Probate & Estate Administration: What does it mean?

Probate & Estate Administration:
What does it mean?

At one point or another we will all have come across the term PROBATE or ESTATE ADMINISTRATION but what does it actually mean?

It is one of those questions that we have all had but may seem silly to ask…it isn’t!

PROBATE is the legal term for ‘proving the Will’ and this is done by applying to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Representation (also known as a Grant of Probate) to administer the Estate of the deceased.


ESTATE ADMINISTRATION is the term used to describe the sorting out of the deceased’s Estate following their death. Their Estate includes all of their possessions, property, money, savings, investments and anything else that they own or have an interest in. Their Estate may also have liabilities, such as debts (credit cards, utilities a mortgage), that require attention to. The Estate may also have tax liabilities (Inheritance Tax, Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax etc.) and this will also be dealt with as part of the Estate Administration.


Probate is often used as an overall term to describe the entire process, from obtaining the Grant of Probate through to administering the Estate, by collecting in all the assets, paying off the liabilities and tax, and distributing the Estate in accordance with the Will or the Rules of Intestacy (where there was no valid Will).

Estate Administration can be carried out by the Executor (as appointed under the Will) or a Representative of the deceased (where there is no Will and that Representative has applied for Letters of Administration), or can be carried out by professionals. In some circumstances the Executors or Representatives may require assistance of a specialist, especially where the Estate is complex or they have not had any dealings with such a situation.

It is worth remembering that Estate Administration takes a significant amount of time, with it being estimated that loved ones spend in excess of  50 hours dealing with Estate Administration where a specialist is not instructed.

In addition to this, those that carry out the Estate Administration themselves are personally liable for any mistakes that they make during the Estate Administration process.

If you are considering carrying out the Estate Administration yourself, you may find our Checklist for Executors helpful.


REMEMBER…You don’t have to do everything alone, ask for help as and when you need it!

If you would like to have a free chat, please contact us on or 01727 865 121

Leah Waller

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