Many families are losing up to a fifth of their inheritance because of unclear pricing structures provided by solicitors and a lack of information surrounding the probate process and what it involves.
Confusion around the probate process
There are two different processes associated with “probate.”
First there is the Grant of Probate which involves obtaining a document which unlocks a deceased’s assets. This allows the assets to be dealt with and distributed according to the deceased’s Will.
The Full Probate process then takes place which involves dealing with the estate, paying any debts that need to be paid, putting a notice in The Gazette, distributing the estate to the beneficiaries of the Will and preparing final account of the estate.
Many people aren’t aware of the differences between the two and, added to that, is an unclear pricing structure that can leave people uncertain of what they will have to pay.
Many solicitors charge either a percentage fee or an hourly rate. This means someone being charged a 5% fee would end up paying £18,000 on an average priced estate worth £300,000.
And sorting out someone’s affairs from start to finish can be a lengthy process which means an hourly rate can add up to a pretty big bill too.
The need for transparent prices
Rules came into force in 2018 urged solicitors to make their pricing clear and to publish information about what the probate process involves. However, an investigation by the solicitor’s regulator found three quarters were not complying.
Do you need to use a solicitor for probate?
Many people falsely assume that you need to use a solicitor for the probate process. However, you only need to use a solicitor if the Will is contentious.
You can use an accountant who is authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate – like us.
At Get Probate we charge considerably less than banks and solicitors; and we have no hidden fees. Our probate practitioners are authorised by the ICAEW which means we are legally able to carry out both the Grant of Probate and the Full Probate process. We operate with complete transparency when it comes to our fees.
The cost of our Grant of Probate service is from just £350. This fee includes the court application fee, 5 copies of the Grant and VAT.
Our Full Probate Service is from £950 (+VAT +disbursements) where we take care of every part of the probate process for you.
You can handle probate yourself, but we’ve found that many people don’t want the stress and hassle of it when they’re already going through an incredibly trying time.