People do not seem to be aware the Probate office London is a division of the High Court, the probate department is actually known as the Probate Registry. There are multiple probate registries around the Country, the London Probate Registry is known as The Principle Probate Registry, the main registry. The probate registries are all government led offices, as such like many division of the government they can be difficult to contact. We are able to help with most London probate problems. Please call us on 020 8017 1029 for help with probate matters.
If you would like a full list of all of the probate registries and their contact details, please download our information fact sheet.
When is probate required
Provided a person has not given away all of their assets before they die probate is generally only required if a person owns a property, a business or money held in an institution such as bank and that institution will not release the money unless a Grant or Probate or Letters of Administration is obtained. There is no fixed policy for when banks or building societies will tell you that probate is required and that you need to obtain probate.
Typically around London, probate is not required unless the an institution is holding in excess of £5,000. We have known some banks to release up to £50,000 without the need for probate. There are variables and it is down to the bank to decide what they need to release money. If you live in London and you need probate and the deceased held under £50,000 in Lloyds, they are unlikely to tell you probate is required. Instead they will ask you to sign an indemnity that indemnifies them if you have taken the money fraudulently.
Probate registry helpline
The probate registry helpline cannot help you with the questions ‘when is probate required’ they will tell you that it every estate is different and they do not specific advice. They can be helpful if you want to fill in the probate forms. But if calling the London Probate office you are likely to have to deal with delays. London probate office delays are an issue, especially considering the London Probate office is the principal registry. A point to note is, if you have someone lodged a caveat to try to stop probate form going through it is unlikely that the London office will be able to assist. Most caveats are lodged through the Registry at Leeds. For a full list of probate offices download our fact sheet above.
The government have now put all probate records on line, as such instead of trying to contact a probate registry directly and having to suffer delays trying to contact them instead you might like to go directly to the specific web page here where you can carry out a probate search directly. Note however they only list the probate records of estates that have already had probate granted, this site is not a link for searching the London probate department will storage facility.
London Probate Will Storage
In days gone by some Wills were stored at Somerset House as opposed to any actual probate office, but the Somerset House will storage no longer exists. If you feel a family member stored their will at Somerset house then you will need to contact the probate registry to check if they still hold the details. This information would only be released to the Executors. Today, if you are looking to store your will, the probate registry do store wills, an alternative however is at IWC where we offer a free will storage service.
Free Will storage
To take advantage of our free will storage service all we ask is that you send us your will in a seal envelope. We will even send you a specific envelope if you request. We ask that you send it to us in a sealed envelope because we do not take responsibility for checking the validity of the will. (The Probate Office in London do not advise on the terms of a will). We do provide this service but this would be a paid service. Why is it free Will storage – whats the catch? There is no catch, all we ask is if you want to have the will back whilst you are alive you cover our postage costs. In the event of your death the will is returned to your executors free of charge. We do this because we also offer a probate administration service. This is not a free service and there is a vast majority of Executors who may like to take advantage of our probate service to help them fulfil the duties of an Executor.