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With the doors to most banks, building societies and law firms closed across the UK, many people have been left concerned about how to deal with their loved one’s estate. We have put together some FAQs to help you apply for probate from home.

Can I still get a grant of probate during the UK’s lockdown?

Yes. You can apply for probate by speaking to one of our probate solicitors over the telephone, who will help you to get your application sorted as quickly and safely as possible. We will work with you to gather as much information about your loved one’s estate as possible and prepare your application. We will then send it to you in the post to sign. Once you are content, your application can be submitted to the probate registry. Your grant of probate will then be sent in the post to you as soon as it is been approved.

Can a solicitor still help me apply for probate?

Yes. Although our offices are currently closed, we are offering all the same services as normal and our team can help you sort out probate over the telephone or online.

Once your application has been submitted and approved by the probate registry, your grant of probate or grant of letters of administration will be sent out to you in the post.

How do you register a death during the lockdown?

Most register offices across the UK are offering telephone appointments to register a death. It’s important to register a death within 5 days.

You can find your local register office’s contact number on the Government’s website. You can then set up a telephone appointment to register the death. The appointment is free, but it is £11 for each death certificate, which will be sent to you in the post.

How is a property valued when estate agents are closed?

Estimates can be used while physical valuations are difficult to obtain. You can get an online valuation by going to Purplebricks’ free valuation page on their website or Zoopla.

Proper valuations may still be needed at some point especially if an estate is liable to pay inheritance tax or if it is close to the threshold.

How do you calculate the value of someone’s estate when the banks are closed?

Due to the coronavirus lockdown, banks and building societies across the country are closed. You will not be able to go to your local branch to enquire about your loved one’s account. However, they are available by telephone.

Can you administer an estate during the coronavirus lockdown?

Yes. After receiving your grant of probate or grant of administration, you can close the accounts, sell the property, subject to below, and collect funds from the estate in one place. You can deal with banks over the telephone, but you will need to send them the grant via post. There can be different requirements depending on the institution, but most are adapting to the change in circumstances.

Selling the property may be a little more difficult. The most up to date advice from the Government is to delay if you haven’t exchanged contracts.

Please contact the team at Debenhams Ottaway if you have any questions about administering an estate or want to speak to a probate specialist about your situation on 01727 837161.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.