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How hard is it to do probate?

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by canary, May 15, 2017.

  1. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,880
    Female
    South coast
    Given that mum doesnt have much money as she has bee in a care home for nearly 3 years, the house was sold last year, she has 2 bank accounts (one current and one savings), a few shares (worth about £300) and very few possessions (most of which will go to a charity shop) - also, she has a valid will, there are no disputes, the amount of money will cover the funeral, the few bequests that she has willed and there will be a bit left over to be divided equally between my brother and me. I have successfully done a DIY CoP application and functioned as their deputy for 3 years.

    With all of this I am thinking to myself - surely it cant be that hard to do the probate DIY?
     
  2. Soobee

    Soobee Registered User

    Aug 22, 2009
    2,734
    South
    you should be able to do it yourself. Those circumstances look incredibly straightforward!
     
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,880
    Female
    South coast
    Thank you Soobee, I thought it aught to be straightforward too, but didnt know if there was something abut the legalities that meant I should appoint a solicitor, however straightforward it was.
     
  4. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    2,828
    Nottinghamshire
    I have a really dippy friend who did her dad's probate recently so I'm assuming it's fairly straightforward. She and her sister were deputies for their father and the estate (including a very nice bungalow) was split between them. The bungalow remains unsold...


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  5. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    7,963
    North East England
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,880
    Female
    South coast
    Ooh, thats a useful site, Maureen - Ive bookmarked it.

    Mum made me and my invisible brother executors. I dont expect my brother to do anything about probate, he didnt bother to do anything about the funeral :mad:
     
  7. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    7,963
    North East England
    They don't have to act, just ( I think ?) sign a form.
     
  8. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    If the property has been sold you may not need Probate to close the bank accounts. It will depend on how much is in the bank, and the particular bank's policy.

    I would make an appointment with the bank (take an official copy of the death certificate with you and the original will or a certified copy) and see what they say. You may or may not need probate for the shares, and if you don't need probate for the bank accounts you might decide it's not worth the effort for the shares.
     
  9. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,918
    Suffolk
    Hi
    I did OHs probate. The probate office said I wouldn't need probate unless someone asked for it! His ISA companies did! However, very simple and straightforward, no recourse to a solicitor!
    Note that when you register the death, the registrar will sort out state pensions and other state related money. Also sorted my pension, which changed. Driving licenses, passports can all be dealt with. Can't remember the full list, so worth checking. I felt it halved the work I was expecting.
     
  10. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    4,380
    Kent
    Just done it for dads estate, very straightforward and came through in 4 weeks.
     
  11. Flake

    Flake Registered User

    Mar 9, 2015
    222
    Have completed my Mums Probate and Inheritance Tax claim forms. It came back within 2 months. There is so much information on line and on the Government web sites and if you do get stuck make a phone call and just ask x
     
  12. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    108
    Typically if theres a will, there's no property involved and savings/cash are under £10,000 then no probate is necessary. But as others have said, you should check with the banks etc as sometimes an individual institution will only release monies if probate is granted by the Court.

    You should certainly be able to do it yourself, as solicitors typically take a percentage of the estate value as their fee. In the end, all they do is fill in a few forms!

    I did it for my dad, and it was relatively straight forward.

    All the best.
     
  13. welshdragon58

    welshdragon58 Registered User

    May 23, 2017
    7
    `yes it is quite straightforward - I printed a couple of copies out and made mistakes on the first one - but it was fine.

    Print yourself off a copy and try it out - I didnt actually 'get' some of it until I got through to the end
     
  14. Murper1

    Murper1 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2016
    123
    For one of my relatives who didn't have a property to sell, I didn't need to do probate at all. But banks are unpredictable - for another relative, I only went in to the bank to tell them the relative had died so they would freeze the account, but came out of the bank having had all the relative's cash transferred to me and they closed the relative's account there and then! This was the same bank that had refused to accept a change of address because the aged relative's signature no longer exactly matched what they had on their records!

    As others have said, getting probate's fairly easy to do yourself if the calculation and distribution of the estate is straightforward, eg no property to sell, no large debts, no trusts and everything going to just a few beneficiaries. If, however, you do need some extra help from a solicitor, you don't have to hand it all over for them to do. You can have an advisory meeting at an agreed price, but then you continue the work of the executor yourself. Or for a bit more complicated estates, you can agree a fixed fee for the solicitor to get you the probate, then you carry out the rest of the administration. If you need help after that, then you can have further meetings with the solicitor in the future if and when you need it. The solicitor's fees can be paid for by the estate, but don't form part of the valuation of the estate for HMRC.
     
  15. Rosebud51

    Rosebud51 Registered User

    Oct 16, 2015
    1
    Probate

    I did my Dad's probate when he died, so can confirm that a straightforward probate is well within you capabilities, the form is a bit daunting at first but not as bad as it looks. Good luck and go for it.;)
     

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