PA1 probate application forms explained
If the deceased’s estate requires probate in order to administer it, the personal representative will need to apply to the probate court for a Grant of Representation. Where there is a Will, the court is looking to validate the Will as a legal document; where there is no Will the court is looking to confirm the identity of the next of kin.
The process of applying for probate can be complicated and filling out probate forms can be an overwhelming task when also dealing with the grief of losing a loved one. There are a couple of different ways in which to apply for probate, the make-up of the estate will vary in its complication, and this should be a factor in the choice you make when applying. It is advised that if the estate is complicated for example, if there are a lot of assets held with several institutions, a trust to be set up or wound down or inheritance tax is payable, that you seek the assistance of a professional. If the estate is relatively simple you can apply for probate by yourself using the probate forms explained below.
Where do I send probate forms?
Below we have broken down which Probate forms you will need in order to try and simplify the process. There is a lot of information available, and it can be very overwhelming when looking at a page of 30+ forms. Therefore, we have separated them into sections including forms that must be completed and sent to the probate registry. When it comes to filling out probate registry forms there are a number of helpful guides on the Government website. There is also a list of additional forms you may potentially need depending on your circumstances. If you need to speak with someone, further help with probate forms is available from the government’s own advice line 0300 303 0648.
Where to start
Regardless of the make-up of the estate or whether or not there is inheritance tax to pay there is a form that must always be used when applying for probate – the applicant must complete a PA1 probate form. This is the application form for the probate registry.
There are two types of probate PA1 forms: the PA1P for estates where the deceased left a Will and the PA1A where there is no Will. There must be a corresponding Inheritance tax form or tax reference if completed online (this being either the IHT205 or IHT207, and IHT217 or in some cases the IHT 400 and IHT 421), death certificate and will (where there is one). You can download the probate form PA1 or complete it online (where there is a Will only) using the Government Website.
The probate application form PA1 is probably the easiest form that you will have to fill in. It acts as a summary of the estate and unlike the Inheritance tax forms does not require supplementary forms that provide additional information about the answers provided.
I would recommend that you complete a PA1P or PA1A probate information form after the relevant inheritance tax forms, as the inheritance tax information required goes into much more detail about the estate and once they have been completed you will have a much better understanding of the assets and their value allowing you to complete the PA Forms more accurately and saving you from having to redo it with the correct information. The inheritance tax forms can be completed online by reporting the estate’s value or by downloading the forms from the government website.
It will also give you the chance to assess whether or not you feel capable of applying for probate as most applicants encounter difficulties when trying to correctly fill in the IHT forms. If you are unable to answer the questions and do not know how to go about finding the answers it is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional.
There are several other PA forms available providing information or requiring completion dependent upon circumstances.
They are as follows:
The PA2 – The PA2 is a guide provided to help you apply for probate yourself it goes into detail about the process of applying. If it is your first time applying for probate and you know very little about what it is, this guide is extremely helpful as it includes
• The purpose of probate
• When a grant is needed
• Who can apply
• What to do if you are named as an executor and do not wish to act
• The importance of thinking about inheritance tax first
• The entire process of applying for probate
• Useful contacts
The PA3 – These details the fees required by the Courts and Tribunals Service to administer applications for grants of representation.
The PA4 – A directory of probate registries and appointment venues.
The PA15 form – The PA15 is used by an executor of the estate to formally renounce their executorship which means they have given up their right to administer the estate. The PA15 acts as a formal written resignation.
If you don’t want to act as an executor of a will but don’t want to renounce your right completely you can reserve the power to act. This means the executor can step away from dealing with the estate but reengage with the process later if necessary. The executor who is acting serves you with a “Notice of Power Reserved”. However, there doesn’t seem to be a power reserved form available on the Government website to do this.
The PA11 and PA12 forms – These forms are used by an executor or beneficiary who wishes to appoint someone to act on their behalf as their personal representative. In this case, they can apply for a power of attorney. Where there is a Will probate the PA11 must be used. Where there is no Will probate the PA12 should be used instead.
The PA13 form – If the original Will has been lost but a copy of the Will is available, a PA13 can be used, in certain circumstances, to request for the copy of the Will to be used instead of the original. In order for this to be considered a lost Will questionnaire should be completed using probate the PA13 form.
The PA14 form – Is used to show that an executor/administrator has lost the mental capacity to manage the property and affairs of the estate. The PA14 can only be completed by a medical professional.
If after following the government provided guides you still do not feel confident in applying for probate yourself or if you are the executor of a more complicated estate you can speak to a member of our team who can provide you with a fixed fee quote for probate on 08007318722 or send us an inquiry via our website.