You may apply for a grant of representation in person, through your solicitor or ITC with any Probate Registry.
Personal applicants complete a set of forms, including an account of the assets in the estate, which are returned to the Registry with a death certificate and any will which has been left. The Probate Registry arranges for the applicant to confirm the information by swearing or affirming an oath before an officer of the Court, and send the grant of representation to the applicant by post approximately seven days later. The persons named on the grant then show it to the persons holding the assets. From the money released, they pay all the bills and then distribute the estate.
A personal applicant pays no fees if the net estate (all the assets in the name of the deceased less the funeral expenses and any other debts of the deceased) is less than £5000. If the net estate is more that £5000, personal applicants pay a fee of £130.
Solicitors draft the oath and arrange for their client to affirm it either in their office or some other convenient location. The Solicitors submit the sworn oath and any will left to a Probate Registry and receive the grant of representation approximately seven days later. (If there is Inheritance Tax payable the Probate Registry does not issue the grant of representation until the Capital Taxes Office has confirmed that the Tax has been paid.) Solicitors pay the Probate Registry £50 and then charge a fee to their client.
You can find booklet PA2, which gives more details about obtaining a probate, from any Probate Registry.
While the Probate Service does not give legal advice or draw up wills, you can place a copy of your living will with your local Probate Service for safekeeping. For further advice call the national helpline by calling: