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How to do Probate Yourself

If you’re named as the executor of someone’s estate, obtaining probate and sorting their affairs may seem daunting.

However, applying for probate yourself doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. You don’t need to use a solicitor or other provider. DIY probate may well save you £1000s.

What is probate?

Probate is simply a process for working out all the assets (property, money and possessions) and the liabilities (outstanding bills or money owed) of the person who has died and giving that information to the probate registry so that they can give you a certificate – a grant of probate.

This shows everyone that you are officially entitled to be given those assets to distribute to the beneficiaries named in the will.

How do I get started with probate?


You will need to complete probate application form PA1.

This involves giving your personal details and answering questions about the deceased, their estate and will. You will need to figure out and report the value of the deceased’s estate – that is, their money, property and possessions.

You also need to complete an inheritance tax form: form IHT205 if no tax is payable or forms IHT400 and IHT421 otherwise.

You will need to sign a statement of truth on form PA1, confirming that the information you have given is true and promising to administer the estate properly.

All the paperwork must be posted to your local Probate Registry office with an official copy of the death certificate, the original will (and any codicils) and the standard probate fees payable.

Is it easy to do probate yourself?


Yes, it can be!

People who do probate themselves sometimes report it being more work and taking longer than they expected. You need to be very organised, gather quite a bit of information, do some research and fact finding, send letters to suppliers and providers and keep clear records.

That’s why YouCanDoProbate was created. It’s an online tool that makes DIY probate easy. Our browser-based application walks you step by step through the process, asks you questions and prompts you to enter information.

It creates personalised standard letters for you to send and generates the correct probate and inheritance tax forms, auto-populating them with the information you’ve provided. A traffic light system flags where information is missing and all the records are kept securely online, so you can return to the process, log into your account and complete it at your convenience.

When all the sections are green, you can download the forms ready to send to the probate registry with an official copy of the death certificate and the will. It will also prompt you to pay the standard probate fees to the Courts service.

YouCanDoProbate was created by people who had applied for probate themselves and wanted to demystify and simplify the process so that anyone could do it themselves.

YouCanDoProbate empowers you to do probate by making it intuitive, simple, quick and affordable. Find out more at youcandoprobate.co.uk