Applying for the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’) when they die is called ‘applying for probate’.
If the person left a will, you’ll get a ‘grant of probate’.
If the person did not leave a will, you’ll get ‘letters of administration’.
When probate is not needed
You may not need probate if the person who died:
- had jointly owned land, property, shares or money - these will automatically pass to the surviving owners
- only had savings or premium bonds
Contact each asset holder (for example a bank or mortgage company) to find out if you’ll need probate to get access to their assets. Every organisation has its own rules.