Probate, the process in which a will is reviewed and administered, needs an executor or administrator. In the UK, the probate registry is the body that is responsible for handling probate applications for executors and administrators. 

The Probate Registry

The probate registry is part of the HM Courts & Tribunal Service. It issues documentation to give someone the legal authority to deal with an estate after a death. 

There are two different variations of the documentation:

  • A grant of probate – if the deceased person had a will, the executors will be named in it. They need to apply for a document called a grant of probate.
  • A grant of letters of administration – if there was no will, a grant of letters of administration needs to be applied for by the deceased’s next of kin (for example, their spouse).

Together, these documents are known as grants of representation.

What Paperwork Is Required By The Probate Registry?

The paperwork is different depending on whether there was a will or not. If there was, a form PA1P is required, and if there was no will a PA1A will need to be completed.

There is also usually a fee to pay. This varies:

  • If the estate’s total value is under £5,000, there is no fee to pay.
  • If the estate’s value is above this, the fee is £215 plus £1.50 for each copy of your grant of representation.
  • If you use a professional probate service to handle this on your behalf, the fee is reduced to £155 – but the service will have their own fee for you to pay.

Do You Need To Swear An Oath?

It used to be the case that you needed to swear an oath in the presence of a solicitor in order to receive a grant of representation. However, this has now been replaced with a more modern system where you can agree to a statement of truth either online or over the phone.

Where To Go For Help

Probate can be a daunting and time-consuming process, at a stressful time when there are many other things to consider and deal with too. This is why many people choose to use a professional to help them with it. This is particularly since you are no longer able to visit your local probate office to sort out any issues – in December 2019, the probate system was centralised to one service centre in Birmingham and contact is now only by email, post or phone. This makes it much more difficult to contact someone for help. 

At Beeston Shenton, our Wills and Probate Team are highly experienced in all aspects of probate, and would be honoured to assist you. Get in touch today for more information and a quote.