Probate is the legal process of dealing with the estate of a person who has died. Their assets must be identified and quantified, beneficiaries must be identified and located, debts must be paid, and taxes settled before beneficiaries must receive what they are entitled to.
Four common possible grants may issue from the Probate Office and they are as follows:
Grant of Probate:
Where the Deceased left a Will (died Testate).
Grant of Letters of Administration:
Where the deceased died leaving no Will (died intestate).
Letters of Grant of Administration with Will Annexed:
Where the deceased died leaving a Will however the Executor named in the Will is unwilling or unable to act in the probate process.
Grant of Administration De Bonis Non:
Where an Executor extracts an initial Grant of Probate but is unable to complete the distribution of the estate, a second Grand of Probate is required called a De Bonis Non (for example when the original executor extracts a Grant of Probate but dies before the assets are distributed).
Once a grant issues from the Probate Office, then the Executor/Personal Representative can collect all of the assets of the estate, discharge all liabilities and distribute the assets among the beneficiaries.