Before you apply for probate you need to check whether or not there is a Will, in either case you apply in the same way.

If the person left a will, you'll get a 'grant of probate'. Click here for more information.

If the person did not leave a will (sometimes referred to as Intestate), you'll get 'letters of administration'. Click here for more information.

You can also apply online via the government gateway.

You may not need probate...

  • If the deceased's land, property, shares or money were jointly owned - these will automatically be passed on to the surviving owners

  • If the deceased only had savings or premium bonds

You should not contact each asset holder (for example a bank or mortgage company) to find out if you'll need probate to get access to their assets. Every organisation has its own rules.


As part of the process you need to value the 'Estate', which involves collating all the information on the deceased's land, property, money, possessions, shares and debts. Once these are calculated you will need to submit a form to the HMRC.

The total value of these assets will determine which forms you will need to submit to the HMRC.

For estates under the current Inheritance Tax Theshold (currently £325,000) you will need to complete a IHT205 form.

If the estate is over this threshold you will need to complete a IHT400 form.

For some/many these forms can be complicated and confusing, so if you require any assistance in dealing with the probate application please call NBS on 0800 0246 121. We can assist you directly or we can pass you through to a carefully selected regulated solicitors who can deal with the application on your behalf.

See our guide Instructing a Solicitor for more detailed information.


When completing the probate forms, please note that you will need to pay a charge depending on the value of the Estate.

If the estate is over £5,000 the fee is £215 plus £0.50 per copy of the Grant of probate/letter of administration.

We recomment you get at least 6 copies.

If you need our help or guidance on the probate process call our helpline on 0800 0246 121 and we will help in anyway we can.


NBS offers support, signposting and legal guidance following a bereavement, as well as offering guidance to anyone planning ahead in anticipation of their own death.

 Company number 09333323


0800 0246 121

Office 10, Consett Innovation Centre, Ponds Court Business Park, Genesis Way, Consett, County Durham, DH8 5XP

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