If you are applying for probate, there are essentially 4 steps which maybe summarised :-
- Find the nearest probate registry
- Complete the probate forms ( PA1 form and IHT 205 ( no tax ) or IHT ( 400 ) if there is tax
- Send will, death certificate and PA1 forms and IHT forms to Probate Registry
- Attend an interview and swear an Oath after which probate registry will issue Grant.
Why do I have to be interviewed or swear an oath?
The will gets admitted to Probate after the Interview. The purpose of the interview and swearing an oath is that you will be asked to swear on Oath that you will administer the estate according to the terms of the will or the Intestacy Rules. The probate registry will also verify the will, and your identity.
When will I be interviewed?
The probate registry will contact you direct with an interview date or send the Oath to you direct to Swear. Unfortunately, some probate Courts are extremely busy which means that your appointment take can often take over 6-9 weeks from the initial application – sometimes longer depending upon the work load of the probate registry.
What else should I send the Probate Registry?
- The death certificate;
- The original will (or any document in which the deceased expresses any wishes about the distribution of his or her estate). (You should make and keep a copy of any will you send)
Where do I send the forms?
The Probate Court who is responsible for the issue of all grants of probate is known as the probate registry. Their offices are situated across the Country and are in most major cities. The Head registry is the Central probate Registry, which is situated in Central London. You can see the nearest probate registry by clicking here.
What about Probate Duty or Inheritance Tax?
All inheritance tax must be paid prior to applying for probate.
Tax can be paid on instalments on properties while all IHT must be in full on cash assets. The current rate of inheritance tax is 40% above £325,000 unless any reliefs can be claimed.
Interest is always charged on unpaid tax and the tax return must be completed within 6 months of the deceased’s death.
What happens after the interview or I swear the Oath ?
The probate registry will then issue the legal document – a grant of probate or grant of letters of administration – this can be then sent to the various organisations to administer the estate. Further copies can be issued by the probate registry and the costs are minimal.