Things you Need to Know About Applying for Probate – Post Covid 19 – Series 4

Continuing with our series about things we think you need to know about applying for Probate, and perhaps some of the practical tips that should be considered.

Covid 19 and the consequences have made it particularly challenging to obtain certain documents required in the administration of the estate.

The first of these is the death certificates.

We recommended that executors or administrators obtain a number of death certificates.

There are delays in these being issued, for the reasons set out in previous articles. But also we have noticed that various institutions would have normally accepted a certified copy death certificate for proof of the death, but are now requiring the formal death certificate (the yellow copy).

When registering a death, the registrar will offer to fill in a form for the Governments  ‘Tell us Once Service”, this will give the executor a unique reference number, to access it online or by telephone.

This is a free service, this allows you tell all the Government Departments of the death with one call or email, and we recommend this should be done. But again although in our experience, depending on which authorised are notified, in particular local authorities, there can be mixed results.

To apply, you will need the deceased person’s date of death, national insurance number, driving licence number, and passport. The service should then notify HMRC, The Department for Work and Pensions, the Passport Office and local council services – including the Electrol Register, the Public Sector and Armed Forces pensions schemes, and it should cancel the deceased driving licence.

Executors need to know when state pensions payments are made. It may be that the DWP will raise questions about potential over payments, after a death was registered, and sometimes they will want to investigate the history of the benefits payments, and will seek information regarding the deceased assets whilst they were alive.


There is a separate death notification service, it is run by the UK Finance and the major banks. In practice it allows you to notify all banks and building societies of the death in one go, online or over the phone. Be prepared to supply all the account numbers and sort codes. The banks should then update their records, and you should hear what you need to do, within 14 – 21 days.

However, we would point out that when we have used this system we have had mixed results, and we have often found that the institutions have failed to register the information, and we have had to chase them up to obtain this information, and this has inevitably caused delays.

We offer a service where, we will draft and provide the appropriate paperwork, for the application for the Grant of Representation to be made.

Please do not hesitate to contact to us if you have any queries on this matter.