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Beware Of DIY Probate

Probate is the process of administrating a deceased person’s estate and can be complex – which is why you should be cautious if you are thinking about obtaining probate to an estate without professional legal advice.

“DIY probate may save on Solicitors’ fees in the short-term but it is not always the cheapest option in the long run,” warns Nina Sperring, Solicitor at Bartletts Hoole office.

“By acting as Personal Representative, either as Administrator when there is no Will, or as an Executor if there is a Will, you are personally liable for any mistakes or if correct procedures have not been followed. This can also result in significant costs or substantial legal claims against the estate.”

“By using the services of a specialist Solicitor, you’ll not only have peace of mind but also help and advice at every stage of probate, to help prevent potential problems arising.”

What Is Probate?

Probate is a document that gives the Personal Representative legal powers to manage the estate and ensure assets are distributed according to the deceased person’s will.

What is DIY Probate?

It is possible for an individual to deal with the administration of the estate themselves, obtaining probate and distributing the estate accordingly, without the help of a Solicitor. However, DIY probate does come with some risks.

What Are The Risks Of DIY Probate?

Probate is not always straightforward and can involve complex forms and processes. Personal Representatives can get themselves into difficulties if the estate’s assets are incorrectly distributed for example, if tax issues have not been addressed or correctly dealt with, or if there are any legal disputes over inheritance from beneficiaries or those who feel they should have benefited from the estate.

How A Solicitor Can Help With Probate

A solicitor will support you through the probate process, which is helpful as wills are often complex.

As a guide, the benefits of using a solicitor and not opting for DIY probate, include help with:

  • Valuing assets and liabilities and ensuring there are no tax implications at a later date (for example Capital Gains Tax)
  • Filling in an Inheritance Tax Return (needed even if there is no tax to pay)
  • Submitting a Grant of Representation to the Probate Registry
  • Negotiating with HMRC and paying tax owed on the estate
  • Negotiations with friends and family if any disputes
  • Setting up any trusts detailed in the will

How We Can Help With Probate

Our professional Wills and Probate solicitors will talk you through the entire process, helping you at every stage – this includes providing advice and support with all forms and negotiations along the way.

We will provide you with total peace of mind, and you will be able to fulfil your duties as Personal Representative and to maximise on the value of the estate.

To speak to one of our specialist solicitors about our probate services, contact us on 0800 988 3674 or email advice@bartletts.co.uk