Guide

How to apply for probate

Applying for probate can be a daunting task, but our specialists are here to make it feel simple. In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about going through probate and dealing with someone’s estate.

  1. Part 1

    What is probate?

    Probate (short for ‘a grant of probate’) is a legal document that shows banks, the Land Registry and other organisations that you have the authority to deal with someone’s estate. The process of getting probate usually takes 1-3 months.

    Unlocking someone's estate with probate
  2. Part 2

    When is probate required?

    Probate is usually required if the estate of the person who died is worth more than £10,000. However, if most of the assets in the estate were jointly owned, probate may not be needed at all.

    House thinking about probate
  3. Part 3

    Do I need probate if my husband or wife dies?

    You may need probate if your husband or wife dies and leaves behind assets that aren’t jointly owned with you. However, if you’re the joint owner of their property and bank accounts, probate may not be required.

    confused hands
  4. Part 4

    Who can apply for probate?

    After losing a loved one, you may need to apply for probate before you can deal with their estate – but only specific people can handle the probate application. Here, we’ll look at who can apply and how you can get started today.

    Blob worrying about probate
  5. Part 5

    How long does probate take in the UK?

    Probate usually takes 1-3 months depending on the complexity of the estate. It can then take up to 6 months to close accounts, sell property and pay taxes.

    all the steps in the probate process
  6. Part 6

    What information do you need before applying for probate?

    Before applying for probate, you'll need to gather details about your loved one's estate. Here, we'll cover what you need, why, and how you can find it – and we’ve also got a free probate checklist to help you keep track of everything.

    What-information-do-you-need-before-applying-for-probate-
  7. Part 7

    How to get a death certificate in the UK

    In order to get a death certificate, you need to register the death in a local register office. It’s free to register the death, but you’ll need to pay £11 for each copy of the death certificate.

    presenting certificate
  8. Part 8

    How to compare probate services and prices

    Before choosing your probate provider, it’s worth shopping around to find the best service at the best possible price. Here, we’ll look at the main things you need to look out for when comparing probate services in England and Wales.

    Finding the best price for probate
  9. Part 9

    What is the inheritance tax threshold for 2020?

    The inheritance tax threshold for 2020/21 is £325,000. Anything over the threshold is liable to 40% tax – but it doesn’t apply to every case.

    money limit doozer
  10. Part 10

    What are letters of administration?

    Letters of administration (also known as a grant of letters of administration) is a document issued by the probate registry. This allows someone to act as the administrator of an estate after someone has died.

    Grant of letters of administration
  11. Part 11

    What does the probate registry do?

    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.

    registry building
  12. Part 12

    DIY probate: how to deal with someone's estate without paying expensive solicitor fees

    Dealing with probate can be an expensive process. But by closing accounts, selling property and distributing assets yourself, you could save thousands in probate solicitor fees.

    towering papers and tortoise
  13. Part 13

    How to get a grant of representation

    A grant of representation is a document that allows you to deal with someone's estate. To get one, you need to collect up information about their estate, fill out a form and submit an application to the probate registry.

    phone paper tortoise
  14. Part 14

    How to find a probate solicitor in the UK

    You can find a probate solicitor near you by searching online or in telephone directories. Or, if you would prefer to sort out probate over the phone, you could use our nationwide probate service.

    massive binoculars
  15. Part 15

    How to get probate without a will

    To get probate without a will, you need to apply for a grant of letters of administration. This allows the next of kin to access the estate and distribute assets in line with the rules of intestacy – which we’ll explain in more detail here.

    Steps to get probate
  16. Part 16

    How to find a will

    You can usually find someone’s will with other important financial documents, such as bank statements and pension information. If you can’t find it in their house, you could search online to see if the will is recorded on the National Will Register.

    Three people sitting on a will
  17. Part 17

    The duties of an executor: executor of will checklist

    An executor of a will is responsible for dealing with the estate of the person who died. This includes valuing the estate, selling property, closing accounts, paying off debts and distributing assets to the beneficiaries named in the will.

    phone coming through computer
  18. Part 18

    Deed of variation: how to change someone's will after their death

    A deed of variation allows you to change someone’s will after their death. This can be a good way to minimise the amount of inheritance tax that needs to be paid, but it’s essential that all the beneficiaries agree before any changes can be made.

    Tax man taking someone's house
  19. Part 19

    Estate valuation: how to value a house and other assets for probate

    To value a house for probate, it’s usually best to hire an RICS property surveyor – especially if the estate’s value is close to or above the inheritance tax threshold. For bank accounts and other assets, you can usually contact the organisations directly.

    Little people holding their house, money, pets and other belongings
  20. Part 20

    What happens to debt when someone dies?

    When someone dies with outstanding debt, it needs to be repaid from the estate before beneficiaries can get their inheritance. If there isn't enough money in the estate to pay it off, the debt is simply written off.

    Lady with estate and money piles getting smaller

Need help with probate?

Our probate specialists are here to help and can offer you a free, no obligation quote over the phone.

Call 020 3695 1713