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Find a probate registry

Esther Shaw / 17 March 2020 ( 27 June 2022 )

When applying for probate you need to deal with Probate Registries. Here's how to find your nearest Probate Registry and a guide on what they do.

The front door to a probate registry, based in a large Georgian building
The front door to a probate registry, based in a large Georgian building

What are Probate Registries?

Probate Registries are branches of the court which you need to deal with when applying for probate (Grant of Representation).

They are the section of the high court that helps you get legal permission to carry out your role as an executor (if there is a will) or as an administrator (if there isn’t a will).

It is down to the probate registries to do their best to ensure that the early stages of the probate process have been carried out according to the rules.

This includes checking that the right forms have been received and that the relevant (inheritance tax) payments have been made.

Correct paperwork must be sent to the Probate Registry

As part of the application process for Grant of Representation, you will need to complete a probate form (PA1) and an inheritance tax form (either IHT 205 or IHT 400) and send these to the Probate Registry. The service is now also available online – and if you use this service, documents will be sent to a different address which you'll be given during the online application. 

You should also send the original will – plus extra copies – along with the death certificate and application fee.

Finding your local Probate Registry

Probate Service Centre

The Probate Service Centre is located at HMCTS Probate, PO Box 12625, Harlow, CM20 9QF. They do not provide an in-person service.

Brighton District Probate Registry

William Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 0RF

Go online for maps and directions: Brighton District Probate Registry

Cardiff Probate Registry of Wales

3rd Floor, Cardiff Magistrates Court, Fitzalan Place, Cardiff, South Wales CF24 0RZ

Go online for maps and directions: Cardiff Probate Registry of Wales

Leeds District Probate Registry

York House, 31 York Place, Leeds LS1 2BA

Go online for maps and directions: Leeds District Probate Registry

Liverpool District Probate Registry

Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts, Derby Square, Liverpool L2 1XA

Go online for maps and directions: Liverpool District Probate Registry

Newcastle District Probate Registry

1 Waterloo Square, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne & Wear NE1 4DR

Go online for maps and directions: Newcastle District Probate Registry

Oxford District Probate Registry

Combined Court Building, St. Aldates, Oxford OX1 1LY

Go online for maps and directions: Oxford District Probate Registry

Winchester District Probate Registry

4th Floor, Cromwell House, Andover Road, Winchester SO23 7EW

Go online for maps and directions: Winchester District Probate Registry

The easiest way to find your nearest Probate Registry is by typing in your postcode here: Find your local Probate Registry.

If you plan to visit a probate sub-registry, it is worth calling ahead to check that it is open, as some may not be staffed all the time.

When applying for probate, you can go to any Probate Registry. You do not have to go to the one nearest where the person died.

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Swear an oath

As part of the application process for the Grant of Representation, you will also need to attend an interview and swear an oath.

This involves you promising that the information you have provided about the nature and value of the estate is true to the best of your knowledge.

You can do this at your local probate office. However, there's no need to swear an oath if you're applying online (for applications with a Will for England and Wales only).

What if solicitors have been instructed?

It’s worth noting, however, that if you have appointed a solicitor or other legal services provider to apply for the Grant for you, you will not have to go to the local probate office to swear an oath.

Instead, you can do this at the office of a commissioner for oaths (usually a solicitor).

This is one of the benefits of getting a third party to fully administrate an estate.

The oath will then be lodged with the relevant Probate Registry, along with the relevant IHT paperwork and original will.

You should only deal with the Probate Registry early in the process

While the probate process can seem complicated, it does follow a set sequence – and the Grant of Representation is just one early step in the probate process.

As the Probate Registry deals primarily with issuing Grants of Representation, you should not have to deal with this organisation again once the grant has been issued.

Generally speaking, you should get the grant through the post within 10 working days of swearing the oath.

This means you can then set about collecting in the deceased’s money, closing their bank accounts, selling their property and paying their bills and tax.

At this stage, the Probate Registry will no longer be involved in any of the dealings with the deceased’s estate.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.