What a grant of probate, or letter of administration, allows you to do.

A grant of probate is a legal document which allows the people named in it to collect and distribute the estate of the deceased. You can show it to organisations that hold these assets, such as banks or building societies.

Probate is the process of officially proving that a will is valid, but the following information applies equally where the deceased died without leaving a will - in which case the grant is called a letter of administration.

Is a grant of probate needed in all cases?

Not always. It may not be necessary to obtain a grant of probate where a home is held in joint names and is passing by survivorship to the other joint owner where a joint bank or building society account is held.

Production of a death certificate may be sufficient for the monies to be transferred to the joint holder and certain institutions may release monies without a grant being produced if the amount held by the deceased was small. You will need to apply to the institutions to see if they will release monies without a grant.

Staff at probate registries will offer procedural guidance on how to obtain a grant. They cannot provide legal advice.

Oxford District Probate Registry

Combined Court Building
St Aldates

Tel: 01865 793055
Fax : 01865 793090