In England and Wales ‘probate’ is the word normally used to describe the legal and financial processes involved in dealing with the property, money and possessions (called the estate) of a person who has died.
In fact ‘probate’ is only one part of the process of administering somebody’s estate. Before the executor named in the Will can claim, transfer, sell or distribute any of the deceased’s assets they might have to apply for a Grant of Probate and this is done through the Probate Registry.
A Grant of Probate is a legal document issued by the Probate Registry which confirms that a person’s Will has been validated by the Probate Registry. It confirms who the executors are. The Grant of Probate therefore confirms that the executors have the legal authority to deal with the estate. The Grant of Probate is sometimes just called ‘probate’.