Need Help Getting Probate or Administering an Estate?

Quick and affordable fixed-fee probate, we’ll beat any quote – saving you up to 75% off high-street solicitors.

  • ico COVID-19 Update: We are still 100% operational
  • ico Get Grant of Probate quickly
  • ico Free advice with no obligation
  • ico No Will? No problem, we can still help you
  • ico Fully insured and regulated solicitors
  • ico Enjoy peace of mind, knowing it’s all sorted
  • ico COVID-19 Update: We are still 100% operational
  • ico Get Grant of Probate quickly
  • ico Free advice with no obligation
  • ico No Will? No problem, we can still help you
  • ico Fully insured and regulated solicitors
  • ico Enjoy peace of mind, knowing it’s all sorted

    Why Use Money Saving Advisors?

    Compare our panel of Solicitors to get the best fixed-fee probate quote

    Compare quotes

    Compare quotes

    We’ll get fixed-fee probate quotes from our panel of solicitors with the best price guaranteed and no obligation.

    Free advice

    Free advice

    At this difficult, stressful and emotional time you need professional advice. We’ll go through everything with you for free before we get started.

    Quick & Easy

    Quick & Easy

    We’ll work quickly to get your probate application ready, typically within just 14 days.

    FREE Fixed-Price Quote

    How we get probate for you

    Let the solicitor take full responsibility for paperwork so you can focus on what really matters

    Prepare your application

    Prepare your application

    We’ll take care of all the probate and tax forms, which are checked by your solicitor before submitting to the government.

    Getting grant of probate

    Getting grant of probate

    Once government approve the application we’ll send grant of probate certificates in the post, along with any copies requested.

    Administering the estate

    Administering the estate

    We can then also help with estate admin – including; closing bank accounts, sale or transfer of property, paying HMRC, claiming life insurance policies and distributing funds.

    Get Your FREE Quote

    Probate Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Probate?

    The term ‘Probate’ is used to refer to the legal process through which a person’s Will is proven to be legally valid, and whereby the Executor’s legal authority to administer the estate of the person who has died, is confirmed. In other words, you are applying to the courts for the legal right to deal with a person’s property, possessions and assets after they die.

    If the deceased person has not left a Will, their estate is subject to Probate in order to establish what should happen to their estate.

    If you are successful in obtaining Probate when the person left a Will, you’ll get a ‘Grant of Probate’. If the person did not leave a Will, you’ll get ‘Letters of Administration’.

    When is an estate subject to Probate?

    Not every deceased person’s estate is subject to Probate. A decision will be based on the value and contents of the estate in question. However, normally, if a property, large shareholding or cash assets of more than about £25,000 form part of the estate, you will need to obtain Probate.

    If the estate is only formed of cash assets, you may not need Probate. But it’s always important to check with the individual financial institutions where the cash is held as their threshold for Probate may vary.

    You may not need Probate at all if the person who died:

    • had jointly owned land, property, shares or money – they will automatically pass to the surviving owners
    • only had small savings or premium bonds 

    When somebody dies, the bank or building society where they hold their money will typically freeze their accounts until the person in charge of dealing with their Will — the ‘executor’ — has been granted Probate. In the meantime, the executor is only able to access the money necessary to pay for funeral and Inheritance Tax bills.

    However, some banks and building societies will allow executors dealing with relatively small amounts of money to close accounts with just a death certificate. Each organisation has its own limit on how much it will release without a Grant of Probate; it can vary from as little as £5,000 to as much as £50,000. You will need to enquire with the banks in question to know whether they will require you to apply for Probate before closing the account and withdrawing the funds to distribute as per the instructions in the Will.

    Who can apply for Probate?

    If the deceased left a Will, you can apply for Probate if you’re the executor named in the Will.

    If the person did not leave a Will, you can apply for ‘Letters of Administration’ if you’re the person’s next of kin, in the following order of priority:

    1. their married partner or civil partner
    2. their child (including adopted children, but not step-children)
    3. their parent
    4. their brother or sister
    5. their grandparent
    6. their uncle or aunt

    You can apply if you were still married or in a civil partnership with the person when they died, even if you were separated from them. You cannot apply if you’re the partner of the person but were not their spouse or civil partner when they died which is why it’s very important to make a Will.

    I’m responsible for obtaining Probate for an estate. What do I do after the person dies?

    If you have been named as the executor in a Will, you need firstly to decide if you wish to accept the role. It is a position that comes with considerable responsibility and may take up a good deal of your time for a while. It can also be emotionally taxing. However, you will hopefully have known that you were named as an executor before this moment and have been able to prepare for the role in some way. 

    If you decide that for some reason you cannot take it on, you will need to find out if any other executors who are prepared to accept the role were named in the Will, or appoint a professional to fulfil the duties instead. Contact your local Probate registry if no executors are willing or able to apply for Probate.

    If there is more than one executor named and you both feel able to remain in position then it is advisable to appoint one of you as lead executor.

    As executor, your duties are then to obtain a death certificate outlining the cause of death, arrange the funeral and register the person’s death.

    Once the funeral has taken place, you will then have more time to turn your attention to Probate. 

    It is possible to apply for Probate without the help of a solicitor. To do this you must first report the estate’s value and pay any Inheritance Tax you owe and estimate and report the estate’s value to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). You will then need to send the correct documents and apply for Probate either online or by post using the correct forms. 

    Not everyone feels comfortable doing this themselves. It can be complex, and an additional worry at an already difficult time, particularly if the deceased was someone close to you and you are affected by grief. In these circumstances, it is advisable to get professional help.

    Many solicitors offer a Probate service, but often base their quotations for the work on an hourly rate or a percentage of the total value of the estate. At Money Saving Advisors we have access to a panel of solicitors who offer fixed-fee quotes for Grant of Probate and estate administration.

