Information is available in leaflet PA10 - How to enter a standing search
What is a standing search?
What is a grant of representation?
Does a grant issue to every estate?
How do I enter a standing search?
What happens next?
What if I do not receive a copy of a grant through the post?
What should I do if I find I have given the wrong details?
Can I renew my standing search?
What are the opening times of the Probate Registries?
I want a general search rather than a standing search, what should I do?
A standing search entitles you to a copy of the grant of representation and the will (if any).
A standing search has two functions:
- The search application remains in force for six months. A continuous search is made for a period of six months from the date the standing search was entered (i.e. the date the search commenced). Should a grant of representation issue within that period, the applicant (i.e. the person entering the standing search) will automatically be sent a copy of the grant through the post
- A search is made of the grants of representation which were issued in the twelve months before the standing search was entered. If a grant was issued during that twelve month period you will be sent a copy through the post. Please note that records of grants issued over twelve months ago are not searched. The search applies to England and Wales only (Scotland has its own jurisdiction)
For most purposes a general search is more appropriate than a standing search. However, a standing search can be useful if:
- You have already carried out a general search which has shown that no grant of representation has been issued but you believe that a grant will issue in the next six months
- The date of death is recent
- You need to know that a grant has issued e.g. if you intend to make a claim against the estate.
A grant of representation is a document issued by the High Court to the executors or administrators of an estate which gives them the authority to collect in and administer the estate. There are three main types of grant:
- Probate - issued to the executors named in the will
- Letters of Administration with Will Annexed - issued to someone other than an executor when the deceased left a will
- Letters of Administration - issued when the deceased did not leave a will
The grant provides the names of the executors or administrators, an approximate idea of the size of the estate, and if a firm of solicitors extracted the grant, it will give you the name and address of the firm. Throughout this form the term 'grant' will be used which refers to the grants of representation listed.
No. In some cases the executors or administrators can release all the assets in the estate without needing to obtain a grant of representation. This applies to most small estates (i.e. where the deceased left less than £5000) and often to estates where all the assets were in joint names. If no grant has issued we do not hold any details of that estate and therefore cannot provide you with any details.
In order to enter a standing search you must complete a standing search form PA1S or supply the following details in writing:
- Full names of the deceased (forenames & surname) including any names by which the deceased was known and the name in which the death was registered. e.g. John Phillip Smith, John Philip Smith or John Smith
- Last permanent address
- Date of birth
- Date of death or a range of dates if the exact date is not known to you
- You must also give your name and address
You must provide us with the full and correct details for the deceased. The search is made by checking the detail you have provided against our records. If you give incorrect details your search is unlikely to be successful.
If applying by letter please mention that you are applying for a standing search or a general search wil be carried out.
Either deliver the completed form by hand or send it in together with the fee of £5.00 to either:
a) Probate Department
Principal Registry ofthe Family Division
First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn
or b) Any District Probate Registry or Probate Sub Registry
Cheques/postal orders should be made payable to "HMCS" (Cheques presented in person must be supported by a guarantee card).
You will receive written confirmation that the standing search has been entered. That letter will give you the reference number allocated to your standing search which must be quoted on all correspondence.
Provided that you have given the full and correct details of the deceased should a grant issue before your standing search expires you will be sent a copy through the post.
If you do not receive a copy of a grant of representation through the post it means that no grant has been issued which corresponds to the details you have provided.
Inform the Registry at which you entered your standing search in writing as soon as possible, providing them with the correct details.
Yes. The standing search can be renewed within the last (i.e. sixth) month, e.g. if your standing search commenced on the 1st January it would expire on the 1st July. It can therefore be renewed from the 2nd June to the 30th June.
To renew the standing search, write to the registry where the search was entered quoting the standing search number and the name of the deceased. Either send the letter or deliver it by hand to the registry where you entered your standing search. You must also enclose the renewal fee of £5.00 If you are applying by post make sure that you have left sufficient time for it to be renewed before the expiry date.
If your standing search has expired you will need to enter a new standing search, filling out a new forms. A new reference number will be given.
The opening times of registries may vary. We recommend that you always telephone prior to attending. If you are unable to obtain the telephone number or address from your local telephone directory you can obtain the details from the Principal Registry of the Family Division, First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn London WC1V 6NP (Tel. 020 7947 6043). To find your nearest registry please see the Directory of Probate Registries.
You should either
- attend personally at the Probate Registry. You will need to know the full name of the deceased, last permanent address and date of death. You should also check, if possible, to find out whether the deceased was known by any other names and whether the name on the death certificate differs from the full name. You should search for an entry in these names as well. It may also prove beneficial to search a range of dates for the date of death as this is the only way of ensuring you have the best chance of finding the entry you require. If you find an entry in our records for the deceased, you will be charged £5.00 for a copy of the will and for a copy of the grant [if you request both together]
- OR write to:
York Probate Sub Registry
York YO1 9RG
- In you letter you should provide the full name of the deceased, date of birth, last permanent address and date of death. The fee for a search (which includes a copy of the grant and/or will if a record is found) is £5.00, payable to "HMCS". If you wish a search to be made for a period of more than 4 years, there is an additional fee of £3.00 for each period of 4 years after the first 4 years.
Please provide the fullest possible information to enable the search to be made.
Due to a significant increase in the volume of search requests there is currently a delay in the processing of search applications at York Probate Sub Registry. We are taking steps to rectify this and apologise for any inconvenience this delay may cause. Information regarding the length of time we are currently taking to process applications is given on an automated message on the telephone number 01904 666778.
If you are making a new search application and know the grant issue date and office please provide this information in your request letter as this will ensure we are able to process your applications as quickly as possible.
If you have a query relating to a personal application for a grant and wish to attend the York Probate Sub Registry for your interview please contact the Newcastle District Probate Registry on 0191 2112170.