Obtaining probate

Probate is a legal process in which a court validates a will.

But before we can release any of the money from someone’s estate, we need a sealed copy of the Grant of Representation and instructions signed by each of the registered executors. This may be known as a Grant of Probate (if there’s a will), a Letter of Administration (if there’s no will) or a Certificate of Confirmation.

How to apply for probate

You can do this yourself or ask a solicitor to do so on your behalf by making an application to your local Probate Registry or Sheriff Court.

It usually takes around two months to obtain probate from the time you submit the application. In more complex cases, the process can take a year or more.

When we might not need a Grant of Representation

Small estates

We can release money from the estate without a Grant of Representation, if:

  • The total value of the estate you’re looking after is less than the nil-rate band for Inheritance Tax (currently £325,000), and
  • The investments of the person who died, held with Fidelity, are worth less than £25,000 in total

What you’ll need to send us

  • A Small Estates Form, which must be witnessed.
  • Please note executors will need to be AML verified.

Understand your options

Once you’ve obtained the necessary paperwork you’ll need to decide what to do with the money and/or investments. There are number of options and you can view them all here.