Glossary of terms


A person who obtains the Grant of Letters of Administration which entitles them to deal with the estate if no will was made.


A person who inherits either under the terms of a will or by the rules of intestacy (if no will was made).


This is the Scottish equivalent to a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.

Death Certificate

This is a certified copy of the entry in the death register. The registrar will provide you with a number of certified copies – you’ll just need to pay a fee. This will help to save time if you need to register the death with several organisations.


The person named in a will who is to deal with the estate and, if necessary, obtain a Grant of Probate.

Grant of Letters of Administration

This is used to appoint an Administrator who can then deal with the estate if no will was made.

Grant of Probate

A formal court document issued by the Probate Service confirming the appointment of the Executor named in the will.

Grant of Representation

This is a term used to cover both Grant of Probate and Letters of Administration or Confirmations (in Scotland)

Letters of Administration

A formal court document issued by the Probate Service, to appoint an Administrator, often the next of kin to the deceased. This is usually issued where there is no will, or the Executor appointed in the will is unable or unwilling to act.

Personal Representative(s)

This is the term used for small estate claims when a statutory declaration or Small Estates Indemnity form is to be used.

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