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Probate legal advice for probate matters in England & Wales

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An overview of the legal process to obtain probate where the deceased has not left a written Will 


A full explanation of the process for getting probate where the deceased has left a Will.  


The probate process can be complex and it is important to familiarise yourself with the basic legal process.

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Probate Legal Advice know that the administration of a loved one’s estate can be complex, time-consuming and emotional time. That’s why our probate service takes the strain and makes the process simple.

Our probate-free advice line is able to advise and assist Personal Representatives in administering an estate or to provide advice regarding particular aspects of estate administration.

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Frequent Asked Questions

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How Long does it take to get Probate?

The probate process takes around a year, from the date of the person’s death to the estate being distributed.


It may take less time, but even simple estates usually take a minimum of six months to complete the probate.

How much does probate cost?

The total cost of probate varies considerably. However, it does depend if a Will was left, the number of beneficiaries and if any aspect of the Will or probate is contested.


The cost will also be determined by how many assets the deceased had and what those assets are.

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What happens if probate is wrong?

Executors have a legal duty to report the value of the estate as accurately as possible to the Inland Revenue.

If they incorrectly report the value of the estate, they can be personally liable for the penalties payable as a result.

How to stop a grant of probate?

Probate Legal Advice can offer you free legal advice by email should you wish. Stopping the grant of probate being issued is a straightforward process.

Entering what is known as a ‘caveat’ at the Probate Registry stops the issue of the grant for a period of 6 months.

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Do i wait for probate before putting the property on the market?

A: In some cases, probate may not be needed to sell a deceased’s property. This depends on how the property was owned.

For example, if the deceased owned the property jointly with someone else, the ownership would automatically pass to the surviving joint owner without needing to obtain a probate grant.

The rules differ if the deceased owned a share in a property with someone else, commonly known as tenants in common. However, for this answer, I shall assume that the property was held in your late aunt’s sole name, and she had a valid will which appointed executors.

When you are dealing with a property that was owned in a deceased’ sole name, you would need to obtain a grant of probate before the property sale can be completed.

This is because the grant proves the rights of the executors named in the deceased’s will. You can, however, obtain valuations and put the property on the market before the grant has been obtained.

Making the probate application

The probate application will involve completing an Inheritance Tax account in the form of an IHT205 or IHT400, depending on the estate’s value.


In addition, the executors sign a Statement of Truth confirming the gross and net value of the deceased’s estate as confirmed in the Inheritance Tax account.


The Statement of Truth and the deceased’s will (if there is one) are then submitted to the local Probate Registry along with the probate fee.


Finally, the Probate Registry will issue the Grant of Representation in the names of the executors, which is the document that enables them to access the assets of the deceased’s estate.

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How do you respond to a probate warning?

Once you are served with a warning, you have only fourteen days to respond by making an affidavit called an appearance.

If you fail to respond in time, the caveat will cease to have an effect and a Grant may be sealed.

Can Probate Legal Advice on happens after grant of probate?

Once the grant of probate has been obtained, the personal representatives have the authority to sell or transfer the property.

If the property was owned with someone else as tenants in common, then this means that each person owns a specific share of the property.