Guidance Notes for Completing Probate Forms and the filing of Applications
- Notice of an intended application must be published on this website (see Probate Office - "Web Links and Legislation") not less than 14 days before the date of filing an application. The advertisement is to be exhibited to the affidavit of searches and publication.
- Where a Grant of Probate or Administration with the will annexed is applied for, the applicant must account for any Executors who do not apply. The non-proving Executor(s) may renounce all rights to apply for a Grant or they or any of them may reserve the right to apply at some future time. The latter option "leave reserved" is common and is used, for example, when one of the Executors is resident overseas.
- An application for a Grant is occasionally made by a person who is, or appears to be, not primarily entitled. In such cases the applicant must state on oath why his or her claim should be preferred over those with apparent priority.
- If the Registrar is doubtful that due execution of a will has been established, then an additional affidavit by at least one of the attesting witnesses to the "will" will be required from which it must appear that the will was executed in compliance with the Wills Act 1997. This requirement may be dispensed with where both the witnesses are dead or, after searching enquiries, cannot be found.
- Affidavits are filed in support of all applications. Any person signing an affidavit must make an oath or affirmation, in the presence of an authorised witness, saying that he or she believes that its contents are true and correct. Affidavits often refer to exhibits or annexures marked with letters or numbers eg, "A" "B-1" etc. Take care to note the references and check the annexed supporting documents ensuring that they are marked correspondingly.
- Do not attach an exhibit note to the will, rather it must be typed or written on a clear section of the will. Do not staple the will or remove any fastenings.
- A certified copy, or photocopy of a certified copy, of the death registration issued by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages or an equivalent certificate should be filed with the application. Where death cannot be proved in the usual way an additional affidavit(s) must be filed to establish death or presumption of death.
- Additional affidavits in support are required where a "domestic partner" applies for a Grant of Administration upon intestacy. An applicant must have regard to the several factors set out in section 275 (2) of the Property Law Act 1958 to establish whether the intestate and the applicant were domestic partners of each other at the time of death.
- Property held by the deceased as a joint tenant should not be included in the Inventory.
- It is generally not necessary to obtain expensive valuations of assets. An estimation usually will suffice.