You can’t file for probate online in Utah, unless you are a lawyer. That may change in the future. In other states or other countries online may be possible.
Applying for the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’) when they die is called ‘applying for probate’. If the person left a will, you’ll get a ‘grant of probate’. If the person did not leave a will, you’ll get ‘letters of administration’. You may not need probate if the person who died, had jointly owned land, property, shares or money they will automatically pass to the surviving owners, only had small savings or premium bonds Contact each asset holder (for example a bank or mortgage company) to find out if you’ll need probate to get access to assets. Every organization has its own rules. You can order extra copies of the probate document so you can send it to different organizations at the same time.
You can apply if you’re an executor i.e. someone named in the will, or in an update to the will (a ‘codicil’), as a person who can deal with the estate. You need the will and any updates to apply. These must be original documents, not photocopies. The person who died should have told all executors where to find the original will, for example: at their house, with a lawyer and at the Utah Probate Department you’ll need the death certificate and to prove you’re the executor to be sent the will If the person did not leave a will You can apply for letters of administration if you’re the person’s next of kin, in the following order of priority:
• the married partner or civil partner
• their child (including adopted children, but not step-children)
• their parent
• their brother or sister
• their grandparent
• their uncle or aunt
You can apply if you were still married or in a civil partnership with the person when they died, even if you were separated from them. You cannot apply if you’re the partner of the person but were not their spouse or civil partner when they died. Joint applications usually only one person needs to apply for probate. If more than one person is named as an executor, you must all agree who makes the application for probate. If only one executor applies they’ll need to prove they tried to contact all executors.
If the person entitled to the estate is under 18, two people are legally required to apply. Only the executors who make the application will be named on the grant and their signatures will be needed to release the assets of the person who died. If you do not want to or cannot be an executor, the will may name a replacement executor for someone who becomes unwilling or unable to deal with the estate. Contact your local probate registry if no executors are willing or able to apply for probate. You do not want to be an executor you can do one of the following:
• give up your right to apply for probate (known as ‘renunciation’) – fill in a renunciation form (PA15) and send it with your probate application (PA1P)
• reserve your right to apply for probate later if another executor cannot deal with the estate (holding ‘power reserved’)
• Appoint an attorney to act on your behalf – fill in an attorney form (PA11) and send it with your probate application, or send a signed Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) or Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) A Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
When an executor is unable to apply for probate, a replacement executor should apply for probate if the executor is unable to, for example because:
• they’ve died
• they do not have ‘mental capacity’ – get a doctor to fill in a medical certificate form (PA14) and send it with the probate application
If there’s no will you can apply for letters of administration. You follow the same steps as applying for probate but you can only apply by post. Report the estate’s value and pay any inheritance tax you owe, you must estimate and report the estate’s value before you apply for probate. Depending on its value, you may have to pay Inheritance Tax. You may get a penalty if you send inaccurate information on your Inheritance Tax form. If there’s tax to pay, you normally have to pay at least some of it before you’ll get probate. You can claim the tax back from the estate or the beneficiaries, if you pay it out of your own bank account.
You can use this service if you’re the executor and you:
• have the original will
• have the original death certificate or an interim death certificate from the coroner
• have already reported the estate’s value
After you submit your online application, you’ll be told what documents you need to post to the probate registry. The probate registry will keep the original will. If you make a copy of it for your records, do not remove any staples or bindings from the original.
Apply for probate by post
The form you need to fill in depends on if the person left a will or not.
• If the person left a will, fill in the probate application form PA1P. Send it with your documents.
• If the person did not leave a will, fill in the probate application form PA1A. Send it with your documents.
Sending your documents
If you apply by post, send these documents to your local Probate Registry:
• the original will and any additions to it (‘codicils’)
• 2 copies of the will and additions on plain A4 paper – do not remove any staples or bindings to make the copies
• the death certificate or an interim death certificate from the coroner
• Use a signed-for postal service to send your documents.
• The death certificate will be returned to you but the will and any updates to it will not be.
• If the will has been changed or damaged, You must include a cover letter if the will or any updates have changed in any way since you’ve had them. This includes them being damaged or separated for photocopying.
