including dealing with property, money and personal possessions.
9 February 2021
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