The probate registry is responsible for handling probate applications in the UK. Once an application has been approved, the probate registry will issue a grant of representation to either the executor or administrator of the estate.
What is the probate registry?
The probate registry is part of the HM Courts & Tribunal Service. It is responsible for issuing documentation to grant someone the legal authority to deal with someone’s estate after their death.
If there is a will, this document is called a grant of probate and needs to be applied for by the executors named in the will. If there isn’t a will, this is called a grant of letters of administration and needs to be applied for by the deceased’s next of kin – usually their spouse. Together, these documents are known as grants of representation.
What paperwork is required by the probate registry?
In order to apply for a grant of representation at a probate registry office, you need to fill in one of two forms:
PA1P This is the form you need to fill in if there is a will.
PA1PA This is the form you need to fill in if there isn’t a will.
After filling in one of these forms, you’ll also need to pay the probate registry fee of £215, plus £1.50 for each copy of your grant of representation. Note that there is no fee if the estate’s total value is under £5,000.
If you would rather not deal with the paperwork yourself, you can pay a professional probate service to handle this on your behalf. The probate registry fee would then be reduced to £155, but additional charges will apply for handling the application.
Call 020 3695 2090 to speak to a probate specialist today. We can provide a free, no obligation quote in just a few minutes.
Do you have to swear an oath to get probate?
In order to get a grant of probate, you used to have to swear an oath in the presence of a solicitor or commissioner for oaths. This was to confirm your right to administer the estate as an executor or administrator.
However, since November 2018, this has been replaced with a new system that allows people to agree a statement of truth online or over the phone. This means that you can now apply for probate without even needing to visit a solicitor or commissioner for oaths.
Which probate registry should I use?
Since December 2019, except in limited circumstances, you can no longer visit your local probate registry office to apply for probate or follow up on your application. Instead, most communications need to be handled by email or over the phone.
Common complaints about the probate registry
One of the most difficult parts of applying for probate yourself is having to deal with the probate registry. The court service is extremely stretched and, if you make an error with your probate application, it can cause serious delays.
In the past, you used to be able to visit your local probate registry office to rectify any issues. However, since the probate system was centralised to one service centre in Birmingham, everything now has to be handled by post, email and phone – and it can be very difficult to get through and speak to someone.
By using a professional, you have the peace of mind of knowing that your probate application will be prepared correctly. And because you don’t have to worry about communicating with the probate registry, you’ll have more time to focus on what really matters.
How to get probate without visiting a probate registry
If you would prefer to get probate over the phone, our probate specialists can help. Simply call 020 3695 2090 for a free, no obligation quote.
Our professional team can fill in the paperwork and deal with the probate registry on your behalf – and we’ll also keep you up-to-date every step of the way.
DIY probate: how to deal with someone's estate without paying expensive solicitor fees