Directory of Probate Registries.
Please do NOT call the Probate Registries below if you just want Probate Forms, please call the Government Service on 0300 123 1072 (or +44 300 123 1072 from abroad). That office is open 9-5 Monday to Friday. We are a firm of probate solicitors offering flexible services from DIY Support for simple estates to sophisticated tax advice on taxable estates. We don’t insist on taking over everything. We do strongly recommend contacting us where there will be Inheritance Tax to pay or if there may be disputes. Many families never speak again after a probate dispute, so keeping the dispute impersonal helps no end. They can blame us!
Links to the nearest Government Probate Registry contact details are further down the page. Many local interview offices have been closed to cut costs. Closed offices are crossed through, and (anyway) you should always contact the relevant regional main office.
Probate Registries are branches of the Court and do NOT deal with registering births deaths or marriages! Click here for Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages or for copy Wills and Grants click this one. For help with probate go here. For DIY Probate click here.
All applications must be sent to a MAIN Probate Registry or they will be delayed while they are redirected. Always check with a sub office that they will be open if you intend to visit them, as many are not staffed regularly.
The job of executor can be both demanding and thankless. Bearing in mind that our fees would come from the estate, you may wish to consider our economical professional service: this page gives an insight into where you can run into profit inflating tactics elsewhere. To contact us call 01323 741204. If your concern is a possible probate dispute, then this page may be helpful.
Main Probate Registries are open from 9.30 to 4 Monday to Friday except London which opens and closes 30 minutes later.
Find the nearest Probate Registry. We are NOT one.
The indented registries are satellite or sub-office of the Probate office above them. It is also possible to apply to any probate registry. You don’t have to go to the one which is nearest to where the death occurred. If it is more convenient, it is possible to apply to an office more local to you, but be aware that the process may take a few extra days if you do.
(Free Guide to what to do on death HERE – with free tips on saving money on probate.)
(At the foot of the page – what is a Probate Registry and what do they do?)
Before you find the nearest probate registry, why not read the FREE Guide to Probate without a solicitor? Even if you do decide to use us, a solicitor or bank (or you can’t get out of it as they are appointed as executor) you will be better informed. Go here to download the guide. You will also receive some helpful guidance on the various things which have to be done. That guidance may save you a lot of time and money.
Some Probate Registry sub Offices are open just once every three months! As mentioned elsewhere, we operate as a business throughout England and Wales. We use local people where needed and courier services to collect paperwork where a personal visit is not essential. To be honest, local visits are only essential where none of the family are local and able to collect papers, change locks and perform similar tasks and no one else will do it at a reasonable cost. We do charge (relatively modestly) for our time, but a free initial chat is always available.
List of Probate Registries.
(click through to the relevant registry contact details).
Sub offices of Birmingham (if there is no hyperlink, ring Birmingham):
CoventryClosed. NorthamptonClosed. WolverhamptonClosed. KidderminsterClosed.
- Stoke on Trent (hours may vary and be limited.)
- Nottingham (hours may vary and be limited.)
CanterburyClosed ChichesterClosed EastbourneClosed HastingsClosed HorshamClosed Maidstone. Closed Tunbridge WellsClosed
(Plus Colchester and Chelmsford).
(Looking for copies of probated Wills? Leeds deal with that but don’t ring them, click the link and download the enquiry form, which is all they will send if you ring them.)
London: Principal Probate Registry Office.
The London Registry is the senior registry for England and Wales.
- Gloucester (hours may vary and be limited.)
CheltenhamClosed. WorcesterClosed. HerefordClosed.
- Leicester Probate Registry (hours may vary and be limited.)
and last but by no means least:
Click above to find local District Probate Registry Office contact details.
If you would like very competitively priced professional help from professionals who care and are happy to talk to you, do contact us.
What is a Probate Registry?
When someone dies, the process you (the executor or personal representative) need to follow to ensure their estate is dealt with correctly, is known as “probate.” The job of the Probate Registries is to do their best to confirm that at least the initial stages have been carried out correctly – at least in the sense that the executors have completed the relevant forms correctly and the tax paid!
Probate registries are part of the High Court. They are the section that members of the public must deal with to obtain legal permission to carry out their role as an executor of a Last Will. In most cases, Probate Court permission is required to authorise collecting in the assets, paying the bills and finally the beneficiaries. Probate registries also give legal permission where the estate is dealt with under “letters of administration”, when no executor has been named, or when no will has been made.
What do probate registries do?
Their prime job is issuing Grants of Representation. These provide legal authority to the executors or administrators of a persons Last Will. Once issued, they authorise them to collect in money or close a bank account (of the deceased), sell property, pay bills and tax etc etc.
Before issuing Grants of Representation, probate registries check that the applicant, usually the person or persons named as executor in the will, is entitled to be given this document. They must have carried out the required preliminary work and paid any Inheritance Tax due. Problems may occur if the probate registrar considers that the will has not been made correctly, or the will has perhaps been altered. If this is a possibility, registrar will interview a witness before issuing the Grant of Representation.
To obtain the Grant of Representation you have to obtain the application forms, complete them and return them to the probate registry with the death certificate. You then attend an interview and swear an oath at your local probate registry before the grant can be issued. In most cases there is a significant waiting time from when you send in the application and fee to the time than the interview takes place. A week or two after the interview the grant of representation will be sent to you. TIP: always ask for multiple copies to avoid delays as the grant is sent out and (perhaps) returned by various institutions.
Do probate registries help throughout the entire probate process?
No. The issuing of the Grant of Representation is just one step in the probate process. Once the grant has been issued, the probate registry is no longer involved in any dealings of the estate.
The Probate Department was set up to provide economical help throughout the process and can be contacted here.