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You will need:

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:

How to apply for letter of administration:

What’s next?

What is an estate?

An estate is everything your loved one owned. This includes property, money in their financial accounts (eg. bank, building society, pension pot) and possessions.

First, you need to value the money and all financial assets they owned

You might have already contacted all the financial organisations your loved one held accounts with. Just as a reminder, organisations to contact often include:

Ask each of the organisations for a statement of the value of the assets and any debts held by the deceased. If they had a mortgage, ask their mortgage lender if they require payments to continue while you are completing the probate process.

Make a list of all the information you receive from the financial account providers. Include any lump sums from pensions or life insurance.

Then, you will need to consider any gifts made by the person who has died, which took place within the 7 years prior to their death.

Any gifts which totalled less than £3,000 in any year are exempt, as are any gifts made to charity or to a spouse or civil partner.  There are some other exemptions which apply to smaller gifts for weddings or special occasions, and where the gifts have been made out of surplus income.  If you have any doubt, you should seek professional advice.

Next, value your loved one’s possessions

Add these figures together for an estimation of the total value of the estate for probate or letter of administration.

Feeling a bit stuck?

We understand that calculating the value of an estate for probate is complicated. Although this guide will help you, others have said that using a solicitor takes away the pressure of dealing with estate laws and wills. Take a look at our trusted solicitor partners.

Next Step: Do I need to pay Inheritance Tax?

Managing wills and probate can be complicated, so here is a guide to the steps you will need to take – whether you are working with a solicitor or doing it yourself.

If your loved one had a will: You’ll need to apply for a grant of probate

The probate process: how long does probate take, and who can do it?

Obtaining a grant of probate allows you to access your loved one’s assets and distribute them in accordance with their will. The executor of the will should apply for probate within a few months of your loved one’s death, as it may be necessary to access and close certain accounts that your loved one held. The probate process can vary in length, but on average, administration takes 6-9 months.

You don’t need it if:

You are likely to need probate if any of these apply to you:

To find out the thresholds for probate, contact the account provider(s). If you do need to apply for grant of probate, follow the steps in our guide below:

Step 1 – Estimating the value of the estate

Step 2 – Do I need to pay Inheritance Tax?

Step 3 – Applying for probate and next steps

If your loved one didn’t have a will: You’ll need to apply for a letter of administration

What is letter of administration and who can do it?

Obtaining a letter of administration allows you to access your loved one’s assets and distribute them in accordance with their will. The executor of the will should apply for probate within a few months of your loved one’s death, as it may be necessary to access and close certain accounts that your loved one held.
In this situation, the person who deals with the estate is usually the deceased’s next-of-kin, such as a spouse or child. You should apply for a letter of administration within the first few months of your loved one’s death if you need to access or handle their accounts.

You don’t need it if:

You are likely to need a letter of administration if any of these apply to you:

To find out the thresholds for removing assets from your loved one’s accounts, contact the account provider(s). If you do need to apply for a letter of administration, follow the steps in our guide below:

Step 1 – Estimating the value of the estate

Step 2 – Do I need to pay Inheritance Tax?

Step 3 – Applying for a letter of administration and next steps