Probate is the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’) when they die.

You legally cannot put property on the market, or access bank accounts over certain amounts, until Probate has been granted.

Check if probate is needed

Contact the financial organisations the deceased used (for example, their bank and mortgage company) to find out if you’ll need probate to get access to their assets. Every organisation has its own rules.

You may not need probate if the person who died

         :·        only had savings below the bank’s limits

       ·        owned shares or money with others this automatically passes to the surviving owners unless they have agreed otherwise

·        owned land or property as joint tenants with others – this automatically passes to the surviving owners


Check if you can apply for probate

Only certain people can apply for probate. Who can apply depends on whether or not there’s a Will.

If there is a valid Will, the executors named in it can apply.

If there is no Will, then the closest living relative can apply.

How to get probate

You need to apply to get probate. Before applying, you must

·        that probate is needed

·        that you’re eligible to apply

·        whether there’s Inheritance Tax
to pay


Value the estate and work out Inheritance

Before applying for probate, you must find out if you need to pay Inheritance Tax.

In order to do this, you need to work out the value of the estate of the person who has died.

Even if there is no tax to pay you need to value the estate to complete the probate application.

Apply for probate

You can then apply for Probate, or pay a professional to do it on your behalf.

Wills and Estate Planning Legal Services can do this for you for a reasonable fixed fee.