An executor does not need to be a solicitor, nor is it always necessary to seek the help of a solicitor.
Many people believe that only a solicitor can execute a will. However, this is not true.
An executor of a will does not need to be a solicitor, nor is it always necessary to seek the help of a solicitor.
When someone passes, it can be an extremely stressful and emotional time. Sometimes it is easy just to let the solicitor named as executor in the will sort it all out for you.
However, it’s worth knowing what other options you have at your disposal and what benefits there are to using them.
Solicitors and banks
You should not automatically let the bank or solicitor that is named as executor of the will carry out the probate. Unless there is some special circumstance, there is no obligation to use the probate services of the firm which created/stored the will either.
If you do use them, you are likely to find that their fees will be considerably higher than other options available to you. In some cases, solicitors charge an hourly fee, as well as a percentage of the value of the estate. The Guardian highlights one such example of a high street bank charging £40,000 for distributing £1m which was held as cash in a deposit account.
You can usually ask firms who have appointed themselves as executors to stand down without them charging you.
You should also be aware of probate fraudsters who have conned people out of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The Times reported that scammers were cold-calling victims, offering to carry out probate on their behalf and promising them a huge settlement, before charging them astronomical fees. Fees that, more often than not, were more than the actual settlements themselves.
There are some firms of unregulated ‘probate specialists’. However, when dealing with a matter as sensitive and important as this, most people prefer to use a firm that is regulated by a professional body like the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
A quick and affordable probate practitioner
Get Probate are authorised by the ICAEW to carry out non-contentious probate work.
Firms of Accountants pass probate cases to us because they are not themselves authorised to carry out probate services.
We charge significantly less than banks and solicitors. This means that more money stays with the estate at a time which can bring great stress to the family involved.
Our aim to make the whole process as quickly, simple and affordable as possible.