Probate gives you the legal right to deal with someone’s estate when they die.
You may need to apply for probate regardless of whether the deceased left a will. The documents you receive will differ depending on whether or not there was a valid will. If a person dies without a will (intestate), you will receive letters of administration giving you the right to deal with their estate. If the deceased had a will, and you are named as the executor, you will receive a grant of probate.