When applying for a Grant of Probate for an Estate in England or Wales, there are a number of different forms that may be required. The forms needed will depend on the nature of the Estate, and also the way that application for Probate is being made.
With our Probate Complete Service we take full responsibility for getting Grant of Probate and dealing with the Legal, Tax (not VAT), Property and Estate Administration affairs*.
*We can also pay all the costs of a Co-op Funeralcare funeral, providing the Estate owns sufficient assets which can be sold in due course to repay our costs.
Probate Application Form PA1
If you choose to apply for a Grant of Probate yourself, and not use a solicitor or professional probate provider, the first form you will need to complete is a Probate PA1 application form. To download form PA1 from HM Government website please click here.
The PA1 form is 12 pages long and requires a lot of information about the person who has died, along with details of the person who is applying for the Grant of Probate.
Once form PA1 has been completed and signed, it needs to be sent to one of the Probate Registry offices with the Probate application fee, details of which can be found here. Other documents, which we explain below, must be sent along with the application for Probate.
The Probate Registry will then use the information provided in the application form to prepare an Oath for you to swear. This can either be done by appointment at your nearest Probate Registry, or with a Solicitor.
Swearing an Oath
If you choose to instruct a Probate Solicitor to help you with the Probate process, then they will prepare an Oath for you to swear and you will not need to complete the PA1 application form. The Solicitor will use the information they have on the Estate to prepare the Oath.
Before swearing an Oath it is extremely important that you read through it carefully to ensure that you are confident that the information it contains is correct and accurate. It is an offence to swear to facts which you know to be untrue.
If the deceased left a Will, then this will need to be signed by the Executor/s named in the Will as well as by the Solicitor who is swearing the Oath.
The Oath and the Will are then submitted to the Probate Registry as part of the application for the Grant of Probate.
Inheritance Tax Forms
The other important form needed as part of the application for a Grant of Probate is the Inheritance Tax Account. This tells HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) the value of the Estate, and whether any Inheritance Tax is payable.
There are two different Inheritance Tax forms depending on the nature, size and complexity of the Estate.
In very simple terms, if an Estate is relatively straight-forward and there is not going to be any Inheritance Tax to pay, then a shorter tax form called an IHT205 can normally be used.
The IHT205 form summarises the deceased’s Inheritance Tax position along with the Estate assets and liabilities (debts). Once completed and signed by the Executor/s, this form is sent with the Oath to the Probate Registry as part of the Grant of Probate application.
If, however, an Estate is more complex, or the value of the Estate is over the Inheritance Tax threshold, then it is likely that a full Inheritance Tax account form, called an IHT400, will need to completed.
The IHT400 form is far more comprehensive, and can be quite time consuming to complete. The information in the form needs to be accurate, and HMRC will require professional valuations for certain assets such as property, investments, and collections.
If there is Inheritance Tax to pay on the Estate, this will need to be calculated and, in many cases, paid at the same time that the Inheritance Tax account is submitted to HMRC.
Once HMRC have received the Inheritance Tax Account form and payment of any tax that is due, HMRC will issue a receipt, which can then be sent with the Oath to the Probate Registry.
If you are applying for a Grant of Probate without the help of a Solicitor you will need to complete and submit the Inheritance Tax account yourself.
For some people, the Inheritance Tax account can seem very daunting, and for this reason they will choose to instruct a Solicitor to help them with the Estate administration, to ensure that the form is completed correctly.
There is no need for you to complete an Inheritance Tax form, an Income Tax form or a Capital Gains Tax form or to swear an Oath when using the Co-op's Probate Complete Service, as we deal with these on your behalf.
The Grant of Probate
Once the Probate Registry has received all of the necessary forms, and the Registrar has confirmed that everything is correct, they will issue the Grant of Probate to the Executor/s.
If the deceased left a Will, the original document will be retained by the Probate Registry and will become a public document that anyone can apply for a copy of, much like Birth or Marriage Certificates.
Once the Grant of Probate has been issued the individual/s named on the Grant will have authority to sell or transfer the Estate assets and settle any debts or liabilities, before distributing what’s left to the Beneficiaries.
The Probate and Estate administration process can take anywhere from 6 months to over a year to complete, depending on the complexity of the Estate, and whether they are any claims made against the Estate.
If you deal with Probate yourself, you can be held financially responsible for any mistakes made.
With our Probate Complete Service we take the responsibility off your shoulders. We can pay the costs of a Co-op Funeralcare funeral**. There are no upfront costs to pay as our fees will be taken from the Estate once it is in funds.
For free initial advice and guidance call our Probate Advisors on 03306069584 or contact us online and we will help you.
**Providing the Estate owns sufficient assets which can be sold in due course to repay our costs.