The Probate Department – how can we help with probate?

We hope you find our site useful – if you need economical professional help, please get in touch!  But please read the next two items before calling us on 03 300 102 300. We can’t help once an application has been submitted.

The Probate Registries have been hit by a perfect storm – cutbacks, new technology, many offices closed and then to top it all the threat of a MASSIVE rise in fees provoking applicants to get applications in months earlier than would normally be the case.

This is the situation as we understand it May 2019:

STOP PRESS 1 All Registries bar Birmingham to close this year we are told, so staff will already be jumping ship, making matters even worse…….

STOP PRESS 2 – Registries OVERWHELMED with demand. You will NOT get an update on your application from them as we understand it, just a recorded message! They are just concentrating on getting cases through without interruption. All applicants can do is sit and wait. 

RESULT?  We are told that Grants can take well over 3 months (4 not being uncommon) we are told) instead of 2 to 4 weeks to be issued.  Phone payments – one solicitor’s experience was over 5 hours to get through to the payment line!

ADVICE: Triple check the forms, send by recorded or special delivery, pay by cheque or bank draft and it that is paid in, sit and wait.  We suspect waiting times would come down by at least a month if everyone was not chasing up their grants!

Horrendous increases in Court Fees as from a yet not confirmed (but means that Lifetime Planning is critical, even if it is fairly last minute.  Our resident experts can help.) Maybe the vast increases have gone away – but we doubt it! They make better Lifetime Planning essential.

UPDATE May 2019: the new tax has to be passed by Parliament, and then 21 days notice given.

Back to our normal home page:____________________________________________

What sort of help do you need from The Probate Department?

We are an ethical firm of who help by making available a menu of service options from selected third parties offering the type of service you need at sensible fees. We have found that the range of expertise needed to advise on every aspect of probate is just too wide for a single firm to manage – unless they are vast and with high overheads.  We didn’t want to go down that route, so we have sourced firms with a wide variety of expertise whom we can introduce you too (and more enquiries are welcome).  One thing we insist on, and that is that they do not charge you any more than if you had gone to them direct – they can pay us out of their advertising budget, not your pocket!

We’re happy to have a brief informal chat free or to send you some information to see if you actually need help.  Not everyone does.

(Just in case you are after the Principal Probate Registry at High Holborn, click the link for their contact details. They are a Government Registry, unlike us.)

Some of the issues which may affect whom we would recommend to you are:

  1. If Inheritance Tax may be payable – firms who know how to minimise it now and in the future. Tax has to be paid promptly and accurately with the risk of large penalties.
  2. Similarly, if any of the beneficiaries are already close to having an IHT problem, some extra planning can save 40% tax – often repeatedly.
  3. Trusts in the estate.
  4. Overseas assets and folk not domiciled in the UK.
  5. Are there likely to be arguments or disputes? Family ones are most common, and paying a professional to take the flak can keep the family together.
  6. Would a deed of variation be appropriate?
  7. Where the family doesn’t have the time or admin skills!

Please bear in mind that there are almost infinite combinations of the Law and circumstances. Anything on this site is for general guidance only and should not be relied on upon without detailed advice.

Call 03 300 102 300 The Probate Department (brokers) Ltd who can connect you to the right professional advice.


 We often get asked about this, which is nothing to do with us, but we hope this helps:

*** ORDER Copy Will or Probate Grant ONLINE ***   BY POST please do NOT ring us about this – we cannot help – just click this link and follow the instructions.


These are our Quick Links – more probate advice follows below the frequently asked probate questions.


PROFESSIONAL ASSISTED PROBATE  (leads to summary page).


 Many common questions are answered HERE, such as

The Probate Department aims is to make the process of probate – legally sorting out a person’s finances after they have died – as easy and inexpensive as we reasonably can by suggesting the right advisers.  Not save-IHTeveryone has the time, knowledge or determination to cope with probate on anything but a very simple estate. Whether you have or not, you will find lots of probate help here. Immediately below are links to specific help pages.

Advance Planning   What to do on death.  No Will?    Questions   Registries                                Contest a Will  Free Probate Guide   Copy Will   Deed of Variation     Probate Help  Testimonials  Inheritance Tax  Probate Forms.

Unfair Probate Fees – and how to avoid them.

If you do decide to opt for professional help, this is the page to read before you take any decisions. We hope you will come back to us as our advisers’ fees are both fair and sensible.  But be aware that some probate firms fees are excessive, and you need to understand how to avoid unfair probate fees.  Banks probate fees are generally even worse!

Probate Advice Fees – who pays?

Most of the costs of probate can just come out of the estate when probate is granted and the assets can be collected in. Therefore executors need not be afraid of being out of pocket if you ask for help with probate – as long as the estate is solvent.  Our advisers’ fees are usually around a third less than the market rate.

We can provide help throughout the UK via fellow professionals.

But we at The Probate Department can’t give any guidance (we ourselves do not give advice) except on English and Welsh matters as the UK probate rules differ in Scotland and N.I. – if you need help there, please use our Probate Enquiry form and say that the help is in N.I. or Scotland and we will pass the enquiry on. That said, we have pretty good contacts for settling International probate cases.

The Probate Department can only give brief free guidance, but even if there is little in the persons’ estate, should probate still be essential, we hope you will still find help throughout our site. Here are our offerings, starting at the free one:

  1. Lots of useful free UK probate information to read and download if you want to do everything yourself.  Do watch the video too.
  2. UK Probate Help and Advice – pay for as much or as little help as you need along the way.
  3. Probate Instruct & Forget – tell us that you want the professionals to do the lot, and we will arrange that for you. By monitoring market fees, we can usually help you pay less, often much less. 

Whatever you want, the starting point is either to give us a ring on 03 300 102 300 or just ask for the Probate Guide (via the form to the right.)   We will be happy to have a brief 5 minute chat before you decide which route is right for you, and to answer your questions (informally, as we clearly won’t have all the facts).

Do watch the “What to do on Death” video  – you will find it helpful.

How can we help you with Probate in England and Wales?

The Probate Department team can offer as much or as little help as you need – we can arrange for professionals to do the whole job, or we’ll arrange 15 minutes advice at modest cost, if that is all you need. Even if you don’t call us today, why not bookmark this site so you can come back to it. Click here for the Probate Department contact details. Sometimes all that is needed is for someone to explain everything to all involved to avoid things going very wrong in the family.

Why use us?

  • We have a team of associates.  They are not lawyers who try to do everything and don’t really know the ropes, but probate specialists.
  • You could waste thousands or even tens of thousand pounds if you don’t speak to us.  Worse, you could trigger a massive tax charge accidentally!

The Probate Department (brokers) Ltd for help in the UK.