How to get Probate
Probate is a generic term we are using for a Grant of Representation, which can take the form of Probate or Letters of Administration.
This is the process for how to get Probate – the Executors of the Will, or Administrators if there is no Will apply to the court for Probate. To apply they have to fill in tax forms – IHT 205 if there is no Inheritance tax to pay, or IHT 400 if there is tax to pay. The form requires a lot of detail about the deceased person’s assets and liabilities, which will have to be accurately valued.
The IHT form is supported by a second form. If the executors/administrators apply in person for Probate the form is called PA1. They will have to attend an appointment at a Probate Registry and answer questions about the Estate.
If the Executors use a solicitor they will complete an Oath which they swear is accurate in front of another solicitor.
What does probate cost?
The Probate court fee is £155 if you use a solicitor, £215 if you don’t. The solicitor’s fees will vary widely. Some will charge a percentage of the value of the Estate plus an hourly rate for the time spent. If you use a Bank it will charge 3 or 4%. Some other solicitors simply charge an hourly rate and finally, there are a few (such as ourselves) who will give you a quote based on an estimate of the time to be spent, so there will be no surprises. Please note that the Probate court fees are subject to change and there has been a recent Government consultation. We expect Probate court fees to increase in the near future.
Do I need a Solicitor to apply for probate?
Some people apply for Probate themselves but you should be aware of the following:
- It will take time and patience, especially if there are a lot of assets which have to be valued then sold, or there are several beneficiaries;
- It is essential to be completely accurate and scrupulously fair in everything you do, or you risk a claim from a beneficiary;
- This is often a time of great stress, and families can fall out. There is a lot to be said for an independent specialist taking the strain away from the family;
- Claims can be made against the estate by people who were not named in the Will. A solicitor can advise you about the risks and help to protect you against them.
Do I have to use the firm of solicitors which is holding the Will?
No. You are under no obligation to use them. You should ask to meet the person who would deal with the Probate and ask the following questions:
- Will, they actually do the work or will it be done in a back office?
- You need to be satisfied that the person who does the work is a specialist and efficient. Ask specific questions and be concerned if they take time to answer your initial call, or can’t see you for some time. They may be extremely busy and your work will then get side-lined.
- Ask what they will charge
- Contact Purely Probate for a second quote. Telephone 01458 850146 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Apply for Probate: