Fixed Probate Fees, call:

0800 612 6105

Alternatively local rate:

0203 985 9554

Concise Guide to Probate a Will

If you’ve recently suffered a loss, it’s doubtful you’ll have the patience to read through pages and pages of instructions and legal ramifications. We decided to explain probate concisely so that readers can get a quick, simple overview of what’s involved, without information overload.

What is Probate?

To probate a will you’ll require a legal document which allows the bearer to handle the affairs of the deceased. This is referred to as a grant of probate and issued by HM Courts at the probate registry. Financial institutions cannot allow the release funds without it.

When do I need to apply?

As a rule, you’ll need to apply to probate a will if the deceased estate is over £5000.00 in value. If the estate is less than £5000 or assets are jointly held you may find that the death certificate and other identification will suffice.

Who Can Apply?

To probate a will the executor/s must make the application to HM Courts & Tribunals Service. Up to 4 named executors can apply but only 1 person need do it. If executors are under 18 years of age, an adult must apply with them.

Do I Need Professional Legal Advice?

You are free to apply as an individual. Although, many bereaved families prefer that a professional deal with the legal side to death while they cope with the emotional repercussions.

If any of the following are relevant in your case, it is recommended you do seek legal help;

There is likely to be a dispute between executors or beneficiaries, inheritance tax will be owed, the deceased has assets overseas, the estate includes trusts or shares.

What Forms do I Need?

Every applicant must complete the main application form, known as PA1. Along with this, you’ll complete IHT205 to declare that the estate is excepted (not liable for inheritance tax). Alternatively, if inheritance tax is due you must complete a full tax return for HMRC, form IHT400. These are sent with the £105 admin fee and supporting documents to the probate office.

What Happens Next?

Your application will be processed. Provided there are no problems you’ll receive a letter inviting you to attend an interview at a local venue. Here you’ll swear an oath to confirm that the information you’ve provided is correct. The grant will then be issued via post and you’ll be able to begin the process of administering the estate.

If there’s anything that you’re unsure about, you could always contact our free probate a will advice-line on 0800 612 6105.

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0203 985 9554


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