Obtaining a grant of probate is an essential part of the estate planning process. A grant of probate allows you to distribute the assets held in the deceased’s estate to the intended beneficiaries. Without it, you will be unable to carry out the deceased’s wishes as laid out in the will.
Completing the forms
There are 2 forms you need to complete in order to obtain a grant of probate: a probate application form and an inheritance tax (IHT) form.
The probate application form (PA1) should, among other things, contain the deceased’s personal data, information about their will and a breakdown of all assets held in the estate along with a valuation.
You will also need to complete an IHT form so HMRC can ascertain whether IHT is due on the estate. The IHT205 form will be submitted if the value of the estate is lower than the £325,000 nil-rate band, while the IHT400 form is for estates valued above £325,000.
In order to complete these forms you will need to conduct an estate valuation. This can be a complex task – especially for large estates – and you should always seek professional help.
Applying to the Probate Registry
Both forms will need to be sent to the Probate Registry, along with the original copy of the will and the deceased’s death certificate. After submitting the correct paperwork, contact your solicitor’s office or your local Probate Registry to arrange a time to swear the oath.
The cost of probate on all estates worth more than £5,000 stands at £215 per individual application. However, if you want us to apply on your behalf, the cost is reduced to £155.
Plans to vary the costs of probate according to the size of the estate were in the pipeline earlier this year.
Proposed probate fees
|£0 – £50,000||£0|
|£50,001 – £300,000||£300|
|£300,001 – £500,000||£1,000|
|£500,001 – £1million||£4,000|
|£1m – £1.6m||£8,000|
|£1.6m – £2m||£12,000|
These fees would have replaced current rates, but the proposal was dropped in April 2017 following the decision to call a snap general election. It remains to be seen whether the new government will resurrect these plans or ditch them altogether.
We offer a full probate and estate administration service: our accountants will not only handle the estate’s tax affairs, but will also conduct estate valuations, obtain a grant of probate and ensure the estate is distributed according to the will.