How to obtain probate

When a loved one is no longer capable of making decisions for themselves, the pressure is on you to make the right choices for them. But it doesn't have to be a lonely struggle.

As specialists in post-death matters, we’re often asked how to obtain probate; it isn’t something that is obvious or familiar to most people. So here’s our brief guide to the basics of how to obtain probate:

  • Identify the executor. They should be named in the will.
  • Complete a probate application form and an Inheritance Tax form (not as straightforward as it sounds because it calls for a valuation of the estate and a tax calculation).
  • Send the application to your local Probate Registry. Enclose other documents including the original will plus copies, the Inheritance Tax form and an official copy of the death certificate. You’ll also need to pay an application fee.
  • Swear an oath that the information you have given is true to the best of your knowledge.
  • If there is Inheritance Tax to pay, you will usually have to pay it at this point.

All being well, the Grant of Representation will then be issued. This marks the beginning of probate and means that the executor can start administering the estate.

We advise executors and the families and friends of people who have died on how to obtain probate, taking them through the steps and helping make sure that everything is done properly. Clients often ask for specific help in completing the forms, dealing with tax and checking that their application is complete.

And our involvement needn’t end once probate has been granted; we’re on hand to advise on the practicalities and legal considerations involved in dealing with a deceased person’s assets and liabilities.

Our probate service covers:

  • post-death wills advice
  • how to obtain probate
  • estate administration
  • inheritance tax
  • duties of executor to beneficiaries
  • protecting executors
  • foreign elements
  • disputes and financial claims
  • receivership
  • settlements and trusts

Contact Us

For legal advice on how to obtain probate, or any post-death matter, complete the form below, email us at or call us on +44(0)20 8965 4266.

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