Grant of Probate - How to apply for Probate

5 min read
A Grant of Probate, also known as a Grant of Representation, is needed by an Executor to get the legal right to deal with the property, money or possessions of someone who dies. Applying for probate can either be done by you or a qualified solicitor - it is important to note that the costs are more when applying for probate yourself (see below for the Grant of Probate Fees).

Before applying for probate, make sure you have the most recent will for the deceased - if there is no will then you need to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration, not a Grant of Probate.

The person who apples for the grant of probate will normally be the executor of the will. If you dispute someone's right to apply for grant of probate then you can stop their application - read about Probate Caveat - How to stop a grant of probate

We handle the complete service of administering the estate including application for Grant of Representation, payment of Inheritance Tax due, collection of the estate's assets, conveyancing for the sale, payment of any debts/unpaid bills and final distribution to the beneficiaries.

Call 0333 344 3234 for a Fixed Probate Fee Quote for Wills & Probate specialists

Do you need a Grant of Probate?

A grant of probate is needed when a deceased person has:

£10,000 or more

stocks or shares

certain insurance policies

property or land held in their own name or as 'tenants in common'

The Grant of Probate will need to be provided to the bank or relevant institution before they'll agree to transfer control of the assets to you.

Do you always need a Grant of Probate?

You may not need a grant if the deceased has:

  • left less than £10,000
  • owned everything jointly with someone else and everything passes automatically to the surviving joint owner

Examples of the above are property held as joint tenants or joint bank accounts (click to read more about Joint Tenants of Property)

To find out if the assets can be obtained without a grant, the executor, administrator or acting solicitor will write to each institution informing them of the death and enclosing a photocopy of the death certificate and will (if there is one).

How to apply for probate (Representation)

Applying for probate is a 4 stage process:

(Important - Whether you has inheritance tax to pay or not, you'll still need to complete an Inheritance Tax Form and submit to the HMRC)

You have to pay any inheritance tax due, no later than 6 months after death, otherwise interest is payable. This could mean paying out before the estate assets have been sold.

You should include:
  • the probate application form PA1
  • the Inheritance Tax form
  • an official copy of the death certificate
  • the original will and 3 copies - and any codicils (codicils are additions or amendments to the will)
  • the application fee of £215 - a cheque made payable to HM Courts and Tribunals Service (there’s no fee if the estate is under £5,000 - see below for probate fee table)

    Swear an oath
The probate office will send you an oath and details of how to arrange an appointment. You’ll need to swear the oath at either:

  • the office of a commissioner for oaths (usually a solicitor)
  • a local probate office

An oath is your promise that the information you’ve given is true to the best of your knowledge.

You should get the grant through the post within 10 working days of swearing the oath.

Grant of Probate Fees

Application Fee
In all cases where the net estate (ie the amount remaining in the deceased’s sole name after funeral expenses and debts owing have been deducted) is over £5,000. Note: Joint assets passing automatically to the surviving joint owner should not be included when calculating the fee.

If the net estate as above is under £5,000.

No fee
Application for a second grant in an estate where a previous grant has been issued.

Additional Copies of the Grant of Probate
Official (sealed) copies of the Grant of Representation if ordered when you lodge your application for a Grant of Representation.

‘Sealed and certified copy’ – if assets are held abroad you may need one of these. Please check with the appropriate organisations before ordering.
50p  per copy (including Will and Grant)

Additional copies (consisting of grant including a copy of the Will, if applicable) ordered after the Grant of Representation has been issued.£10  for first copy then 50p per additional copy

Need help applying for a Grant of Probate?

With the death of a close family member or friend, you may not be feeling up to the task of applying for a grant of probate and then administering their estate. If this is the case then you can employ the services of a solicitor to handle the grant of probate and to administer the estate.

Our team of Wills and Probate solicitors are on hand to help through handling this for you. In most cases the estate will cover the costs of the work undertaken and we provide a fixed fee for all the work from grant of probate to final distribution. Call our specialists on 0333 344 3234 or email

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Grant of Letters of Administration

Grant of Letters of Administration

Probate Caveat - How to stop a grant of probate

Probate Caveat - How to stop a grant of probate

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