If you need to sell a property after the owner has passed away, you will probably need to apply for Probate. This gives you the legal right to deal with the property of a deceased person, called a “grant of representation”. It’s important that you understand how to apply for probate to ensure things go smoothly. You need to watch out for all legal steps that must be taken. So, let’s take a closer look to try and simplify things a bit.
How to Apply for Probate: The Beginning
There are a handful of steps which you need to take to start the process. Firstly, you will need to complete a probate application form known as the PA1. Although the government recommends that you use the services of a solicitor, this does not necessarily have to be the case.
If you want to deal with the process yourself, another form known as the PA2 should offer useful guidance. You’ll discover that there are several individuals who can apply for a probate. A key factor is whether there was a will in place or not. If there was a will then those who can apply for probate include:
- The chief executor of the will
- Anyone who was named in the will to receive a portion of the estate
If there was no will then those who can apply for Probate include:
- Next of kin
- The lawful husband, wife or civil partner.
If none of these apply to you then you may still qualify, it depends on the situation. It’s a good idea to read form PA2 in greater detail to find out whether or not you qualify.
How to Apply for Probate: The Next Steps
After you have completed the initial probate application form, you’ll then be required to fill another form. This is known as an Inheritance Tax Form. This document will also provide you with further useful information on how to apply for probate in general. You need to complete and file this form even if you believe that no additional tax is owed on the estate. Much like filing any other tax information, you could incur a substantial penalty if the information provided is incorrect. It could therefore once again be wise to consult with a solicitor if you are confused.
You’ll need to submit both the probate application as well as the inheritance tax form to the local probate registry. Other documents you’ll need include the death certificate, the original will (along with three official copies) and a one-time application fee of £215 made payable to HM Courts & Tribunals Service. However, you don’t need to pay this fee if the total value of the estate is less than £5,000 (not common when dealing with property in probate).
Finally, you will be required to swear an oath which states that all of the provided information is correct to the best of your knowledge. Your solicitor or a local probate office will normally be able to help with this step. These are the most critical factors to keep in mind in order to file probate quickly and without delay.