What is probate?

Probate is the key that unlocks the estate of someone who’s died. It’s an important legal document often needed after deaths in England and Wales.

Why might I need probate?

If you’re the executor of a will or you’re dealing with the death of a family member, you may need probate to sort out their estate. Banks, share registrars, the Land Registry, pension providers and others will often ask for probate before they release funds or allow for property to be sold.

If the person who died owned things jointly, or their savings and shares were relatively low value, probate may not be necessary. When you call us, we’ll help you work out if you need it and explain what to do next.

Can I apply for probate myself?

It’s possible to apply for probate yourself. However, there’s a lot of paperwork and jargon involved when filling out forms and dealing with the probate registry. This can be difficult when you’ve just suffered the loss of a loved one, and it can also make the process drag on for longer than it should.

More facts about probate

  • Probate can be needed whether or not there’s a will
  • Probate isn’t granted automatically - you have to apply for it, or ask a professional to do it for you
  • Probate is different from estate administration (our prices are for probate, but we can help with estate administration too)
  • With Farewill, you don’t have to visit a probate registry or swear an oath to get probate

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