The Probate Service in England and Wales

The Probate Service, which forms part of the Family Division of the High Court, looks after all non-contentious probate business and issues grants of representation.

Structure of the Probate Service

The Probate Service in England and Wales consists of the following Registries:

The Principal Registry is located in London at First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London WC1V 6NP.

A total of eleven District Probate Registries located in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff (Probate Registry of Wales), Ipswich, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford, Winchester.

A total of eighteen Probate Sub-Registries located in Bodmin, Caernarfon, Carlisle, Carmarthen, Chester, Exeter, Gloucester, Lancaster, Leicester, Lincoln, Maidstone, Middlesbrough, Norwich, Nottingham, Peterborough, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent and York.

In addition, there are a number of Probate Offices where you can attend to swear the oath. These Probate Offices are usually a room in a court or local authority building and often only open by appointment.

All interviews are by appointment

All interviews are by appointment. To arrange to make an application for a grant of probate or letters of administration or to swear an oath you will need to contact your nearest District Probate Registry or Sub-Registry.

Opening times

All Registries open on Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4pm except for the Principal Registry in London which opens from 10am to 4.30pm.

To contact the Probate Service

To find your nearest District Probate Registry or Sub-Registry, please click here.

Further help

For further information on the Probate Service in England and Wales, as provided by the Ministry for Justice, please click here.

Probate in Scotland

Scotland has a different judicial system to the rest of the UK. Probate in Scotland is called confirmation and is managed by the Scottish Court Service.

Small estates

On small estates (where the gross value is up to and including £36,000) where confirmation is required, you can apply to you’re the Local Sheriff Court. The Sheriff Clerk will be able to help you complete the application.

To locate your nearest Local Sheriff Court, please click here.

Large estates

On large estates, the Scottish Court Service recommends that you seek legal advice and use a solicitor to make the application for confirmation. They note that they are prohibited from helping personal applicants.

Probate in Northern Ireland

Probate business in Northern Ireland is the responsibility of the Probate and Matrimonial Office within the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice.

Two Registries in Northern Ireland

The Principal Registry in Belfast, Probate Office, Royal Courts of Justice, Chichester Street, Belfast BT1 3JF. The Principal Registry can deal with probate of the estate of any deceased person;

District Registry in Londonderry, The District Probate Office, The Courthouse, Bishop Street, Londonderry BT48 6PQ. The District Registry can deal with probate of the estates of any deceased persons who lived in County Fermanagh, Londonderry or Tyrone.

To make an appointment

To make an appointment for a probate interview, you will need to complete an appointment request form and send it together with the requisite documents (set out in the form) to the appropriate Registry. To download a copy of the appointment form, please click here.

Please note

The information which we provide through Lasting Post is in outline for information or educational purposes only. The information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a solicitor, accountant or other professional adviser. We cannot guarantee that information provided by Lasting Post will meet your individual needs, as this will very much depend on your individual circumstances. You should therefore use the information only as a starting point for your enquiries.