You can apply for a grant of representation yourself or use a solicitor or another person licensed to provide probate services.
There are 4 steps to follow.
Complete a probate application form.
Complete an Inheritance Tax form.
Send your application.
Swear an oath.
Complete a probate application form
You can either:
- fill in the probate application form PA1 yourself
- call the Probate and Inheritance Tax helpline to get help filling in the form
Complete an Inheritance Tax form
You must also fill in the appropriate Inheritance Tax form - even if you think no tax is owed.
You may get a penalty if you send inaccurate information on your Inheritance Tax form.
If there’s tax to pay, you normally have to pay at least some of it before a grant of representation is issued to you.
You can claim the tax back from the estate or the beneficiaries, if you pay it out of your own bank account.
Send your application
Send your application to your local Probate Registry.
You should include:
- the probate application form PA1
- the Inheritance Tax form
- an official copy of the death certificate
- the original will and 3 copies - and any codicils (additions or amendments to it)
- the application fee of £215 - a cheque made payable to HM Courts and Tribunals Service (there’s no fee if the estate is under £5,000)
From May 2017 probate fees will be changing - find out how much you’ll need to pay.
You can pay for extra copies of the grant (50p each) - this means you can send them to different organisations at the same time.
Swear an oath
The probate office will send you an oath and details of how to arrange an appointment. You’ll need to swear the oath at either:
- the office of a commissioner for oaths (usually a solicitor)
- a local probate office
The oath is a promise that the information you’ve given is true to the best of your knowledge.
You should get the grant through the post within 10 working days of swearing the oath.
If it’s not possible to issue a grant, the Probate Service will explain why in writing.