A guide to probate terminology from our probate solicitors


Have you been named as an administrator of a will and needed some help with terminology? Or have you recently lost a family member and needed assistance with the probate process?

At Andrew & Andrew, whether you have lost someone close to you, are planning a will or need help with the probate process, our probate solicitors Portsmouth can help. We can assist in the final drawing up of any type of will, with a deed of variation if needed or can simply ensure that all of the beneficiaries named in the will receive what they are promised. We cover all bases!

But to help familiarize you a bit more with the process, our probate solicitors Portsmouth have drawn up the following glossary of terms. It will make sense of probate and what is entailed in the legal process. Enjoy!


The person appointed if a will cannot be found or there is no executor. Oftentimes, people choose to have a solicitor carry out this role, which our probate solicitors Portsmouth would be more than happy to perform if requested by you or your family.


In short, assets are what is left behind in the will of someone who has died. This can include properties, shares, gold bars, savings, cars, etc. This can also be referred to as an ‘estate’.


If you have been named as a beneficiary of someone’s will, then you are set to receive a specific gift, sum or share of their estate.


An executor is someone who is named in a will as being responsible for managing the estate after the owner’s death. If the estate is complex or over a certain amount in value, they are responsible for applying for probate. Paying off debts and ensuring that the beneficiaries receive the gifts or savings that are mentioned in the will is another liability for executors. If you need help being an executor of an estate, our team at Andrew & Andrew can help.

Grant of probate

If the estate left by the deceased is complex, is estimated to be worth over £5,000 or there is no will, then a grant of probate is needed for the executor to manage the estate. This is most often required in the UK if the person who has died is determined to be intestate or to have died without leaving a will or a legally binding will.

Inheritance tax

In the UK, the executor or the administrator is responsible for paying inheritance tax on the value of the estate if it is over a certain value.

If the estate of your loved one is estimated at being worth £325,000 or more, you will need to pay inheritance tax and should seek out the advice of our team.

Deed of variation

There are some instances in which the executor or administrator of a will wishes to make changes to the will.

Provided that these are done legally and are in the interest of all of the beneficiaries, our team can assist with this process by applying for a deed of variation.