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23 October 2023

The Grant of Probate certificate: what is it?

If you are managing the affairs of someone who is recently deceased, then you need to know about the Grant of Probate certificate.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Grant of probate certificate

The Grant of Probate is a certificate that proves the person who holds the certificate, has the authority to manage the assets, or ‘the estate’ of an individual who has recently died. 

A Grant of Probate may not be needed if property is jointly owned, or all assets are worth a combined total below £10,000.

What does a Grant of Probate let you do?

As the authorised executor of the will, you can manage the property, finances, and possessions of the recently deceased. 

It can even be used to manage overseas assets, but this requires the certificate to be notarised and given an apostille or legalised with the embassy of the country the assets are held in.

At Woodcock Notary Public, we can notarise your Grant of Probate certificate for use overseas. We can also assist you with getting an apostille, or with embassy legalisation.
We can manage the whole process for you.

How do I get a Grant of Probate?

Before you apply for a Grant of Probate, you must check a few things.

First, you need to check if it is possible for you to get probate. This can only be done if you are named as an executor in the will. If there is no will, then the closest living relative can apply.

Furthermore, you might not need one if the deceased:

  • Only had savings, no other finances
  • Owned shares or money with other people; the surviving owners will inherit the money unless they have said they do not want it
  • Owned property or land as a joint tenant; these pass to the surviving owners

Finally, you will have to find out if you need to pay Inheritance Tax. To do this, you need to estimate the value of the assets of the deceased; you will need this estimate for your application, even if you do not have to pay any tax. Before you apply, you
must wait 20 working days after sending your tax forms to the HMRC. 

Then, you can apply for a Grant of Probate either online through the Government’s webpage on applying for probate, or by post. It usually takes around 16 weeks for probate to be given, though it can take longer if you have to provide extra information.

If someone else has applied for probate, but there is a dispute such as over who can apply, then you can challenge their application before it is granted.

Notary, apostille and legalisation services for Wills and Probate

As a Notary Public, we can notarise a range of documents for you, including wills and the Grant of Probate certificate. 

To notarise a probate, we will need the original copy. 

Anyone who wants to use their Grant of Probate certificate overseas will need to go through the process of acquiring an apostille, or embassy legalisation. We can manage both of these application processes for you.

Most countries accept apostilles, but some do not. If you are unsure whether you need an apostille or embassy legalisation, we can help you find out which one you need.

Contact us

If you need to get a Grant of Probate notarised, and apostilled or legalised for use overseas, get in touch with us today.


If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services,
contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0330 133 6480 or email

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services, contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0330 133 6480 or email