As tempting as it may be to deal with the probate process yourself to save money, there are some potential drawbacks which you should be aware of...
Yes, you can. And one of the biggest advantages of dealing with the probate process yourself, instead of using a bank or a solicitor, is the cost-savings – as using a solicitor or bank can be extremely costly.
However, as tempting as it may be to deal with the probate process yourself to save money, there are some potential drawbacks which you should be aware of.
Things to consider before doing probate yourself
Your Time and Effort
The amount of time and effort the probate process takes depends on how complicated the deceased’s estate is. When the estate is particularly complicated, it can take a lot of your time and effort to get everything together for the probate application forms. Once the Grant of Probate has been applied for it usually takes around 4-6 weeks for the Grant to be issued. The process can take much longer if the forms haven’t been filled out properly.
The time and effort that has to be committed to dealing with probate yourself can be very demanding, especially at a time when a loved one has recently passed away.
Strain on Family Relationships
Taking on the probate process yourself can cause pressures within family relationships. Disputes can occur, for example regarding whether assets should be sold now or later. If you are taking care of probate yourself you will have to shoulder this burden.
These issues can generally be avoided if you use an independent, professional probate expert.
The Legal Implications upon You
Whilst it may feel like you are simply taking care of a personal family matter, as the executor of the will you are legally responsible for meeting all legitimate claims, paying all legal fees and ensuring everything is done correctly.
Failing to act in a legal and correct manner could result in you being sued by one or more of the beneficiaries. You also have an obligation to HMRC to ensure the relevant inheritance tax is paid.
The Extra Responsibilities for You
Probate involves many different responsibilities, more than many people realise. You will be expected to:
Safeguard the deceased’s estate
Notify relevant people of the death
Deal with accounts, including shares
Collect all assets within the estate
Pay off any debts
Distribute the estate in accordance with the will
For some people this is, understandably, too much for them to deal with at an already difficult time.
There is another way to do probate
If you don’t feel comfortable dealing with probate yourself – but you also don’t want to pay the high fees charged by a bank or solicitor to do it for you – there is another option.
Using authorised and regulated non-contentious probate practitioners such as Get Probate Limited will relieve a lot of the pressure and responsibility from you. We will take care of the probate process for you – and our fees are considerably lower than banks and solicitors, and have no hidden fees.