Probate is the legal process whereby a Will is ‘proved’ in a court and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased.


Probate is the legal process whereby a Will is ‘proved’ in a court and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased.

The granting of probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under a Will.

A probate court decides the legal validity of a testator’s (person’s) Will and grants its approval, also known as granting probate, to the executor. The probated will then becomes a legal instrument that may be enforced by the executor in the law courts if necessary. A grant of probate officially appoints the executor (or personal representative), generally named in the Will, as having legal power to dispose of the testator’s assets in the manner specified in the testator’s Will. Also, through the probate process, a Will may be contested.


If there is no Will then the rules of Intestacy will apply to decide who is entitled to benefit from a deceased person’s estate. You then apply to Court for Letters of Administration.



An executor is the person appointed by a Will to act in respect of the estate of the Will maker (the “testator”) upon his or her death. An executor is the legal personal representative of a deceased person’s estate. The appointment of an executor only becomes effective after the death of the testator. After the testator dies, the person named in the Will as executor can decline or renounce the position, and if that is the case should very quickly notify the probate court registry accordingly. There is no legal obligation for that person to accept the appointment.

Executors ‘step into the shoes’ of the deceased and have similar rights and powers to wind up the personal affairs of the deceased. This may include continuing or filing lawsuits to which the deceased was entitled to bring, making claims for wrongful death, paying off creditors, or selling or disposing of assets not particularly gifted in the Will, among others. But the role of the executor is to wind up the testator’s estate and to distribute the estate to the beneficiaries or those otherwise entitled.


When a person dies without a Will then the legal personal representative is known as ‘the Administrator’. This is commonly the closest relative, although that person can renounce their right to be Administrator in which case the right moves to the next closest relative. This often happens when parents or grandparents are first in line to become the Administrator but renounce their rights as they are old, don’t have knowledge of estate law and feel that someone else is better suited to the task.

Appointment of an administrator follows a codified list establishing priority appointees. Classes of persons named higher on the list receive priority of appointment to those lower on the list. Although appointees named in the Will and relatives of the deceased frequently receive priority over all others, creditors of the deceased and ‘any other citizen of [that jurisdiction]’ may act as an administrator if there is some cognizable reason or relationship to the estate. Alternatively, if no other person qualifies or no other person accepts appointment, the court will appoint a representative from the local public administrator’s office.

Application Process

A death certificate and Will if any and full details of the deceased assets are all needed to deal with the process of obtaining probate. An application to the probate office is made using its online portal and you have to sign a legal statement to confirm the information provided is correct. If tax is due, a tax form will also need to be completed and lodged before the probate application can proceed.

We hope to be able to deal with this process within six months from the date of death as interest is payable on any tax not paid after that date. However, the timescale of the application will depend on a variety of factors such as: the value of the estate; how complicated the assets are to deal with; whether there are any missing or unaccounted for assets and whether there are any foreign assets to deal with as well.

Costs for Probate

Our costs of dealing with your probate matters is £200 plus VAT per hour.

Once we have details of your estate we will be able to give you a fixed quote which depends on the number of accounts and matters that need to be undertaken in obtaining the probate. Our lowest fee for 2 Assets is £1000 plus VAT. A small estate will be about £1500 plus VAT.

There will be an extra £100 plus VAT added for 1 to 3 shareholdings, £250 plus VAT for 3-5 shareholdings and £300 plus VAT for 6 -10 shareholdings

If there are more than one this will add to the costs by about £200 plus VAT per extra property.

More than 3–6 £100 plus VAT extra every extra 3 beneficiaries an extra £100 plus VAT.

Need A Consultation?

Do you have a legal matter which is troubling you? Perhaps you need some advice on a property? Maybe you have an elderly parent who wants to make plans for their future?

Kim Betts & Co can advise you on a range of legal matters.

From Our Clients

At Kim Betts & Co our clients always come first, so we are always delighted to hear back from them, whatever they have to say! Here are a few reviews left from previous clients.

Kim Betts & Co

At a very stressful time, Kim really helped me. Taking care of the sale of my house in tricky circumstances. Kim and team were always on hand, easy to get hold of and super professional. Completely unfazed by any issues and alway able to find a solution. I was so happy with the service, it’s nice to be treated respectfully especially for me with little knowledge of the process, I felt at ease knowing Kim is always on top of things along with her friendly team.”

Rowena Preiss

“Kim and her team were amazing!!!! I’d been told they were slow by estate agents and would hold up our sale but on the supposed day of exchange she was the only one ready!!!!! Couldn’t recommend them enough and was half the price of others.”

Kerry Witchell

We used Kim for the conveyancing of our recent house sale and purchase. The service we received was excellent: easy communication, efficient, fast response to questions and all issues that arose in both the sale and purchase were quickly and effectively resolved. She also provided a quick and efficient will service for us both, providing clear and simple advice to help us sort out a mutual will. Would not hesitate to recommend her service.

Chris Moisan

Kim Betts & Co

231A High Rd
IG10 1AD

Tel: 020 8508 5505


Office Hours
9:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday
closed from 1–2pm for lunch

VAT registration number 645 9297 91


This firm is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority number 258807