Probate

Here you will find information to some of the key information sources and forms needed during the preparation of documents for probate business in Northern Ireland.

Probate business in Northern Ireland is assigned to the Chancery Office within the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice. About 6,000 probate applications each year are processed through two registry locations

  • the Principal Registry in Belfast (located in the Royal Courts of Justice) - which can deal with probate of the estate of any deceased person
  • the District Registry in Londonderry (located in Londonderry Courthouse) - which can deal with probate of the estates of deceased people who had a fixed place of abode in County Fermanagh, Londonderry or Tyrone

From the 30 September 2015 the Principal Registry in Belfast will manage all probate applications in Northern Ireland, however pending applications lodged prior to this date will continue to be managed by the District Registry in Londonderry.
 
You will still be able to lodge probate applications & caveats in the District Registry in Londonderry, however upon receipt these will be transferred to the Principal Registry in Belfast for processing.
 
You may of course choose to lodge your applications directly with the Principal Registry in Belfast in the Royal Courts of Justice in the first instance.
 
It is also important to note that

  • The historical “Probate Calendar Volumes” located in Londonderry Courthouse will remain there, should anyone wish to inspect them.
  • Although the above also applies to documentation lodged by personal applicants, the facility for personal applicants to swear their papers in Londonderry Courthouse will remain.

Introduction

Probate Business Categories

Important Changes

Non-Contentious Probate Rules - Order 97

Contentious Probate Rules - Order 76

Practice Directions and Practice Guidance Notes

Probate Textbooks

  • “Probate Practice Notes” by Margaret Aiken - published 1981(out of print)
  • “Succession Law in Northern Ireland” by Sheena Grattan - published 1996
  • “Tristram & Coote’s Probate Practice” by J Winegarten, R D’Costa & T Synak - 30th edition published 2008

Probate Fees

Personal Applications

The Probate Office will not provide the personal appointment service if the application relates to second or subsequent grants in a deceased person’s estate. If you are seeking to make such an application, you must instruct a Solicitor in this jurisdiction.

HM Revenue and Customs IHT Forms

Probate and IHT Helpline - 0300 123 1072
Website Probate and IHT


HMRC IHT
Ferrers House
PO Box 38
Castle Meadow Road
Nottingham
NG2 1BB

Probate Searches

Probate searches can be conducted via our Online Services page. A hard copy form can also be found in the 'Useful Forms' section below. 

Useful Forms

Probate in other Jurisdictions


Probate Registry Locations

Probate Office, 2nd Floor, Royal Courts of Justice, Chichester Street, Belfast

How to Contact the Probate Office

Tel: Belfast - 0300 200 7812  Londonderry - 0300 200 7812
Email: probate@courtsni.gov.uk

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