Probate Registry / Probate office
If you have found out that you need probate, then the offices that issue a grant of probate or letters of administration are known as the probate registries.
The Principal Registry is situated in Central London, while now there are 8 other Probate Registries. These are administered by HM Court service which is an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice.
Overview of the Probate Process
1. The first thing you must always do is to check if the Deceased person left a will. By clicking here you can find some of the places you can look to see if a will was made. one of the problems is that there is no central register of wills,. If there is no will, then the deceased estate will need to be administered according to the next of kin under the intestacy rules.
2. Establish all the deceased persons assets and liabilities.
3. Apply for a Grant of probate ( if there is a will ) or a Grant of letters of Administration ( if there is No will ) once issued this gives the executor or administrator the authority to access the deceased's assets and administer the estate eg. collect in assets and pay liabilities.
4. If any inheritance tax is due that must be paid prior to the issue of probate or agreement / clearance issued from HMRC
5. Once the Grant of probate is issued the liabilities of the estate can be paid and the estate distributed in accordance with the will of the deceased or the intestacy rules.
Commonly asked probate questions
Do I need probate ?
Probate is Not always required in every case. for example, if the deceased had assets below £15,000 most banks will release assets subject to the completion of a small estates form. Equally assets held in joint names will also not need probate.
You will definitely need probate in the following circumstances :-
- to sell or transfer land or property
- to collect shares
- to make a claim on behalf of an estate eg. PPI claim or medical negligence
- to claim under a life insurance policy
- to collect assets in a bank account if above £25,000
Who can apply for probate?This depends upon whether the deceased left a will, if so the executor applies. if no will the next of kin known as the administrator under the intestacy rules.
How easy is it to apply for probate ?This is a commonly asked question. Applying for probate isn't easy and does take time whilst an inheritance tax return regardless as to the value of the estate must be completed in every case regardless of value.
What are the advantages of gaining some help for probate ?We help clients throughout the UK apply for probate - the advantages of using us are time, cost and convenience - we always charge a fixed fee in every case. This makes assessing the cost easy at the beginning of the case.
How much does probate cost ?We charge a simple transparent fixed fee. Prices start at just £500 plus vat and court fees of £153.
How long does probate take?
This depends upon the nature of the estate - we can typically obtain probate within 4-6 weeks from the probate registry and 2-3 weeks thereafter to distribute estate assets and liabilities. This is very straightforward cases.
Addresses of probate registries
All probate registries now utilise a central address which is HMCTS Probate,PO Box 12625, Harlow, CM20 9QE
- Brighton Probate Registry - 01273 573 512
- Cardiff Probate Registry - 02920 474 381
- Liverpool Probate Registry - 0151 224 6501
- Principal Registry London - 0300 123 1072.
- Leeds Probate Registry - 0113 3896 117
- Oxford Probate Regstry - 01865 264 268
- Newcastle Probate Registry - 0191 2112183
- Wincester Probate Registry - 01962 814 145