With Grants of Probate taking around three weeks it important to ensure that when dealing with an estate pre grant letters are sent in a timely fashion and that the collection of estate liabilities and assets is efficient. In a few cases we found some probate registry offices taking up to 6 weeks to issue a grant from application. With, in most cases, Estates subject to Inheritance tax taking longer, than the 21 days reflected in 60% cases. There is probably no such thing as fast probate but you can help speed up probate by following these tips and gain probate fast.
• Collect as much estate detail as possible and make sure bank and building society account numbers and sort codes are recorded accurately. It’s important to make sure you document all of the deceased’s assets when dealing with the estate administration, as you will need to include a tax return even if the is no inheritance tax to pay.
• If there is more than one executor or administrators make sure you communicate effectively prior to instructing, your chosen attorney. Ensure that all executors return their forms as soon as they can.
• Ensure you have tried to locate all the beneficiaries. Some time taken here could save the lawyer hours and will not only help to reduce your probate fees but speed up the whole process.
• Understand your duties as an executor or personal representative and ask for help if you think you can’t fulfill them. The probate process is well documented with specific steps that need to be followed when making an application for probate or letters of administration.
Probate is a term commonly used when talking about applying for the right to deal with the affairs of someone who has died. However, you’ll find that different terms are used, depending on if the deceased person left a will and where they lived. If the deceased has a will, the executor or administrator will apply for a Grant of Probate. The grant is a legal document which confirms that the executor has the authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets (property, money and belongings). This is called ‘administering the estate’. The Executor uses the grant to show they have the right to access funds, sort out finances, and collect and share out the deceased person’s assets as set out in the will. If the deceased didn’t leave a will, a close relative of the deceased can apply to the probate registry to deal with the estate. In this case they apply for a ‘Grant of Letters of Administration’.
If the grant is given, they are known as ‘administrators’ of the estate. Like the grant of probate, the grant of letters of administration is a legal document which confirms the administrator’s authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets. In some cases, for example, where the person who benefits is a child, the law states that more than one person must act as the administrator. You may also hear the terms ‘personal representative’ and ‘grant of representation’. A personal representative is the executor or administrator and grant of representation is a general term used for grants of probate and grants of letters of administration.
A probate application can be made by your executors or administrators or by a probate attorney on their behalf. We can put you in touch with one of our recommended firms of probate lawyers: just talk to us using our chat facility. Before obtaining probate, the size and complexity of your estate needs to be assessed, and your executors will need to work out whether there is any inheritance tax to. To do this, they will need to collect details of your assets and liabilities. This may just involve bank and building society accounts but it could be more complex if you had any investments, properties or other valuable personal possessions. Before applying for probate, they will also need to obtain details of any cash gifts you made in the seven years before you died as there may be inheritance tax to pay in respect of these.
There are now two ways to apply for probate of a will, on paper or online. An application for representation if there was no will has to be made on paper. For paper applications you should follow the steps below.
• Complete the relevant probate application form. If the deceased had a will, you need to use Form PA1P. If the deceased did not have a will, you must use Form PA1A. You can contact the Probate and Inheritance Tax helpline to get help filling in the form.
• Complete the relevant inheritance tax form:
• Form IHT 205 if the estate is below the IHT threshold (currently $325,000); or
• Form IHT 400 if the estate is above the IHT threshold.
• Send the Form PA1 and Form IHT205 to your local Probate Registry (if Form IHT400 has been used it should be sent directly to HMRC) together with:
• the original will and any codicils (and three copies);
• an official copy of the death certificate; and
• the application fee of $215 – a check made payable to HM Courts and Tribunals Service (there is no fee if the estate is under $5,000). Additional copies of the grant can be ordered for several dollars each.
• Swear an oath to confirm that the details given are correct (this can be done at your local Probate Registry or at a local lawyer’s office).
In some straightforward situations you can apply for probate online. Up to four people can apply for probate online, as long as the testator regarded themselves as resident in their states. You will need:
• to complete the relevant IHT forms;
• to provide the original will, including up to four codicils, and two copies (if the will has more than 4 codicils you will not be able to apply online);
• an official copy of the death certificate;
• to make a statement of truth (rather than swear an oath);
• to pay the probate application fee, which you can do online.
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8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506