Form

Form PA1A: Apply for probate by post if there is not a will

Apply for letters of administration to manage the estate of the person who has died if they have not left a will.

Documents

Apply for probate online

PA1A - citizen applicants only

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PA1A for probate practitioners only

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email hmctsforms@justice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Details

If you are applying online, you do not need to submit a paper application as well.

You can apply for the legal right to manage the estate of someone who has died and did not leave a will. You’ll receive ‘letters of administration’ to prove your legal right to manage their estate.

Who can apply

You can apply to be an administrator of the estate if you are the most entitled inheritor, use this inheritance calculator tool to work who’s most entitled.

You can also apply as a probate practitioner on behalf of the administrator.

You cannot apply if you’re the partner of the person but were not their spouse or civil partner when they died. You’re not automatically entitled to any of their estates unless you’re able to make changes to the inheritance.

Apply as an administrator without a probate practitioner

Download the ‘citizen applicants only’ form to apply by post.

Alternatively, you can apply for probate online.

Use this guide to help you apply for probate without help from a probate practitioner.

Apply as a probate practitioner

Download the ‘probate practitioners only’ form to apply by post. Alternatively, you can apply online if you or your practice has a MyHMCTS account.

Work out who inherits

The law decides who inherits the estate if there’s no will. Work out who will inherit.

Before you apply

You’ll need to:

How to apply

To apply for the letters of administration:

1. download the correct paper form

2. fill in all sections that apply

3. print the form

4. sign and date the application

5. include a cheque with your application (see How to pay)

6. send your completed form and supporting documents to:

HMCTS Probate
PO Box 12625
Harlow
CM20 9QE

How to pay

You must pay by sending a cheque payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’ with your documents.

How long it will take

It can take up to 8 weeks to process your application if there’s no delay in receiving your documents.

Contact us

If you have not heard from us after 8 weeks or need help to complete this form, you can contact us.

Probate helpline
0300 303 0648
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Closed on weekends and bank holidays

Find out about call charges

Published 20 March 2020
Last updated 30 May 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated phone line opening times

  2. Updated April's bank holiday week opening times

  3. Added a Welsh version of the practitioner form

  4. Removed the pre-2022 citizen applicant only form.

  5. Updated opening times for the probate helpline

  6. Corrected small error where field for legal representatives firm wasn’t appearing on legal statement page of the form.

  7. Edited the contact us section - The Probate helpline is closed on Saturdays.

  8. Updated form page with new paper forms for applicants with and without an excepted estate

  9. Added information about how to pay.

  10. Helpline information updated.

  11. Revised PA1A form including equality and diversity questions.

  12. New form for legal practitioners published.

  13. First published.