Your Will should state who are your Executors (the people who after you die will administer your estate and deal with any assets you own) and your Beneficiaries (the people or charities who will receive the net proceeds of your estate).
In England and Wales, a Grant of Probate is a document issued by the Probate Registry (a part of the England and Wales court system) giving your Executors the authority to deal with your estate. This will allow the holder of the asset (for example your bank) to safely pay the proceeds of the asset to your Executors, or to transfer it in accordance with their instructions.
Not all estates require a Grant of Probate. If your assets are owned jointly with someone else (and this includes houses owned as “beneficial joint tenants”), then they can be transferred into the sole name of the surviving joint owner on production of the death certificate alone. If your assets are small, then the asset holders may be prepared to pay the proceeds to your Executors without the need to obtain a Grant of Probate.
However, in all other instances, a Grant of Probate would be required to enable your Executors to deal with your estate.
For any information about making a Will, or if you are an Executor and need to apply for a Grant of Probate, feel free to contact one of our wills and probate solicitors here at Jordans on 01924 387110.