What Documents are Needed to Apply for Probate?

Author:
Stephanie Parry
Private Client Solicitor
Date:
10/01/2020

If you are applying to the Probate Registry (Court) for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration you will need to include certain documents with your application.  All of these documents are essential to process the application so you can get the Grant of Representation.

A Grant of Probate is needed if the person died with a valid Will or if they died without a Will, you’ll need to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration. Collectively, they are called the Grant of Representation. 

This is because the documents listed below provide information about the value of the Estate and how the Estate will be distributed to the people named in the Will or according to the intestacy rules.

The Probate application process, dealing with HMRC and administering an Estate is a long and complicated ordeal for many people, which is why our Probate Solicitors can apply for Grant of Representation on your behalf, or deal with the complete process with our Full Probate Service.

For free initial legal advice get in touch with our Probate Solicitors.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback and we will help you.

Documents Needed to Apply for Probate

The documents you need to send with your Probate application form are:

  • The original Will and any codicils. Codicils are small additions to a Will
  • Two copies of the Will and any codicils on plain A4. Do not remove any bindings or staples to a copy the Will
  • The death certificate or an interim one
  • The correct Inheritance Tax Form, whether Inheritance Tax is payable or not.

You will need to make sure that you use the correct Inheritance Tax form when you submit this with the Application form.

If any of the following conditions apply, you can complete an IHT205:

  • If the value of the Estate is equal to or below £325,000. This is known as an Excepted Estate.
  • If the Estate is worth less than or equal to twice the Excepted Estate limit (£650,000) as long as there is a claim to transfer a whole nil band rate from a husband, wife or civil partner who died first and whose allowance was not used.
  • If the Estate is worth less than £1 million but there is no Inheritance Tax to pay because the Estate is passing to a surviving husband, wife or civil partner or there is a charity exemption.

How to Apply for Probate Yourself

In England or Wales, you can apply for a Grant of Representation online as long as you are an Executor or Administrator of the Estate and:

  • You have the original Will (only needed if you are the Executor)
  • You have the original death certificate or an interim certificate from the coroner
  • You’ve already reported the value of the Estate to HMRC.

If not, you will need to complete the PA1P form if there is a Will.  If there is no Will, you need to complete form PA1A

You must make a payment of £215 if the Estate is valued at £5,000 or more before you submit the PA1P or PA1A form. You can make a payment by credit or debit card by calling your District Probate Registry or you can send payment by cheque along with the documents. You should make the cheque payable to HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

You do not have to pay an application fee if the Estate is valued at less than £5,000.

By acting as an Executor or Administrator of an estate, you can be held legally liable for any mistakes made either in dealing with the Estate administration, or mistakes calculating or paying any Inheritance, Capital Gains or Income Tax.

Benefits of Using a Probate Solicitor

There are some real benefits to you using a Probate Solicitor to complete this process.

You can see that there are some quite complicated steps to take, which depend on a number of different factors. As a result, it’s quite easy to make a mistake with which documents are required.

This can obviously result in delays and added frustrations.

By using a specialist Probate Solicitor you are paying for their expertise, knowledge and experience in managing the Probate process. They do this work day in, day out and understand the process completely. 

In addition to utilising the skills and experience of a Probate Solicitor, you will also benefit from a reduced Probate Application fee. You will only pay £155 instead of £215. This reflects the difference in work levels at the Probate Registry between applications submitted by Probate Solicitors and those submitted by lay people.

Losing a loved one can be very upsetting. Using a Probate Solicitor to apply for Probate can help take the stress away from you at an already difficult time, allowing you the time to grieve knowing that the important work is still being completed.

For free legal advice call our Wills & Trusts Solicitors

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