What should you do if probate has been applied for?

What is Probate?

A grant of probate or Grant of representation is the legal proving of a will. It is a document granted by the probate office to the executors or administrators confirming their right to administer the Deceased’s Estate.When probate is granted it is made public record along with the will if there is one. What should you do if probate has been applied for?

You can search for a grant of Probate on the government website using the find a will service. You can order probate records online for a fee of £10.

A new probate record will appear online 2 weeks after the grant has been issued. If you believe probate has been applied for on an estate of someone who has passed away within the last 6 months you can apply for a ‘Standing Search’. This means if the grant is issued you will receive a copy.

If a grant of probate has not been issued on an estate you believe you are an executor for, there are some actions you can take to ensure the estate is administered according to the deceased’s wishes and the law.  These actions can vary depending on the circumstances. You can speak to one of our advisers by calling 08007318722.

There are many circumstances in which it would be necessary to locate a grant of probate. If there is a valid last will and testament of the Deceased it will be made public alongside the grant of probate. If there is no will in place the Rules of intestacy must be followed. If you are concerned that the correct legal actions have not been taken it may be helpful to confirm the wishes of the deceased according to their will.

  • If you believe you may have been named the executor of an estate but have not been located and informed.

When applying for probate all executors named on the will must be accounted for or probate will not be granted. If an executor cannot be found it must be proved that reasonable effort was made to locate them. If probate was granted on an estate where you were named as an executor and you were not informed you should seek legal advice.

  • If you believe you may have been named a beneficiary of an estate but have not received your inheritance.

It is an executor’s duty to administer the estate according to the deceased’s wishes as stated in the will. This includes locating and informing all the named beneficiaries. The executor must prove they have made reasonable effort to locate them. An executor must inform the beneficiaries that they are mentioned in the will but does not have to disclose any information in regards to other beneficiaries or the details of the Estate. If you are aware that an Estate has been administered and distributed and you have not received your inheritance, after checking that probate has been granted and confirming you are a beneficiary, you should seek legal advice.

  • If you are an executor of an estate that you believe may be connected to another previously administered Estate.

An example in which this situation applies is when it appears the deceased was due to inherit from someone that has predeceased them. If the assets they were due to inherit cannot be accounted for or have not yet been transferred into their Estate it could be helpful to check the terms in the will of the person who passed away first.

You can find more information about finding a will on the government website.