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Important form sections
The application form you will be looking to complete is the PA1 probate application form.
The form has three main sections, they are as follows:
Section A asks the question if there is a Will in place and if so whether or not there is a gift to a minor (under 18). If there is a gift to a minor, then the administrator/executor will hold that gift until they reach 18. Moving on to question 5 and this asks the question if any administrators/executors aren’t applying for probate. It also asks why. If they provide the reason that they are reserving the right, then the registry will send out a ‘Power Reserved’ letter. Even if it seems like the main administrator/executor can deal with everything, something may happen to them preventing that from happening so at least one other administrator/executor should at sign the letter of ‘Power Reserved’. This means should something happen to the main administrator/executor then the power reserved can take over and complete the distribution of assets.
This section asks for relative’s details. This is helpful if there is no will in place as laws of intestacy will apply. At this point it makes it clear who can apply for the ‘Grant of letters of administration’. The list of relatives also shows who should inherit what if it comes down to intestacy or partial intestacy. A partial intestacy is where the Will fails to allocate the whole of the deceased’s estate.
This section asks for the details of those applying for the grant. The executors details used for question 1-4 will be the first person to receive all correspondence. Under that there is space for details for other executors. Moving onto question 7, this asks about the relationship between the main applicant and the deceased. This information will be used moving forward for the oath at the probate registry. If it is down to intestacy then this questions shows if the person applying is the entitled relative. This entitled relative can then apply for the ‘Grant of letters of administration’.
A few weeks after sending in the probate forms the administrator/executor’s will be contacted with a time and date for the probate interview. This can either take place at a probate registry or a solicitor’s office. All administrator/executor’s should be present at this time because all them will need to swear an oath. Administrator/executor’s should at this time, if they have completed, hand over the IHT205 which will be signed at the interview. On top of this they should have ready; the original will and the probate fee which is £215 unless the estate is under £5000. If the estate is under £5000 then no fee is payable for the grant.
The interviewers will now double check all figures and facts stated and confirm them. Therefore having copies of what has been stated is a good idea so you can double check all information. Once everything has been checked, if there is a will in place, the administrator/executor’s will be asked to sign the will and then the Commissioner handling the case will add his signature to the will. The commissioner will also add his signature to the oath.
At this point the executor’s can order as many Grants of probate that are needed to send to the person(s) that were first informed of the death by certificate.
The administrators will be able to order the ‘grant of letters of administration’. Again they should order as many as needed. This mainly applies to the law of intestacy.
If no IHT is payable then the grant should be received quickly. If there is IHT this will need to be settled first. The grant will then give the administrator/executor’s permissions they need to release assets etc.
First of all liabilities will need to be paid up before any assets are distributed under the will or intestacy rules. You would use the residue estate to pay this, failing that you move onto you lowering the cash legacies and if that’s not enough then selling specific items left to legacies should cover the costs.
When the administrators/executors gift an item or money they should request a receipt from the beneficiary stating the amount given or a brief description of the item received. The beneficiary and administrator/executor’s should print there name and sign this. Both parties should keep a copy of the receipt. Gifts concerning minors should be held until they reach the appropriate age (18).
There are different methods depending on the type of asset being transferred. If it is a household/personal effect this can be handed over physically without any legal or official paperwork.
Shares – Shares will need to be transferred through the use of a stock transfer form. These can be requested from the relevant company registrar’s office.
House/Flat - This can vary depending whether the property is registered or unregistered.
Registered:- You will need to complete the Land registry form called AS1. You can obtain this from them. The form needs to be signed by all administrator/executor’s and witnessed by one person. The beneficiary also needs to be present at that time. The administrator/executor’s will then need to send the form along with a copy of the grant of probate and the land registry fee to the Land Registry Office. This allows them to register the new owner.
Un-registered - It is advised to seek the advice of a solicitor or ourselves at this stage as the property will have to be registered as a first registration application with the land registry.
A grant of representation is not always required or necessary. It all depends on the overall value of the estate and/or the types of assets involved. For example, after paying the funeral costs, if the deceased’s estate’s value is over £5,000 a grant of representation may be required. However, some banks have their own limit. Which means some banks may want to see one for less. The sole reason for the grant is so that the executor/administrator can deal on behalf of the deceased’s estate.
If the deceased left a small cash amount, for example £500, with other items such as a motorcycle with a high value there is no need to apply for the grant of representation. This is because the executor/administrator needs no formal proof to pass on such assets. However obtaining a grant of representation when the items are of high value may cover the executor/administrator to make sure they are distributing the assets correctly.
If the deceased left a bank account with £20,000 then a grant of representation will be necessary so they have formal authority. This will be then used to prove they can gather and distribute these assets.