12th FEBRUARY 2021
The probate process is mostly undertaken online nowadays, but there are some circumstances under which you might need to visit the probate registry in person.
The probate registry is a part of the HM Courts & Tribunal Service under the British government. Its primary purpose is issuing legal documents known as grant of representation which give people the authority to administer someone else’s estate following their death. A grant of representation can be either a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration depending on whether the deceased left a will or not.
There are two main reasons why someone might need to visit the probate registry in person. The first is to store your will at the registry for safekeeping. To do this, you can either visit the registry to store it in person or post it to the registry. The second reason someone may need to visit the registry is to register a caveat. This is a way of opposing someone else’s application for a grant of probate if there is a reason why the grant should not be issued.
If you are the executor of a will, you are unlikely to need to visit the probate registry because the application process has been moved online. Most of your communication with the registry will be done online, via email or over the phone. The probate registry is stretched very thin, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which means that liaising with the registry can be frustrating and sporadic.
Many people choose to hire a solicitor or a professional probate service to handle their application for them to avoid this frustration. If you apply on your own and you are not confident in your understanding of the financial and legal jargon included on the application forms, you might be at risk of making a mistake which you can be held financially liable for. If this sounds like it could be an issue for you, the safest option is to employ a professional to handle the application for you. If you hire a solicitor or a service like Kwil, you can pay from the funds in the estate, not from your own pocket. They will then handle the entire application for you, including all liaison with the probate registry. You can then rest assured that your application will be handled in a professional and timely manner.