Probate forms explained
The process of applying for probate can be complicated and overwhelming when also dealing with the grief of losing a loved one. There are a couple different ways in which to apply for probate, the make-up of the estate will vary in its complication and this should be a factor in the choose you make when applying. It is advised that if the estate is complicated for example, if there are a lot of assets held with several institutions, a trust to be set up or wound down or inheritance tax is payable, that you seek the assistance of a professional. If the estate is relatively simple you can apply for probate by yourself using the probate forms explained below.
Below we have broken down which Probate forms you will need in order to try and simplify the process. There is a lot of information available and it can be very overwhelming when looking at a page of 30+ forms. Therefore we have separated them into sections including forms that must be completed and sent to the probate registry, helpful guides provided by the Government website and additional forms they you may potentially need depending on the circumstances.
Forms that are always used when applying for probate – The PA1
Regardless of the make-up of the estate or whether or not there is inheritance tax to pay, every applicant must complete the PA1 form, there are no alternate forms. It must be accompanied by the relevant inheritance tax form (this being either the IHT205 or the IHT400), death certificate and will (where there is one).
The Pa1 is probably the easiest form that you will have to fill in. It acts as a summary of the estate and unlike the Inheritance tax forms does not require supplementary forms that provide additional information about the answers provided.
I would recommend that you complete the PA1 after the relevant inheritance tax forms, as the inheritance tax forms go into much more detail about the estate and once they have been completed you will have a much better understanding of the assets and their value allowing you to complete the PA1 more accurately and saving you from having to redo it with the correct information.
It will also give you the chance to assess whether or not you feel capable of applying for probate as most applicants encounter difficulties when trying to correctly fill in the IHT forms, if you are unable to answer the questions and do not know how to go about finding the answers it is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional.
You will also be unable to fully complete the PA1 until you have completed the relevant IHT form as Question 7 under the Inheritance tax section will ask you for the figures from specific boxes that are on the corresponding IHT form.
Section 8. Applying as an attorney is only relevant if you are applying on behalf of someone else this section is normally used by a solicitor or professional applying on the behalf of an executor or administrator of an estate. If you are the executor or administration you will not need to complete this section and the form will direct to the next section.
Guides provided to help you apply for probate
PA2 – The PA2 is a guide provided to help you apply for probate yourself it goes into detail about the process of applying. If it is your first time applying for probate and you know very little about what it is, this guide is extremely helpful as it includes
• The purpose of probate
• When a grant is needed
• Who can apply
• What to do if you are named as an executor and do not wish to act
• The importance of thinking about inheritance tax first
• The entire process of applying for probate
• Useful contacts
PA5 – Is the 2011 version of the PA2 and is still included on the government website however it essentially provides the same information but I would recommend overlooking this in favour of the PA2 as it was last updated in 2017 and will have the current information.
Pa3 – The PA3 explains the fees for the grant of application which for a Personal application is currently set at £215. Additional sealed and certified copies are 50p IF you order them when you sent your application. Copies order once the grant has already been issued is charged at £10 for the first copy and 50p for any additional; therefore it is better to order more copies than you think you will need when first applying to save time and money.
Pa4 – The PA4 provides a directory to all the probate registries in the UK. It provides the address and correct contact numbers and email addresses for all of the registries, which from experience can be hard to find online when using a search engine.
PA97 – Provides an example of what you will receive back from the probate office confirming that the grant of probate has been issued and will be sent with the grant of probate and copies if requested and the return of any documents that you have provided them other than the will which is kept at the registry along with the grant of probate that is kept for their records.
If after following the government provided guides you still do not feel confident in applying for probate yourself or if you are the executor of a more complicated estate you can speak to a member of our team who can provide you with a fixed fee quote for probate on 08007318722 or send us an inquiry via our website.