Swearing an oath with a Solicitor

You no longer need to attend at a Probate Registry to swear the oath, but can do it in front of a local Solicitor like this:

  1. Complete the Probate Application Form (PA1) using our Sample PA1 for guidance.
  2. On the first page in the ‘Interview venue’ box write ‘Solicitor’s Office’ and leave the ‘Dates to avoid” box blank.
  3. Complete IHT205 using our Sample IHT205 for guidance (where there is Inheritance Tax to pay you need to complete IHT400 and pay the tax first).
  4. Send both forms to your local Probate Registry
  5. The Probate Registry will send the Oath to the first named applicant on the PA1. (If more than 1 applicant, you will all need to swear the Oath however).
  6. Make an appointment with a local Solicitor. A Wills & Probate Solicitor is usually best.
  7. Take with you the Oath and the original Will and any Codicils.
  8. Swearing the Oath will only take a couple of minutes as the Solicitor does not check the documents, it’s just procedural. All you have to do is sign the Oath and the Will (if there is one) and make a declaration.
  9. The cost is set at £5 for the Oath and £2 for each extra document, such as the Will. Pay this in cash to the Solicitor.
  10. Once this is done, send the completed documents back to the same Probate Registry.
  11. You should receive the Grant in a matter of weeks all being well.

You can of course still swear the Oath at the Probate registry if you prefer, where you can speak to the Registrar and they will take you through it. It should take no longer than 15 minutes, however, if you don’t have a Probate Registry nearby, it is usually more convenient to use a Solicitor’s office.

23 thoughts on “Swearing an oath with a Solicitor

  1. This page is incorrect. At step 7 above it says you have to take the original will to the solicitor when you swear the oath. In fact, you have to send the original will to the Probate Registry at step 4.

  2. Thank you, the above step 4 could have been worded better. The ‘Probate Forms’ tab above gives a fuller explanation of everything that needs to go to the Probate Registry.

  3. I sent all the forms to the probate office and got the IHT forms back which had to go to Nottingham to be validated and sent back to me to forward to the probate office.

    • The probate office sends the oath out to the first named applicant with documents. Do the documents include the original will or a copy of the will? It would be useful if step 5 and 7 made this explicit. Thanks

  4. After swearing the oath, we are asked in the probate documentation to return three documents: the original sworn oath, with a copy of the will signed by a solicitor and the applicant(s); any other documents that have been requested; a checklist for personal applicant(s) signed each of the applicants. I have looked everywhere for this checklist, but cannot trace it. Can you help?

    • You should have received the checklist with the oath as i did two days ago when it arrived,i would suggest ringing the probate office.

  5. @ Peter Sebastian.

    Dear Peter,

    The checklist should have been sent to you with along with the oath and a copy of the will, It’s usually the last document in the pile and quite important as you have to sign it to confirm (amongst other things) that you have informed in writing all other executors (with or without powers reserved) that you have made an application for probate, Get in touch with your local registry office to find out where it is as this has to be signed and returned along with your oath!



  6. The advice here is a lot clearer than on the forms that the Probate Registry send you. The form that you swear says that it was sworn in front of… insert name, address and date of solicitor. It doesn’t say that the person swearing needs to sign it. The form was returned to me 3 weeks later where I was then asked to sign it, which I did only for the Registry to tell me another 4 weeks later that the solicitor didn’t redate the form – which they weren’t asked to.

    Maybe this is obvious to people who deal with this every day but if you juist do what people ask you to do then you’re then penalised. I’m now nealry 2 months into the process and no further on.

    • Hi, reading your comment has made me stand up and think, I have my probate date next week at London office, not thru solicitor I have similar on mine. Oath says sworn by the above named deponent at: it does not say if I should sign now or when I get there or what. the said principal registry this (gap) day of the before me. I have left it blank so far. Plus the oath is a page long, do I have to read the entire page out, as my throat is going croaky now form a virus I think.

      • Hi Alvin,

        All three of you can swear the oath at separate solicitors. From a practical point of view, each of you sign at the time of swearing the oath at each of the solicitors’ offices attended (and not beforehand).



        • Do each of the executors sign/swear the oath then send that signed/swornform to the next executor to sign/swear at their respective solicitor?

  7. These comments I read from others very helpful. I have date next week for probate at London office, I decided to do it at the office rather then through a solicitor which cost even more money. states on my form sworn by the above named deponent at, I have left it blank, but now think may phone them and check to see if supposed to sign it or do I do it on the day, people are correct here, the oath does not explain properly to us what we are supposed to do. whether we sign now or at the time. Maybe they think we are all psychic.

  8. I am confused. My sister and I applied for probate as joint executors. As the first named executor on the PA1, I was sent the oath form, checklist and copy will. Do I sign/swear then send all 3 documents to my sister for her to sign/swear at her local solicitor or probate registry on a later date? If so then the form, checklist and copy will would show 2 sets of signatures and probate office/solicitors’ details and different dates. Is this okay? We live 150 miles apart so we cannot attend at the same place/time to sign and swear.

  9. The swearing on oath and the interview, can this be done at a British consulate or somewhere else if you live in the USA?

    Thank you

  10. Hi I signed everything and was told by the solicitor that I would have the money in the next three weeks and now it is nine weeks. Somebody said that the solicitor sometimes wait until the start of the new tax year and it is past that now.

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