Applying for Probate: what you need to do in England and Wales.
Applying for probate has to be done by the executors (if there is a valid Last Will), by the next of kin (if there is no Will) or in some cases, a creditor can apply for a limited grant in order to get paid what they are owed by the deceased.
- More info on who can apply here.
You can apply yourself or use a professional firm such we recommend – some are half the cost of many.
You may find our free video and downloadable guides on how to go apply for probate helpful.
- See also Is Probate Needed?
When we say that those people are the ones who can apply, that doesn’t mean they have to do it themselves. In most cases, they will employ some professional help, the costs of which are recovered from the deceased persons’ assets, assuming they have any.
The job of executor or administrator is not always a simple one. There can be tax issues they would not be aware of. For example, gifts made within 7 or even 14 years may need to be taken into account. Another classic error is when parent put their home into the names of the children to protect it, and actually do the opposite. (If you are in that situation, give us a ring urgently, preferably whilst they are still alive.)
What happens when things go wrong in applying for probate? The executor has signed and sworn that the papers are correct, so they may be in serious trouble.
We do have a bit of a halfway house in applying for probate – click on the link to see if it might suit you – but if you have any concerns, or if there is any possibility of Inheritance Tax being payable on this death or the death of the surviving legal spouse, we suggest you contact us for professional advice before applying for probate. The earlier the better, as the clock starts ticking as soon as someone dies.
You can contact us on 03 300 102 300, or use the enquiry form.