Do I need probate if my husband or Wife Dies?

Do you need probate when your spouse dies? You may not need to apply for a Grant of Probate if everything you own is held jointly with your husband or wife including your matrimonial home.

This is only the case if your home is held jointly as joint tenants but not if the property is held by you both as tenants in common.  It is important that you check with the Land Registry or the Deeds to the property as to how your home is held by you both.

If the property is held jointly as joint tenants, it means if one of you die the other automatically inherits the other`s share and this will pass by what is known as survivorship and will pass outside of any Will you may have made.

Similarly, if all your other assets such as Bank or Building Society accounts etc are held jointly then they also will pass automatically to you regardless of any Will.

In such cases then there will be no need to apply for Probate as all assets are held jointly and will pass to the other automatically by what is called survivorship.

However, some couples choose to hold their matrimonial home as tenants in common. In this situation each will own a distinct share in the property and their share will not automatically pass to the other.

Maybe they have children from a previous relationship and wish to pass their share of the property to them instead of their spouse but with the proviso that the spouse can live in the property for their lifetime called a life interest.

In such cases then an application for Probate will be necessary or if they have not made a Will be decided under the Intestacy Rules.

So, you can see that in some cases applying for a Grant of Probate will not be necessary but will be in others and it is not so clear cut as one may initially think.

This is why DIY Probate is not always your best option and we are happy to provide you with professional advice so you can be sure the process is dealt with professionally and without a fuss. Contact us to discuss your options today.


The information provided is of a general nature. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. You are recommended to obtain specific professional advice from an appropriate professional before you take any action or refrain from action. Whilst we endeavour to use reasonable efforts to furnish accurate, complete, reliable, error free and up-to-date information, we do not warrant that it is such. We and our associates disclaim all warranties. The information can only provide an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication, and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice.

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