What Does the Probate Registry Do?

15 December 2016

The Probate Registry is part of the HM Courts & Tribunal Service. It issues Grants of Representation which is a legal document sealed by the Court which gives people the right to deal with the estate of a deceased person.

The Probate Registry issue a Grant of Probate to an Executor named in a Will.

The Probate Registry also issue Letters of Administration (with a Will) when no Executor is named in the Will, or where an Executor is unable or unwilling to apply.

The Probate Registry issue Grants of Letters of Administration when a person has not made a Will or if the Will they have made is not valid.

Applying for a Grant of Probate

If you are applying for a Grant of Probate yourself you need to complete one of the Probate Application Forms which can be quite complicated, or our specialist team of Probate Solicitors can deal with the complete Probate application process for you.

Inheritance Tax Forms

You will also need to complete an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) tax form whether or not Inheritance Tax is payable on the deceased persons estate. The Probate Registry will not issue a Grant of Probate until you confirm that no Inheritance Tax is payable or HMRC has confirmed to the Probate Registry that the Grant can be issued.

Swearing the Oath

The Probate Registry will prepare an Oath for you to swear which will confirm that the information you have provided is true. You can swear the Oath at any office of a Commissioner for Oaths, or at a local Solicitors office or by going to one of the Probate Registry offices listed below. The Probate Registry will send you the Oath and details of how to arrange the appointment. If you choose to swear the Oath at the Probate Registry there will be no charge for swearing the Oath.

You may need to visit the Probate Registry for other reasons. However, when you instruct our Probate Solicitors to deal with Probate for you, you will not have to visit a Probate Registry office as we will deal with this for you.

The Probate Registry offers a service to store Wills for safe keeping and you can deposit your Will yourself in person or ask someone else to take it to the Probate Registry. They will give you an envelope and ask you to provide details such as your name, address and date of birth. You then seal the Will in the envelope witnessed by a Probate Services officer. The officer will also sign the envelope. It will then be sent to the Principal Probate Registry for safekeeping. The Probate Registry will post you a certificate of deposit to confirm safe receipt within two weeks. If you ask someone else to deposit your Will for you must provide them with a letter of authority to act on your behalf.

You may need to register a caveat. A caveat is a way of preventing a Grant of Probate from being issued where a person has grounds to oppose an application for a Grant. You can visit any Probate Registry to register a caveat, or our Probate team can deal with this for you.

Probate Registry Offices in England & Wales

There is a principal Probate Registry office in Central London and 11 other District Probate Registries:

  • London Probate Registry - London Probate Department, First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, Ground Floor, Holborn, London WC1V 6NP – Tel: 0207 421 8509
  • Birmingham Probate Registry - The Priory Courts, 33 Bull Street, Birmingham B4 6DU – Tel: 0300 123 1072
  • Brighton District Probate Registry - William Street, Brighton BN2 2LG – 01273 573 510
  • Bristol District Probate Registry - The Civil Justice Centre, 2 Redcliff Street, Bristol BS1 6GR – Tel: 0117 366 4960
  • Cardiff Probate Registry of Wales - 3rd Floor, Cardiff Magistrates Court, Fitzalan Place, Cardiff CF24 0RZ – Tel: 029 2047 4373
  • Ipswich District Probate Registry - Ground Floor, 8 Arcade Street, Ipswich IP1 1EJ – Tel: 01473 284 260
  • Leeds District Probate Registry - York House, 31 York Place, Leeds LS1 2BA – Tel: 0113 389 6133
  • Liverpool District Probate Registry - Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts, Derby Square, Liverpool L2 1XA – Tel: 0151 236 8624
  • Manchester District Probate Registry - Manchester Civil Justice Centre, Ground Floor, 1 Bridge Street West, PO BOX 4240, Manchester M60 1WJ – Tel: 0161 240 5701 / 0161 240 5702
  • Newcastle District Probate Registry - 1 Waterloo Square, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 4AL – Tel: 0191 211 2170
  • Oxford District Probate Registry - Combined Court Building, St. Aldates, Oxford OX1 1LY – Tel: 01865 793 055 / 01865 793 050
  • Winchester District Probate Registry - 4th Floor, Cromwell House, Andover Road, Winchester SO23 7EW – Tel: 0300 123 1072

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