When you’re looking to apply for probate, there are several steps you need to take before completing the application form. These steps include:
1. Check to see whether you need probate. For example, probate may not be needed if any assets are jointly owned or if the estate’s value is below £50,000.
2. Check to see whether you can apply for probate. If there’s a will, you can only apply for probate if you’re named as an executor. In a circumstance where there’s no will, you can only apply for probate if you’re over the age of 18, and you’re the most ‘entitled’ inheritor of the deceased’s estate under the intestacy rules.
3. Get an estimate and report the estate’s value. You will need to get all the assets in the estate valued.
4. Find out whether there’s any inheritance tax to be paid. You will need to pay inheritance tax in some circumstances, for example, if the estate’s value exceeds £325,000.
5. Retrieve a copy of the original will if you’re an executor (you don’t need to do this if you’re an administrator). In addition, you must also have a copy of the original death certificate or an interim death certificate from the coroner.
When you have taken these steps, you will need to complete the correct probate application form. If there’s a valid will you will need to complete a form PA1P. However, if there’s no valid will you will need to complete a form PA1A.