This page provides information and links to some of the key information sources & 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; and
- 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.
Probate Business Categories
Non-Contentious Probate Rules - Order 97
Contentious Probate Rules - Order 76
Practice Directions and Practice Guidance Notes
- “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
HM Revenue and Customs IHT Forms
Probate and IHT Helpline - 0300 123 1072
Probate and IHT Webpage - www.hmrc.gov.uk/inheritancetax/
HMRC IHT Postal Address - HMRC IHT, Ferrers House, PO Box 38, Castle Meadow Road, Nottingham NG2 1BB
Probate in other Jurisdictions
Court of Judicature Daily Law List
Court of Judicature Daily Law List is updated on weekdays around 4:30 pm and gives the details of the listings in the Royal Courts of Justice for the next day. This link will take you to the Court of Judicature Listings page.
Probate Registry Locations
Belfast (Principal Registry)
Probate Office, 2nd Floor, Royal Courts of Justice, Chichester Street, Belfast
For further information & map of the Royal Courts of Justice please use this link
Londonderry (District Registry)
The Courthouse, Bishop Street, Londonderry
For further information & map of Londonderry Courthouse please use this link
How to Contact the Probate Office
Tel: Belfast - 028 9072 4678 Londonderry - 028 7126 1832
Fax: Belfast - 028 9023 5186