Skip to main content


بِسۡمِ اللهِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِيۡمِ

Q1. What is probate?

Probate involves the official issuance of a grant of representation (either grant of probate or grant of letters of administration) which gives an individual the legal right to deal with the deceased’s estate.

Probate can mean one of two things:

1. If the deceased person died with a Will in place probate is the legal process of certifying the validity of a Will by a court of law. In England that is the High (Probate) Court which will issue a grant of probate to the executor.

2. If the deceased person dies without a valid Will in place, probate is the legal process to settle the deceased's estate. The High (Probate) Court will issue a grant of letters of administration to the applicant who is usually a close relative.


Q2. What is the purpose of probate?
  • Validating the Will of the deceased;
  • Allow creditors of the deceased to file claims for payments;
  • Transfer property of the deceased to the beneficiaries;
  • Take evidence and settle any disputes and challenges regarding the deceased’s Will.


Q3. How does one apply for probate in England?

A. In England & Wales one applies to the High (Probate) Court. In Scotland the executor of a Will needs to apply for a grant of Confirmation (Scottish equivalent of Probate) from the Commissary Department of the local Sheriff's Court.


Q4. How long does it to be granted probate?

A. Usually within 16 weeks of submitting the application. Check for updates here.


Q5. How does an executor apply for probate?

Identify the deceased person's assets (bank accounts, property, shares, any other investments, jewellery, loans, mortgage, any other debts)

Firstly check if probate is actually needed.


Q6. How to apply for probate if the original Will cannot be found?

You (a close relative of the deceased) need to complete form PA13 when applying for probate.


Q7. Is probate needed in every case when a person dies?

A. No. If the deceased person only left money in a bank account or all his assets were owned jointly with others as joint tenants with the right of survivorship then probate is not necessary.


Q8. Is a solicitor necessary to apply for probate?

A. In England there is no legal requirement to use a solicitor or law firm, nor is there an obligation to use the solicitor, law firm or bank who prepared the Will to act as executor. In Scotland, part of applying for a grant of Confirmation from the Sherrif's Court involves taking an oath before a solicitor for the valuation of the deceased's estate.


Useful Links

Probate procedure in the U.K.  


A. Hussain, 2020