The probate registry is a part of the HM Courts & Tribunal Service and is responsible for approving applications for and issuing grants of representation. This can be a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration.
In most cases, the entire probate application will be handled over the phone or by email, which means that you do not need to visit a probate registry office in order to submit or follow up on an application.
First, you will need to fill in a form detailing your loved one’s estate. If there is a will, this form is known as ‘PA1P’. If there is no will, the form you need is ‘PA1A’. Your form can be submitted online or by post. To have your application approved, you will also need to agree to a statement of truth, which is usually done over the phone.
There is a fee associated with applying for a grant of representation. The probate registry fee is £215, but if the estate is valued at less than £5,000, you will not need to pay this. You will also need to pay for a copy of your grant of representation. Each copy costs £1.50, and it is usually recommended that you purchase several in order to speed up the probate process.
If you are concerned about making mistakes with the paperwork, you can pay a professional probate service to handle the application for you. There will be additional costs associated with this, but the registry fee will be reduced to £155. The benefit of doing this is that you can ensure that your application is submitted without errors, therefore preventing further delays.
A major issue with the probate application process is that the court service is experiencing constant delays. This has only gotten worse with the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning that applications are taking an exceptionally long time to be approved. If you submit an application that contains a mistake, your application might be extremely delayed.
Communication can also be an issue during the application process, as you are no longer able to visit your local registry office to follow up on your application or correct any errors. Now that all communication must be handled online, by email, phone, or post, it can be difficult to talk to anyone at the probate registry.
If you use a professional probate service such as Kwil, you can rest assured knowing that your application will be submitted without error and will therefore be approved as quickly as possible. You can also save yourself the hassle of trying to get through to the registry office to ask about your application, as this will be handled for you.