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Carrying out probate online

theunknown

Registered User
Apr 17, 2015
398
Has anyone had experience of this? If so, is it pretty straightforward? After five years of deputyship duty my mum died last November. I'm her sole executor. Her will and estate, and thus probate, is really straightforward. Now I'm beginning to deal with probate I find that it's possible to do this online, although obviously some documents have to be sent off, such as the original will, which I have in my possession. In order to carry out probate online I first needed to register the estimated value of the estate (which is below inheritance tax threshold) with HMRC. Again, if HMRC accepted I was in a position to do so, I could do this online.

Today, I've done the Inheritence Tax thing online, and got all the information I needed to set up probate online with the govt website. I've started that going and it looks like it will be pretty simple and I'll end up with the Grant of Probate I need for the couple of financial institutions that hold my mum's accounts before too long. I suppose what I'm asking is not so much 'Is it straightforward', because it certainly seems to be, but is it a good idea to do it that way, if you can? Or has anyone had issues that have come up later after processing probate online?
 

charlie10

Registered User
Dec 20, 2018
395
Hi @theunknown.....not much to say in answer to your query, but I'll be watching for replies wth interest. My FiL in the UK died recently and my husband (we're in NZ)is his executor. He's phoned up Uk solicitors for an idea of charges if he hands it over to them, and found out that he has to do the bulk of the work before they even quote for it....he supplies all the answers on a questionnaire, then they charge a few thousand for tidying it up and submitting it. Needless to say, my husband is going ahead with it.....UNLESS.....FiL wrote his own will to save money,and there is a questionmark over whether it's acceptable :rolleyes: if it isn't, I think the estate will take the hit and we'll hand over probate to a solicitor
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
504
Hi @theunknown, I am trying to remember back to a year ago! From memory it was fairly straightforward, I think the only complication was the reference number from the fee payment - you weren't able to make the payment online at that time so you had to ring up an make the payment over the phone to the office you were going to use which was quite a painful experience (left hanging for 10 minutes whilst the chap went away to process the payment). However, on submission of all the relevant documentation it was all turned round in about 4 or 5 weeks.
 

Elle3

Registered User
Jun 30, 2016
636
Has anyone had experience of this? If so, is it pretty straightforward? After five years of deputyship duty my mum died last November. I'm her sole executor. Her will and estate, and thus probate, is really straightforward. Now I'm beginning to deal with probate I find that it's possible to do this online, although obviously some documents have to be sent off, such as the original will, which I have in my possession. In order to carry out probate online I first needed to register the estimated value of the estate (which is below inheritance tax threshold) with HMRC. Again, if HMRC accepted I was in a position to do so, I could do this online.

Today, I've done the Inheritence Tax thing online, and got all the information I needed to set up probate online with the govt website. I've started that going and it looks like it will be pretty simple and I'll end up with the Grant of Probate I need for the couple of financial institutions that hold my mum's accounts before too long. I suppose what I'm asking is not so much 'Is it straightforward', because it certainly seems to be, but is it a good idea to do it that way, if you can? Or has anyone had issues that have come up later after processing probate online?
Yes I agree, it is very straightforward and a good idea, I did it last year for my dad who passed away. I was also sole executor, sole beneficiary and below the inheritance tax threshold. I had no issues with it at all. I completed the online information, then printed out what it asked me to do and posted them along with the original Will (make sure you take copies/scan of the Will for your records). I sent it Special delivery to ensure the paperwork didn't go missing and I could see when it was received. It took approximately 3-4 weeks for Grant of Probate to come through.
 

theunknown

Registered User
Apr 17, 2015
398
Hi Charlie, thanks for response. I've read some of your messages about your FiL and the fact that you're not in the UK. Good luck with everything. As far as the will is concerned I'd have thought it wouldn't be too much of a problem that your FiL wrote his own will, as long as it was signed by him, dated and witnessed by others (who can't be anyone mentioned as a beneficiary). Obviously it's a different situation if anyone was to contest the will, because they'd presumably employ a solicitor who would pick up on the slightest thing that could be challenged. The solicitor my husband and I used for our wills seemed to cover every eventuality under the sun. One question was what did we want to happen in the rare circumstances that our named beneficiaries died at the same time, eg plane crash (cheerful I know). That one really made me focus, as we were flying to America from the UK a few days later, and I hate flying.

