Apply for probate

You can apply for probate yourself or pay a solicitor or probate specialist to do it for you.

Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), probate applications are taking longer than usual to process.

This guide and the service are also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

Before you apply

  1. Check if you need probate.

  2. Check if you can apply for probate.

  3. You must estimate and report the estate’s value before you apply for probate. Depending on its value, you may have to pay Inheritance Tax.

  4. 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 there’s tax to pay, you normally have to pay at least some of it before you’ll get probate. You can claim the tax back from the estate or the beneficiaries, if you pay it out of your own bank account.

You cannot apply for probate until you have a notice from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) saying that you’ve either paid inheritance tax or have no tax to pay.

Probate application fees

The application fee is £215 if the value of the estate is £5,000 or over.

There’s no fee if the estate is under £5,000.

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 updates 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
Webchat
Monday to Thursday, 8am to 5pm
Friday, 8am to 4pm

If you’re a solicitor

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:

The person who died must have lived in England or Wales most of the time.

The probate registry will keep the original will. If you make a copy of it for your records, do not remove any staples or bindings from the original.

Apply for probate

Return to an existing probate application.

Apply for probate by post

The form you need to fill in depends on whether the person left a will or not.

Fill in application form PA1P if there is a will.

Fill in application form PA1A if there is not a will.

Because of coronavirus (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’)
  • 2 copies of the will and additions on plain A4 paper - do not remove any staples or bindings to make the copies
  • the death certificate or an interim death certificate from the coroner

HMCTS Probate
PO Box 12625
Harlow
CM20 9QE

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 updates to it will not be.