If there is a will
You can apply for probate if you are named as an executor in either the will or an update to it (known as a ‘codicil’).
The person who died will typically have told you if you’re an executor.
You’ll only inherit assets (for example, money or property) if you are also named as a beneficiary in the will.
Find the original Will first
You will need to send the original Will with your probate application – you cannot use a photocopy. The probate registry will keep the Will and become a public record.
The person who died should have told all the executors where to find the original Will and any updates, for example:
- at their house
- with a probate practitioner, such as a solicitor
- at the national probate registry in Newcastle – you will need the death certificate and evidence you are the executor
If more than one will, send in the most recent one. Do not destroy any copies of earlier wills until you have received probate.
If the original Will is lost, you may be able to apply for probate with form PA13.
Before you apply for probate
Before applying for probate, you must estimate the estate’s value and determine if there is an Inheritance Tax to pay.
If there is more than one executor
If more than one person is named as an executor, you must agree on who makes the probate application.
Up to 4 executors can be named on the application.
If only one executor is named on the application, they will need to prove that they tried to contact all executors named in the Will before they applied.
You can contact the Probate Call Centre if you have problems finding the other executors.
Probate Call Centre
Telephone: 0300 303 0648
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm
Closed on bank holidays
Email: [email protected]
The Probate Call Centre cannot help with disagreements between executors. However, you will need to find another way to reach an agreement – this could mean getting legal advice.
If you do not want to be an executor
You can give up your right to apply for probate, or you can appoint someone else to apply for you.