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Probate in England and Wales

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Application for Probate

Before you apply for probate you need to check whether or not there is a Will, in either case you apply in the same way.


If the person left a will, you’ll get a ‘grant of probate’. Click here for more information.


If the person did not leave a will (sometime referred to as Intestate), you’ll get ‘letters of administration’. Click here for more information.


You can also apply online via the government gateway.


You may not need probate.


• If the deceased’s land, property, shares or money where jointly owned - these will automatically pass to the surviving owners.

• If the deceased only had savings or premium bonds.


You should contact each asset holder (for example a bank or mortgage company) to find out if you’ll need probate to get access to their assets. Every organisation has its own rules.

Value the Estate

As part of the process you need to value the ‘Estate’ which involves collating all the information on the deceased’s land, property, money, possessions, shares and debts. Once these are calculated you will need to submit a form to the HMRC.


The total value of these assets will determine which forms you will need to submit to HMRC.


For estates under the current Inheritance Tax Threshold (currently £325,000) you will need to complete IHT205.


If the estate is over this threshold you will need to complete IHT400.


For some /many these forms are complicated and confusing so if you require any assistance to deal with the probate application please call NBS on 0800 0246 121. We can assist you directly or we can pass you through to a carefully selected regulated solicitors who can deal with the application on your behalf.


See Instructing a Solicitor


When completing the probate forms please note that you will need to pay a charge depending on the value of the Estate.

If the estate is over £5,000 the fee is £215 plus £0.50 per copy of the Grant of probate/letter of administration.


We recommend you get at least 6 copies.


If you need help or guidance on completing the Probate process call our helpline on 0800 0246 121.

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© 2019 National Bereavement Service