Applying for probate
If you’re an executor you can apply for probate yourself or use a solicitor or another person licensed to provide probate services.
If there’s no will you can apply for letters of administration. You follow the same steps as applying for probate but you can only apply by post.
Report the estate’s value and pay any inheritance tax you owe
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 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.
Apply for probate online
You can use this service if you’re the executor and you:
- have the original will
- have the original death certificate or an interim death certificate from the coroner
- have already reported the estate’s value
The person who died must have lived in England or Wales most of the time.
Apply by post if you want to apply in Welsh.
You’ll need to send your documents by post after you submit your online application.
Apply for probate by post
The form you need to fill in depends on if the person left a will or not.
If the person left a will
Fill in the probate application form PA1P. Send it with your documents.
If the person did not leave a will
Fill in the probate application form PA1A. Send it with your documents.
Sending your documents
Send these documents to your local Probate Registry:
- 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
Use a signed-for postal service 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.
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.
You can either:
- call the 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
- send a cheque payable to HM Courts and Tribunals Service with your documents
Extra copies of the probate cost 50p each - this means you can send them to different organisations at the same time.