    What do I do if I can’t find the Will or I don’t know if there is one?

    If you were not told where the deceased’s Will is stored and you cannot find a Will amongst their possessions at their property then in the first instance, you should speak to other family members or loved ones to see if they know where it is.

    If they do not, then speak to any local solicitors you know the deceased used to see if they have the Will or know where it is kept.

    If that doesn’t provide an answer, you should next check with the Probate Service to see if a Will has been registered there by writing to:

    Principal Registry of the Family Division
    The Principal Probate Registry
    7th Floor First Avenue House
    42-49 High Holborn
    London
    WC1V 6NP
    Tel: 020 7947 6000/7022
    Minicom 020 7947 7602 .

    If they find a Will, it will be sent to the executor/s.

    If I’m the executor, what are my legal responsibilities? And will I be legally responsible if anything goes wrong with Probate?

    By taking on the role of Executor you are agreeing to act reasonably and in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries at all times. That might mean ensuring you get a fair price for any assets that are sold, arranging for insurance to protect property or ensuring that any Inheritance Tax (IHT) that is owed is paid.  

    In addition, as an executor of a Will, one of your responsibilities is to deal with any claims against the deceased’s estate. To protect yourself from these claims, you should put a statutory advertisement in The Gazette (the official public record) and in a newspaper that’s local to the deceased.

    Placing a ‘deceased estates notice’ ensures that sufficient effort has been made to locate creditors before distributing the estate to beneficiaries. As an executor, this also protects you from being liable for any unidentified creditors.

    As executor, you will also be responsible for dealing with any disputes that arise from the Will. Anyone who benefits from, or could potentially  benefit from the deceased’s estate, has a right to contest the Will. If someone believes the Will is invalid, or believes the executor is not administering the Will correctly, they may dispute it. You should take independent legal advice if this happens.

    What is a Personal Representative?

    A ‘personal representative’ is another name for an executor. If there is no Will, it is the name of the person who has legal authority to administer the estate.

    What is a Grant of Probate?

    A ‘Grant of Probate’ is the document issued by HM Court Service which authorises the person named on the Grant with the power to administer the deceased person’s estate, if the deceased had a Will.

    Do I need to use a Solicitor for Probate?

    It is possible to apply for Probate without the help of a solicitor. But to do this you must, yourself, report the estate’s value and pay any Inheritance Tax owed and estimate and report the estate’s value to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). You will then need to send the correct documents and apply for Probate either online or by post using the specified forms. 

    Not everyone feels comfortable doing this themselves. It can be complex, and an additional worry at an already difficult time, particularly if the deceased was someone close to you and you are affected by grief. In these circumstances, it is advisable to get professional help.

    Many solicitors offer a Probate service, but often base their quotations for the work on an hourly rate or a percentage of the total value of the estate. At Money Saving Advisors we have access to a panel of solicitors who offer fixed-fee quotes for Grant of Probate and estate administration. 

    If there are only cash assets of a lower value, you may decide to deal with the Probate process yourself. In fact, in some cases Probate may not be necessary.

    You should check with each bank or building society holding any funds to find out about their own limits for Probate. Some are as low as £5,000 and some as high as £25,000.

    How do I calculate the value of the Estate?

    To value an estate you must:

    • List all the assets included in the estate and work out their value at the date of death
    • Deduct any debts and liabilities

    Assets include items such as money in a bank, property and land, jewellery, cars, shares, a pay-out from an insurance policy and jointly owned assets.

    Liabilities may include items such as final utility bills, mortgages, loans and any other debts owed. What you have left over is the value of the estate.

    Remember to keep records of how you worked it out, such as estate agents’ valuations, as HMRC can ask to see records up to 20 years after Inheritance Tax is paid.

    How do I know if I need to pay Inheritance Tax?

    Inheritance Tax is a tax on the estate of someone who has died, including all property, possessions and money. If there is a Will, it’s usually the duty of the executor of the Will to pay any Inheritance Tax that’s due. If there isn’t a will, it’s down to the administrator of the estate to do this.

    Inheritance Tax can be paid from funds within the estate, or from money raised from the sale of the assets.

    Under current rules, Inheritance Tax must be paid on estates worth over £325,000, although not when estates are passed between married couples or civil partners. You are allowed to pass your estate to your spouse tax-free when you die. 

    There are some other exemptions and reliefs that can lower your liability to Inheritance Tax with careful financial planning. Making a gift to your family and friends while you’re alive can reduce the value of your estate for Inheritance Tax purposes and benefit your loved ones while you’re alive to see them enjoy it. In addition, if you gift more than 10% of your estate to charity, your Inheritance Tax rate can be reduced from 40% to 36%. 

    But estate and tax planning is a complex area so it’s important to seek professional help when approaching this task.

    Speak to one of our team for more information on Inheritance Tax and how to lower the tax due on your estate.

    How long will Probate take?

    Grant of Probate can be completed in just a few weeks. 

    Estate administration can take anywhere from 3 months to a couple of years depending on the complexity of the estate.

    What happens to items that were meant to go to beneficiaries who have died?

    If there are items in the Will that were due to go to someone who has since died, they become part of the ‘residual estate’. That means they form a part of the estate that is not specifically designated to someone. Who the residual estate goes to depends on whether there is a Will with instructions on who receives the residue of the estate, or whether the distribution of the estate is left to the rules of intestacy.

    Is the Probate process the same in England, Wales and Scotland?

    Probate law is different in Scotland, so the process is a little different.

    Our panel of solicitors can provide fixed-fee quotes to those in Scotland, along with England & Wales.

    Compare Free Quotes From Probate Solicitors

    Quick and affordable fixed-fee probate, we'll beat any quote - saving you up to 75% off high-street solicitors.

    Get a Free Quote Now