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Applying for grant of probate or letter of administration

Probate

You will need:

  • The original will (if you have one)
  • The original death certificate or an interim death certificate from the coroner
  • A completed estimation and report of the value of the estate from HMRC, as completed in Step 1
  • Depending on the value of the estate, a notice from HMRC saying that you’ve either paid Inheritance Tax or have no tax to pay, as completed in Step 2 or 3 (this can be corrected if necessary after the probate/ letter of administration application is complete).

Things to note:

The application fee is £215 if the value of the estate is £5,000 or over. There is no application fee if the estate is under £5,000. The application fee is lower (£155) where a solicitor makes the application.

Extra copies of the grant of probate or letter of administration cost £1.50 each. It is worth getting a few copies – we would recommend one for each account you still have to close, so you are able to send them to different organisations at the same time. This should help you to complete the process faster.

How to apply for probate:

  • Once you have gathered all the documents from the list above, you need to complete the PA1P form and check whether you are eligible to apply for a grant of probate online
  • If you are not eligible, you will need to submit the forms via post

How to apply for letter of administration:

  • Once you have gathered all the documents from the list above, you need to complete the PA1A form and check whether you are eligible to apply for letter of administration online
  • If you are not eligible, you will need to submit the forms via post

What’s next?

  • Probate/ letter of administration usually takes around 8 weeks to be granted, but might take longer at the moment due to coronavirus
  • If you have already contacted financial organisations to inform them of your loved one’s death, the accounts should be frozen to stop payments going in or out. You can now go back to these providers to inform them that you have a grant of probate to act on the behalf of your loved one
  • Once you are able to access your loved one’s accounts,  you can make an accurate assessment of the value of their estate and can correct any under or overpayments of Inheritance Tax with HMRC
  • If you are doing this without a solicitor, you can find further information on the Government website
  • Depending upon the financial situation of your loved one, you can now pay off any debts from the estate and distribute their assets according to their will (if there is one)
  • If the estate is complex, or if there are multiple beneficiaries, it would be sensible to keep detailed records or accounts showing the assets of the estate, all payments in and out, and the ultimate distributions to the beneficiaries