Before a Personal Representative can be formally appointed, the Grant of Representation must be obtained from the Probate Registry. This requires Probate forms and Inheritance Tax forms to be completed before the application for the Grant can be made.
The Probate Registry is responsible for handling all Grant of Representation applications. They are responsible for checking through all applications to ensure that the applicant is entitled to be given a Grant. Where the deceased left a Will, they will also check through the Will to ensure that it is valid.
If any doubt is raised on whether a Will is valid, for example if the Will appears to have been altered or amended, they may request evidence from the witnesses of the Will or attend an interview.
Assuming there are no complications with the application, an invitation will be sent to the Personal Representative to attend an interview at the Probate Office. At the interview there is the option to swear or verify that the information they have given is correct. Alternatively the document for swearing can be taken to a local solicitor. If there is a Will and there is more than one Executor, provided the other Executor(s) agree it is only necessary for one of them to attend.
Which Probate Registry to apply at?
There are several Probate Registries across the country, with the Principle Registry office situated in London. An application for the Grant can be made at any Probate Registries and the Personal Representative can choose their preferred Probate Registry location.
If you are unsure about the Probate process, it may be wise to seek professional help and advice and to appoint a professional legal services firm to obtain the Grant and administer the estate for you.