Grant of Probate

A Grant of Probate is an official document that gives the executor of a Will the legal right to access and administer the estate. They cannot begin to do this until they receive the Probate from the Probate Registry.

Anyone can apply for a Grant of Probate, but you should be aware of the complexity of the work required. For larger or more complex estates, appointing professional help is the best way to ensure the process happens quickly and without costly mistakes.

When do I need to apply for a Grant of Probate?

Only some people need to apply for a Grant of Probate. If the estate is reasonably small (less than around £15,000 or so), the assets can usually be accessed and administered without it.

However, you will need a Grant of Probate if any of the following apply:

  • You need to access a bank or savings account. The bank will usually need to see a Grant of Probate, especially if you need to make a substantial withdrawal
  • You need to access and redeem bonds or shares owned by the deceased
  • To redeem any insurance policies or pensions
  • To sell any property owned by the deceased
  • To make a claim on behalf of the deceased, e.g. claiming back care home fees

The Probate application

  • A Probate application will need to include the following:
  • A completed probate application form (also called a ‘PA1’)
  • A completed Inheritance Tax form
  • An official copy of the death certificate
  • The original Will and 3 copies along with any additions or amendments to it. You can read more about what happens if there is no will here.
  • The application fee of £215, in the form of a cheque made payable to HM Courts and Tribunals Service. This fee doesn’t apply if the estate comes to less than £5000.

You will then need to swear an oath to prove that all the information provided is true.

Inheritance Tax form

This will contain the bulk of the information about the financial value of the estate. It will assess what portion of the estate is taxable and how much tax is to be paid. For estates valued under £325,000, there is nothing to pay. You should remember that the overall value of an estate is not limited to money and savings and will include any property and possessions (including overseas property) as well.

Swearing the oath

The oath promises that the information you’ve given in the application is true to the best of your knowledge. This means that you need to be as accurate as possible and careful that you do not make any mistakes.

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

Most solicitors will charge around £5.00 – £10.00 to swear an oath.

​Once this has been done, the Probate Registry will aim to get the Grant of Probate issued within ten working days. Then, the administration of the estate to the beneficiaries can begin.

Need help with Probate?

If you like to discuss getting help with probate, then please call us on 0191 567 7244 and we’ll be happy to help you. A consultation is always completely free and there’s no obligation to use any of our services – just honest advice. We’ll even be able to give you a transparent fixed-fee quote about our costs.

If you would rather contact us online, you could email us on or complete our free online enquiry form and we will be in touch with you shortly.

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