You should know of the value of the estate by completing the Master Financial Summary or IHT400 Summary before you start to complete the probate forms.
The Probate Forms tell the Probate Registry about the deceased and the value of the deceased’s estate. It is very important to be as accurate as possible.
If the estate is ‘borderline’ on which HMRC form you are going to use wait for every asset holder to confirm and get formal valuations of any property.
See ‘Valuing the Estate’.
Form PA1 should be very easy to complete once you have completed the preceding steps. You should only need your Master Physical File and Master Financial Summary (or IHT400 Summary) in front of you to have all the information you need.
If you select 'At a Solicitor's Office' on Q1 on PA1 this is likely to be much quicker.
Just go through each section line by line using the information to hand.
If you have any questions, contact us for advice.
SWEAR THE OATH
Once you have send form PA1 and attachments to your chosen Probate Registry they will contact you with any queries, or send the Oath directly if there are no queries.
Whilst this is a very important part of the process it is usually very straightforward.
It is not usually the case that the Probate Office will request an interview prior to signing the Oath.
If they do request an interview take your Master Physical File and printed copy of your Master Financial Summary so you can answer questions and show how you reached
If you include an email address at BOX 6.5 on PA1 the Probate Registry will email you the Oath and a Checklist for Personal Applicants, this is the quickest way to receive it. You then print the Oath and Checklist.
You then need to contact any local solicitor (commissioner for oaths) and ask the fee for someone to witness you signing an oath. Check with the solicitor what Identity Documents they require you to bring.
Don't forget to take the printed Oath and any other attachments (Will). It is wise to take your Master Physical File though it is not usually required.
You do not need to be a client of the practice and they cannot insist on this. You will be charged a nominal fee of £15-£40 depending on who you deal with.
By swearing the Oath, you are promising that all the information you have submitted is accurate and truthful and that you will carry out your duty to distribute the estate in accordance with the will or intestacy rules.
The fee is currently £215 for estates over £5,000 plus 50p per copy of the grant. You should request as many copies of the grant as you think you will need to send at any one time, ideally one for each asset holder.
You should send the completed PA1 and attachments to the Probate Registry of your choice.
Is relatively straightforward once you’ve done the HMRC forms.
WHAT TO TAKE WHEN SWEARING THE OATH
The oath - The document headed 'In the High Court of Justice'
A copy of the Will/any codicil(s) if there are any.
The checklist for personal applicants.
Affidavits and exhibits - if applicable
Please note that whilst it is not a requirement of the Probate Registry some solicitors may ask you to produce photographic identification
WHAT TO SEND BACK TO PROBATE REGISTRY
After the swearing you send back to the Registry named on the letter:
The oath and copies of the will/codicil(s) signed by the applicants and the solicitor.
The checklist filled in and signed by applicants
Any other relevant documents i.e. power of attorney, renunciation etc.
GETTING THE GRANT
Once the Probate Registry have received the signed Oath you then wait to receive the Grant in the post.
You should receive the number of copies of the Grant you requested in the PA1 application.