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When Do You Require Probate?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Probate is the process you go through when someone dies, and you need to sort out their estate.

It also refers to the grant of probate, which is what you must apply for.

You will require probate in order to share out the property and assets of the deceased according to their wishes in their Will.

There are various stages to the probate process, including things you must do before applying for a grant of probate:

BEFORE applying for probate, you must:

  • Register the death
  • Value the estate and property

You should then take the following steps:

  • Apply for probate
  • Pay probate fees
  • Pay inheritance tax, if applicable
  • Distribute the estate according to the Will

What is the Probate Application Fee?

To apply for probate, you must complete a form, and pay a fee. You can do this online.

  • If the estate’s value is £5,000 or over, the probate fee is £273.
  • For estates valued under £5,000 you don’t have to pay a fee.

If you want extra copies of the grant of probate, these cost £1.50 each.

How Much Does it Cost to Administer an Estate?

Unlike the fees for a probate application, the cost of administering a deceased person’s estate will very much depend on who does it for you, or if you choose to do it yourself.

Estates are worth different values, and this will have a bearing on how much probate ends up costing you as an entire process.

Some solicitors or probate specialist charge on an hourly rate basis others on a percentage of the estate or a fixed fee.

Solicitors are obliged to publish their probate charges. You can find ours here

Do You Need Specialist Help with Probate?

If you have a very simple estate, then it may make sense for the executors to administer it without the need of a solicitor or other specialist.

However, many estates are more complex, involving various assets, investments, and even multiple properties.

Alongside this, family structures can also be complex, making the sharing out of the estate more detailed.

There are several issues which, if they arise, can mean professional help is the best option for probate:

  • If there are any questions over the validity of the Will
  • If the deceased has dependents that they have deliberately left out of the Will, but who might want to claim some of the estate
  • The value of the estate is above the threshold for inheritance tax
  • Where there are arrangements such as assets held in trust
  • Where the estate includes overseas assets or property, or the deceased person lived outside the UK for tax purposes
  • If there are issues over the solvency of the estate
  • If the deceased has left no Will

How Best to Manage Probate

The process of making sure that a deceased person’s estate is divided and shared out according to their wishes is an important one.

It needs proper management, and often requires a good understanding of legal complexities and issues.

However, in the right hands, probate is transparent and systematic.

For more information about our Wills and probate services, please contact Wilson Browne solicitors.

Vicki Pearce


Vicki Pearce


Vicki is a Partner and head of our Private Client Team and our Care Funding and Court of Protection Team . She is based in Northampton. As head of both teams she is able to bring her expertise and obvious overlaps into both areas of…