Can anyone tell me how to use the online probate application?

It seems more important that ever right now to do everything possible online but I cannot understand how we can use the online application system:

I have registered to do so but when I try to complete an application it says that you have to have notified HMCTS online (whether or not any IHT is due). When you try to notify HMRC online as a professional acting for someone else it says that you cannot do so and have to send a paper form.

Can someone please tell me what I am missing before I lose my mind!

R Simpson
Thomas Simpson Solicitors

For the time being, if I were you, I would stick to the postal application as other comments I have seen by members does not fill one with confidence where an online application has been made. I note however that we now need to submit a completed pro forma instead of the statement of truth. The new form looks unduly lengthy, I must admit that I am not sure if in cases where the statement of truth has already been prepared and signed in readiness for submission once IHT 421 is received back from HMRC (whenever that may be in the present climate), one has to abandon this and complete the form. The risk is that the probate registry will send back the documentation if the pro forma is not used. I should be glad to have others views on this.

Patrick Moroney

Where can I find the new pro-forma?

Michael Bottomley
Ewart Price

Patrick Moroney

I received a response from the probate feedback email address which stated as follows:

‘If there is no IHT to pay, then you would provide the net and gross values of the estate on an IHT205. In respect of the IHT205 this will need to be sent to us with your application for Probate and we will send this to HMRC directly. Information on where to send supporting documentation is provided on the summary page after submission.’

It seems therefore that in a 205 situation we can just ignore the comment that we have reported to HMRC.

R Simpson
Thomas Simpson Solicitors

This response is incorrect. There are many estates where inheritance tax is not payable but where an Inheritance Tax Account still has to be delivered to HMRC because the estate is not an excepted
estate, such as a large estate where the spouse exemption applies.

Cliona O’Tuama


Cliona, I am not sure I understand your post.

The response from the registry is that they will forward the IHT205 to HMRC in the same way that they would with a postal application. It simply means that the statement in the online system along the lines of ‘we have already reported the estate to HMRC’ is not relevant to these cases and does not prevent us from using the online application system.

R Simpson
Thomas Simpson Solicitors