Probate...DIY, Banks or Solicitors?

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by MightyBigEgo, Feb 3, 2012.

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  1. Dear fellow Arrsers,
    my mother died this morning peacefully in her sleep and I have been initially sorting out her stuff, such as letting the banks, pension people, HMG, council et al know.
    As she did an equity release thing with her house everyone is saying it will automatically go to probate. No problem.
    However, I have now had her two banks, her pension provider and the solicitors where she kept her will offering their services all for different rates and conditions and all saying they are the best and also coming out with scare stories saying if I do it myself it will be a lot of hassle and if I screw up HMRC will come after me with a big stick.
    So my question is what expereince have you had with solicitors/banks/pension providers doing the probate and would you recommend them or is it better to do it DIY? For info, I am a joint executor with the other (a family friend who was put in in case of me KIA) 280 miles away.
    Any help greatly appreciated.
  2. just hand it over to a solicitor, its not too expenive and it shall save a lot of fighting with others

    good luck
  3. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    All should be capable, solicitors will want a big fee. I'll tip my hat into the arena and say, we can do it with you, probably charge less and not try and turn you over either.
  4. My condolences for your loss. I did the probate for both my mum and my dad when we lost them. They had been divorced for years so it was two different claims. My brother was a co executor. I didn't find it that difficult to be honest. I just filled the forms in and sent them off. We had to go into London to swear on oath etc and then when probate was granted, we just sorted it out. Nearly everything went to me and my brother so it wasn't that difficult. Just take your time over the form and fill it in correctly.
  5. If the estate totals below £325,000, there should not be any tax implication, so I would go for DIY. The tax office are a lot more helpful than they used to be.
    Of course if you do it yourself, you can choose what you declare as far as contents go, (depending who else is listed in the will), don't take the piss but a few items missed won't hurt.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. See page 42 for an idea of what you need to do as Executor.

    Attached Files:

  7. Probate isn't a massive hassle but you are likely to be diverted with you mothers other affairs - including laying her to rest etc

    I'd recommend getting the solicitor or back to manage probate if you can afford it - especially if another interested party has a take in equity release etc.

    The solicitor can understand the validity of the equity claim and advise you on your contract obligations

    Very sorry to hear about your mum but can I advise that you ask for multiple copies of her death certificate from the coroner now. These are very easy to get now and more costly to get later.

    About 10 aught to cover it - meaning that a bona fide 'original copy' can be sent to banks etc

    It's a royal pain in the ass when you only have one
  8. In my experience, Solicitors can be very expensive and very slow. Most of it you can DIY very quickly and usually its quite easy.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. You are mistaken to say about getting copies of the death cert from the coroner. It is the registrar of births marriages and deaths one get the death certificate from.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. NEVER EVER get a bank to do it.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. @westpoint: apologies correct...

    How come NOT the bank?
    • Like Like x 1
  12. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    Because they're shite.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    Sound advice.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. It is much better to have personal control over the application. Banks tend to be very slow and extremely expensive.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. I'm sorry for your loss. I've recently had the same unhappy experience. We used a Solicitor for Probate - at least once it is all over no one can come out from under a stone with a claim on the estate. The advice about getting half a dozen, (depending on bank accounts etc) copies of the death certificate is particularly sound. Another thing is that the funeral costs could be directed at the Solicitor for payment so that the bill is covered by the estate - which might be one less hassle for you and your family to worry about.