Obtaining a Grant of Probate

A Grant of Probate is a Court Order made in the Probate Registry which authorises the Executors to administer and distribute the assets of an Estate.

If someone dies intestate, the Administrators of the Estate (usually the closest relatives) apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Letters of Administration; the procedure is similar in most respects to that for obtaining a Grant of Probate as is the effect of the Grant.

Only very small estates (worth less than about £10,000) can usually be administered without a Grant.

To obtain a Grant of Probate the Executors must value all the assets in the Estate and

  • If they think Inheritance Tax may be payable, complete Form IHT 400.
  • Otherwise complete Form IHT205 to confirm that no tax is payable.

If Inheritance Tax is payable, the basic position is that it is payable 6 months after the end of the month in which the death occurred. In some circumstances, however, payment can be made by instalments and it may be spread out over as long as 10 years. When an asset is sold the Tax attributable to it must then usually be paid.

For example, if the Estate includes a house and the Executors plan to sell the house, they need only find 10% of the Inheritance Tax due by the 6 month deadline. The Executors then have a year to sell the house before the next 10% instalment becomes due. The full balance of the tax has to be paid when the house is sold. We can discuss with you in appropriate cases how the Estate may be able to find or fund instalment payments.

Complex provisions exist in relation to payments of Inheritance Tax by instalments and the calculation of interest and you should ask for our advice about this.

Once the issue of Inheritance Tax has been tackled, the Executors then swear an Executors Oath promising that they will administer the Estate in accordance with the Will and the law. The Oath and the receipt for any Inheritance Tax paid to date or Form IHT205 are sent to the Probate Registry which will issue the Grant.

Speak to us or arrange a Free Initial Interview so we can understand the particular circumstances of the Estate with which you are concerned. We will then be able to give you a well-informed estimate of our fees which we hope you will be pleased with. We do not charge a percentage of the value of the Estate but charge you only for the work we actually do.

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