How To Get Probate

Unless a deceaseds estate is treated as a “Small Estate” and has a value of under £5,000.00, then most Banks, Building Societies, Insurance companies and other similar organisations will not hand over the deceased’s assets to the deceaseds Personal Representative without an official document, called a Grant or Representation – a Grant of Probate (Will) or a Grant of Letters of Administration (No Will) - is obtained from the Probate Court. The Grant of Representation (Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration) provides legal authority to the Personal Representatives to collect in. administer and distribute the deceased’s estate.


In order to obtain a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration then a formal application has to be made to the court. This involves completing various documents and sending them off to the court. Some of the documents are quite detailed and complicated. Great care has to be taken to ensure that the documents are completely accurate and comprehensive in providing all of the information that the court needs.


To obtain a Grant of Representation, the Court will normally require:

(1) The original will (if there is one),

(2) The Oath or application form (the PA1), signed by the Personal Representatives,

(3) An account for the Inland Revenue (IHT 105 or 400),

(4) A receipted invoice from the Inland Revenue that any Inheritance Tax due has been paid.


If a Personal Representative applies without using a Solicitor then they will need to obtain all the appropriate forms and a guide on how to complete them. The court will want to interview the personal representative making the application for the Grant of Probate. Once the Probate Court is satisfied that the Grant of Probate application is all in order then it will issue an official Grant of Probate along with a number of sealed copies.

Applying for a Grant of Probate without using  solicitor can save money. However some aspects of the process can be time consuming and can be quite confusing and stressful. If you have the responsibility of sorting out a loved ones estate and need to obtain a Grant of Probate then call us for a free no obligation chat and we can sort this all out for you quickly, easily and at low cost so you can concentrate on more important matters such as coming to terms with your loss.


The PA1 from is the main application form to obtain a Grant of Probate and it needs to be carefully and fully completed.


There are different tax forms to complete depending on the value of the estate whether or not inheritance tax is payable. If no inheritance tax is payable then you will need to complete IHT 205. If inheritance tax is payable you will need to complete an IHT400 form along with accompanying sheets. If Inheritance tax is payable then we would strongly advise that you should seek legal advice at that stage.


Once all the Grant of Probate forms completed and signed they then need to be sent off to the court. The documents to be sent off include the following:

1. Oath or PA1 Application From

2. Original will (if there is one)

3. IHT 205 (or IHT400) Inland Revenue Form

4. Death Certificate (original not a photocopy)

5. Application Fee – Cheque payable to “HM Courts and Tribunals Service”

6. A receipt from the Inland Revenue for any inheritance tax that may have been paid

 Once the court receives the Grant of Probate application it will want to check it through and if there are any questions they will make contact. The court might want additional information or documents or may want to contact other people.


If you are dealing with the application for a Grant of Probate yourself on a DIY basis then once the court is happy with the application they will write to you and ask you to attend a short interview at the court location you have chosen. They will ask you various questions and check the information you have put on the Grant of Probate form is correct. They will then ask you to sign and swear the form in front of the interviewing officer on a religious book of your choice.You will need to take along to the interview some photographic identification such as your driving licence or passport.

If you have instructed a firm of solicitors to deal with the legal work then you will not have to attend an interview. The solicitors (such as ourselves) will sort it all out for you.


If everything is in order then the court will then send out in the post the original Grant of Probate with a number of sealed copies and return the original death certificate.The Personal Representative will then have legal authority to act on behalf of the deceased to collect in, administer and distribute the estate . The Personal Representative will be able to contact any organisation where the deceased held assets and legally arrange for them to be released.


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