• Emma Walsh

What is a Grant of Representation? What is it, why do you need it and how long does it take? 



What is it, why do you need it and how long does it take? 

If a person dies leaving a valid Will, then the Will should (if drafted properly) name one or more persons as ‘Executors’. The Executors then consider the assets and liabilities of the deceased person, before establishing whether a Grant of Probate is needed or not. If this document is needed, then the Executors are named on a Grant of Probate which gives them the authority to administer the estate.

If there isn’t a legally valid Will, various laws then determine who is the appropriate person to administer the Estate. This person is called the ‘Administrator’ and rather than obtaining a Grant of Probate, they may need to obtain a Grant of Letters of Administration (which is a similar process to obtaining a Grant of Probate). These two documents are both known as a ‘Grant of Representation’.

Why Is A Grant Of Representation Needed?

A Grant of Representation will be needed dependent upon the type and nature of the assets in an estate. For example, some banks will release funds to the named Executor or Administrator if the amount in the account is under a certain value. If a property is involved or shares need to be sold or transferred then it is likely that a Grant of Representation will be needed.    

How Long Does It Take To Get A Grant Of Representation?

It very much depends on the context of each estate. For example, a smaller estate may progress a bit more quickly in terms of preparing the paperwork as there are slightly fewer factors to consider. However, a larger estate or one that involves the payment of Inheritance Tax may take longer to bring all the preparation together into a coherent application. 

Once the application for a Grant of Representation is made, it can take anywhere between 6 – 18 weeks dependent upon how busy the Probate Registry (i.e. the part of the court responsible for dealing with Grant of Representation applications) is at the time of an application. 


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