Applying for probate

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.

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.

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.

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 Thursday, 8am to 5pm
Friday, 8am to 4pm

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.

You need to pay before you send the form.

You can pay by either:

  • calling the card payment phone number of your district probate registry between 9:30am and 3pm to pay by debit or credit 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

Send the completed form to your district probate registry with these 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

Find your nearest district probate registry. Sub-registries do not deal with probate applications.

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.

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.