Sending a Will to the Probate Registry
21 April 2017
By Probate Solicitor Rachel Curtis
During Probate, the Personal Representative must send the deceased person’s Will to the Probate Registry. It’s important that the Will is the latest version, and that it’s valid. Otherwise problems will be encountered, delaying the Probate process.
Getting a Grant of Probate
When someone dies they may have left a Will. A Will appoints an Executor/s, and these are the people who will administer the deceased person’s Estate. A Will also provides details of who is to benefit from the deceased’s Estate.
In order to administer an Estate, the Executors will need to apply to the Court for a Grant of Probate. A Grant of Probate is a legal document issued by the Probate Registry confirming the Executor’s authority to deal with the administration of the Estate.
To obtain a Grant of Probate, you need to ascertain the value of the Estate and complete the correct Inheritance Tax forms. You will also need to swear an oath referring to the deceased’s Will and confirming the information you have provided about the deceased is correct.
With our Probate Complete Service we take full responsibility for obtaining Grant of Probate and dealing with the Legal, Tax (excl VAT), Property and Estate Administration affairs.
Submitting the Correct Will
It’s vital that the Will submitted for Probate is the latest Will of the deceased. This will ensure that the correct person is applying to administer the Estate, and that the Estate will be distributed according to the deceased’s last known, up to date wishes.
It can sometimes be tricky to establish that the Will held is the latest, up to date Will of the deceased. There is no legal requirement to register a Will in the UK so there is no central register to check.
Generally, people find evidence of a Will by their own personal knowledge of the deceased’s affairs, or from going through the deceased’s paperwork after their death which may contain a copy of the Will, or refer to the whereabouts the original Will. It may be worth contacting the deceased’s Solicitor or bank to ask them whether they hold a Will.
Is the Will Valid?
It’s also important that the Will submitted to the Probate Registry is considered legally valid. For a Will to be valid, the Testator (the person writing the Will) must not be under the age of 18 and must have sufficient mental capacity to know what they are doing. Certain formalities must also be met in that the Will must be in writing, and signed by the Testator in the presence of two witnesses.
If someone thinks a Will is invalid, they can lodge a Caveat at the Probate Registry. If this is upheld then a previous Will can be submitted to Probate instead. Alternatively if no previous Will exists then the Rules of Intestacy will apply.