Apply for probate
You can apply for probate yourself online or by post, or pay a probate practitioner (such as a solicitor) to do it for you.
Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), probate applications are taking up to 8 weeks to process. It’s taking longer to process paper applications than online applications.
This guide and the service are also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).
Before you apply
You must estimate and report the estate’s value before you apply for probate.
You must find out whether you need to pay Inheritance Tax. If you do have to pay it, send the appropriate forms to HMRC and wait 20 working days before applying for probate.
You must have the original will if you’re the executor (you do not need it if you’re an administrator). You must also have the original death certificate or an interim death certificate from the coroner.
If you need to pay Inheritance Tax
You normally have to pay at least some of the tax before you’ll get probate. You can claim the tax back from the estate, if you pay it out of your own bank account.
Probate application fees
You may have to pay a fee to apply for probate. Whether you need to pay depends on the value of the estate.
If the value of the estate is over £5,000, the application fee is £215. You may be able to get help to pay the probate fee and other court fees if you have a low income or are on certain benefits.
There’s no fee if the estate is £5,000 or less.
Extra copies of the probate cost £1.50 each. This means you can send them to different organisations at the same time.
If the will has been changed or damaged
You must include a cover letter if the will or any additions have changed in any way since you’ve had them. This includes them being damaged or separated for photocopying.
The letter should explain what’s been changed and why.
Get help and advice
If you’ve not yet applied and have a question about applying for probate, contact the Courts and Tribunals Service Centre:
Courts and Tribunals Service Centre
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 8am to 2pm
If you’re a probate practitioner
You should apply for probate for your client using the MyHMCTS service. You’ll need to create an account first if you do not have one.
Apply for probate online
You can use this service if you’re the executor or administrator and you:
- have the original will and any additions to it (‘codicils’) if you’re the executor (you do not need these if you’re an administrator)
- have the original death certificate or an interim death certificate from the coroner
- have already reported the estate’s value
- have submitted tax forms to HMRC and waited 20 working days, if you need to pay Inheritance Tax
The person who died must have lived in England or Wales most of the time.
The probate registry will keep the original will and any additions to it. If you make a copy of these for your records, do not remove any staples or bindings from them.
Apply for probate by post
The form you need to fill in depends on whether the person left a will or not.
Because of COVID-19, it’s taking longer to process paper applications than online applications. Use the online service to apply for probate if you can.
You need to pay before you send the form.
You can pay by either:
- calling the Courts and Tribunals Service Centre to pay by credit or debit card - you’ll be given a reference number to send with your documents
- sending a cheque payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’ with your documents
Courts and Tribunals Service Centre
Telephone: 0300 303 5856
Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 3:30pm
Find out about call charges
Send your completed form to HMCTS Probate with the following documents:
- the original will and any additions to it (‘codicils’)
- the death certificate or an interim death certificate from the coroner
PO Box 12625
Use a signed-for or tracked postal service that will deliver to PO boxes to send your documents.
The death certificate will be returned to you but the will and any additions to it will not be. If you make a copy of the will and any of its additions for your own records, do not remove any staples or bindings from them.