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The Probate Service

Probate Scams

What is probate?

When a person dies somebody has to deal with their estate (money property and possessions left) by collecting in all the money, paying any debts and distributing what is left to those people entitled to it. Probate is the court’s authority; given to a person or persons to administer a deceased person’s estate and the document issued by the Probate Service is called a Grant of Representation. This document is usually required by the asset holders as proof to show the correct person or persons have the Probate Service’s authority to administer a deceased person’s estate.

What is the Probate Service?

The Probate Service forms part of the Family Division of the High Court. It deals with ‘non-contentious’ probate business (where there is no dispute about the validity of a will or entitlement to take a grant), and issues grants of representation, either:


These grants appoint people known as personal representatives to administer the deceased person’s estate.

Current structure of the Probate Service

The Probate Service is currently made up of:

There are also a number of Probate “offices” (usually a room in a court or local authority building) which staff attend, as necessary, to interview personal applicants.

Find a Probate Registry

Probate Scams

Please be aware that there are currently several Probate scams in operation via the Internet . Many of these will inform the recipient that they are the beneficiary of a substantial legacy but will ask for fees and/or taxes in advance of sending more information or the release of funds.

These will always be fraudulent and on no account should you make any payment or transfer any funds. You can obtain further information and advice concerning such scams on You will also find information about reporting such activity to the police, as the police may be able to close down the e-mail accounts concerned

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This page was last updated on 28 May, 2009 . Web team.
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