The probate process and our role

This quick-reference table explains the role of your solicitor at each of the various stages of obtaining probate. We hope this helps you to understand the process and how our expert lawyers can support you at every step of the way.

You need to…Your solicitor will…
Register the death with the local
register office.

Obtain the death certificate from
the local register office and a few
certified copies.
Locate the Will if there is one
Instruct our probate solicitor to
handle the legal work.

Provide proof of your identity.

Provide the Will and copies of
the death certificate.

Verify your identity.

Explain the probate process to you
depending on whether there is a Will,
or, if not, how the intestacy rules
Identify the executor(s) appointed
in the Will. If there is no Will, we
identify the next of kin legally
entitled to administer the estate.
Provide contact details of all
known beneficiaries.

Identify the beneficiaries entitled
under the Will or the beneficiaries
entitled under the intestacy rules.
* details of properties
* all bank and building society
account details
* share certificates
* investments
* premium bonds
* National Savings certificates
* life insurance policies
* pension and annuity details
* details of other assets of value,
eg: antiques, paintings,
jewellery and collectables

Provide details of any debts and

Provide details of any lifetime
gains made by the deceased
within the past seven years.
Identify whether we will apply for
a grant of probate or letters of
administration to deal with the

Contact relevant establishments for
a final valuation of bank accounts,
shares, investments etc.

Obtain valuations of property and
any valuable items as at the date
of death.

Calculate an initial value of
all assets and liabilities.
Swear a legal oath or make a
statement of truth that the
information provided is true
and correct.

Calculate any inheritance tax due.

Complete appropriate HMRC tax
forms and pay inheritance tax.

Send the probate application with the
sworn oath or statement of truth and
probate fee to the probate registry.
Place statutory notices in the
London Gazette and local papers to
alert potential creditors of our
intention to distribute the estate to
the beneficiaries.
We will give you two copies of the

Send the grant to the financial
institutions and other asset holders
and request full payment to the

Place the money into a dedicated
executor’s bank account.

Settle outstanding estate expenses,
debts and liabilities, including any
final inheritance tax due.
Advise if varying any will save
inheritance tax or otherwise benefit
the beneficiaries.
Make a bankruptcy search of the
Land Charges Register against

If a beneficiary has been declared
bankrupt, we will contact the trustee
in bankruptcy about where the
beneficiary’s inheritance should be
paid into.
If there are no challenges to the
estate, we will distribute the net
estate to the beneficiaries entitled
under the Will or intestacy rules and
obtain receipt.

If any challenges to the Will are
expected, we will advise you on the
You will approve and sign off
the final estate accounts.
Complete and file all paperwork

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