Do you want to know whether probate has been granted in someone’s estate? Sometimes, I find that a client who has an interest in an estate is keen to know how matters are progressing, but perhaps in order to avoid ruffling feathers unnecessarily within the family, would prefer to make a few discreet enquiries about progress rather than approaching the executors direct. If so, the good news is that you can quickly and easily find out whether probate has been granted in an estate using the gov.uk website. It is free for anyone to search the probate registers, and there is no need to create an account.
All you need to complete a basic search to work out whether probate has been granted in an estate is the person’s surname and their year of death. If the deceased has a common surname (there were, for example, 2974 “Smith”s who died in 2020), an advanced search including more information such as the person’s first name or date of death will yield more precise results, to save you trawling through all of the entries. If you would like more detailed information about the estate then for the princely sum of £1.50 you can order a copy of the grant of probate, which will include a copy of the person’s Will and the gross and net values of their estate. This information is a matter of public record and is freely available to anyone who wishes to see it, which is odd really, when you think of the level of confidentiality which surrounds a person’s Will and the details of their estate during their lifetime.
If you’re on a roll with your detective work and you would also like to know whether the deceased’s house has yet been transferred either to their executors or to their beneficiaries, for a further £3 you can quickly obtain a copy of the Land Registry entry to the property, which will show you the current ownership position.
Chiltern Wills LLP is a Will writing business based in Beaconsfield and run by former London solicitor Rebecca D’Arcy. To make your Will or powers of attorney, or for some assistance with probate, call us on 01494 708688 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.