Hello Pete, again thanks for replying. Good to hear from somebody who's gone down that route. I think you can pay online now, although I haven't yet completed the process; so hopefully won't have that annoying situation where everything is able to be done online these days - until it isn't. What is really good news, judging by your post, is how fast you can get the Grant of Probate if you can go down this route and everything's straightforward. After five years of being my mum's deputy, being responsible for her funeral, and now being her executor, I just want her to return to being my mum again, not an exercise in admin.
 

Elle3

Registered User
Jun 30, 2016
636
Hi @theunknown.....not much to say in answer to your query, but I'll be watching for replies wth interest. My FiL in the UK died recently and my husband (we're in NZ)is his executor. He's phoned up Uk solicitors for an idea of charges if he hands it over to them, and found out that he has to do the bulk of the work before they even quote for it....he supplies all the answers on a questionnaire, then they charge a few thousand for tidying it up and submitting it. Needless to say, my husband is going ahead with it.....UNLESS.....FiL wrote his own will to save money,and there is a questionmark over whether it's acceptable :rolleyes: if it isn't, I think the estate will take the hit and we'll hand over probate to a solicitor
Just so you know, my dad wrote his own Will too. As long as it has been witnessed by two independent people, it should be OK. I had no problems with my dads. If the Estate is simple I wouldn't use a Solicitor, it's quite easy to apply for Probate online.
 

theunknown

Registered User
Apr 17, 2015
398
Yes I agree, it is very straightforward and a good idea, I did it last year for my dad who passed away. I was also sole executor, sole beneficiary and below the inheritance tax threshold. I had no issues with it at all. I completed the online information, then printed out what it asked me to do and posted them along with the original Will (make sure you take copies/scan of the Will for your records). I sent it Special delivery to ensure the paperwork didn't go missing and I could see when it was received. It took approximately 3-4 weeks for Grant of Probate to come through.
Again, thanks to you Elle. This is all reassuring, particularly how quick the process can be. Like you I'm the only executor, and my mum's estate isn't subject to inheritance tax. Me and my sister are the beneficiaries. I know you have to send the original will (and two copies it says, although why they can't just copy the original themselves I don't know) and it makes sense to use 'special delivery'. I'll do that, particularly as I understand that once the original will has been sent to whichever probate office you use you won't get it back, as it's then a document of 'public record'.
 

Sam Luvit

Registered User
Oct 19, 2016
5,672
East Sussex
I did both my parents Probate on line. It is straightforward, personally I printed off the form and read the questions out load, somehow doing that makes them easier to understand.
If you go to a solicitor, they quoted me iro £1,000 plus the registration fee, so doing it myself saved that £1,000
If you’ve not heard within the 6 weeks, or whatever it is now, give them a ring, as sometimes things do get mislaid
I had to phone about my dads, which they said had not been received, but then we got the Grant through a few days later????
 

AD123

Registered User
Dec 4, 2012
38
I know you have to send the original will (and two copies it says, although why they can't just copy the original themselves I don't know) and it makes sense to use 'special delivery'.
We did this online for my MIL in September. You don't need to send 2 copies of the will when doing it online, just the original will. It tells you at the end exactly what you need to send. Everything else like the death certifiicate can be scanned or photographed and uploaded. As long as the will is straightforward, it is very easy to do and there are step by step instructions as you go.
 

theunknown

Registered User
Apr 17, 2015
398
Thanks again everyone. Just finalised the online probate. The whole process has been so easy in my case as everything is straightforward. I noticed 'Ad 123' that the need for two copies of the will wasn't mentioned in the closing paragraphs, just the original will and an original death certificate. Although I'm one of those people who rail against the assumptions that everybody can do stuff online, in this case I've found it very beneficial. [However, technology is still my enemy :( (in most circumstances)].
 

charlie10

Registered User
Dec 20, 2018
395
thank you
@theunknown and @Elle3 for your comments.....we thought we would be ok as the will is signed and witnessed, it was just a small change that he made and was witnessed but not dated (plus the fact that he used 2 different biros to write it!) but hopefully it won't be challenged by the Probate people.....but the solicitor we talked to did query whether this was his last will, as he wrote it sometime in the 90's, and his style seemed to be DIY, so that will be interesting!:rolleyes:o_O

It does make things tricky talking to solicitors in the middle of the night tho....;):D