Application for Probate
Once the application for probate is filled out the applicant should send it to the Probate Registry of their choice. This should be the Registry that is easily accessible to the applicant as it will be the Probate Registry where the interview is conducted.
A probate solicitor can assist in the application for probate; whilst if applying alone it is also worth remembering that any application forms should be sent recorded delivery as important original documents must be enclosed, including a cheque. See our section on applying for the application of probate to see a list of the documents that need to be sent off with the Probate Application Form.
Processing the application for representation
Once the application for probate is received then the Probate Registry will assess it and contact the applicant if there are any issues, this may delay the process as in some circumstances the Registry may require additional signatures on documents.
If the application form raises no particular issues then the Registry will send the applicant a letter. This is usually sent within 10 days of receiving the application form. The letter will invite the applicant to an interview that will last between 10 and 15 minutes and should be conducted within one month of the application being sent.
The interview is a very quick and simple meeting between the applicant and an interviewing officer. The purpose of the interview is for the applicant to confirm the details that were sent in the Probate Application Form and to make any queries they may have. It is also an opportunity for the interviewing officer to address any concerns.
The applicant can also tell the interviewing officer if they feel that their case is urgent and if they will need to collect the grant of representation in person rather than wait for it to be delivered.
During the interview the applicant will also be asked sign a form of oath and to swear that the information given was true to the best of their knowledge; they will also be asked to swear this on a religious book of their choice.
As the aim of the interview is to confirm information the applicant should attend with identification documents such as a drivers licence or passport, however further details will be given in the corresponding letter that invited the applicant to the interview.
After the interview
On the condition that everything goes well, the Probate Registry will send out the original grant of representation and copies if they were requested. There is no set time for how long this would take however the interviewing officer will be able to give the applicant more information.
The Registry will also send back the original death certificate but will retain the original will as this now becomes a public document.
If the Registry cannot issue a grant of representation then they will inform the applicant and let them know the reasons for the refusal.
When the applicant has received the grant of representation they become the personal representative and have the legal authority to contact any institution holding assets belonging to the deceased. Effectively the personal representative now has permission to probate.