APPLYING FOR GRANT OF PROBATE
Dealing with someone's affairs after they have died
If you have found your way to this web site it is likely that you want to know what is involved in dealing with the affairs of someone who has died. You will either have been appointed an executor in a will or you will be a close relative of someone who has not left a will and therefore entitled to deal with their affairs as what is called an administrator.
The first question you might ask is:
Do I have a choice about being an executor or an administrator?
The simple answer is yes. You are not legally obliged to carry out the work of either an executor or an administrator. You may have many questions or doubts about doing the job. Once upon a time you promised someone that you would be an executor and so they have named you in their will but you still do have a choice. You might no longer feel close to that person or you may have fallen out, you might simply be too busy, you may not feel well enough, your own personal circumstances may have changed since you first agreed, or upon further reflection you may have decided that you do not want the responsibility.
If you have been named in a will as an executor and don’t want to do the work personally you have several choices. If you are one of more than one executor named in the will you can step aside and let the other executor or executors do the work if they are willing. In this case you can request that ‘power be reserved’ to you and then the other executor/s carry on with the work but you retain your power to step back into the picture if for any reason it is necessary to do so. Having power reserved to you is a little bit like being on the substitute’s bench – you are still part of the team and can come on and take part if needed.
Another choice is for you (and your co-executors if there are more than one) is to employ a professional to do the work on your behalf. This person will almost certainly be a lawyer, either a solicitor or a member of his/her staff.
The costs of applying for probate, ultimately depend upon whether e application is made in person. Factors to consider when deciding whether to use a Solicitor for probate include the following :-
Speed of obtaining the Grant - it can be generally be quicker using a Solicitor as no interview at the Probate Registry is required when a Solicitor is used
Property of a Deceased - if the Deceased estate includes a property a Solicitor will need to be instructed at some stage and therefore using a Solicitor for the probate can assist in the sale of a Deceased person's property
No Will - if the Deceased dies without a Will, having a Solicitor to advise on the Intestacy rules can be sensible
Inheritance Tax - if the Deceased estate involves Inheritance Tax issues, a Solicitor may well be help reduce the Inheritance tax eg. through a Deed of variation
Contested Probate -if the will is in dispute, having a Solicitor to advise upon procedure is often very important
Fully insured - a Solicitor carries professional indemnity insurance for all work undertaken, which does help alleviate individual concerns a Executor may have when undertaking probate personally
Fixed costs and Fees
Most Solicitors charge hourly rates and a percentage of the estate, however the feedback from our clients is that such a method of charging for probate is unfair. Instead we charge a simple easy to understand fixed fee. As we specialise in Probate we are able to give you a fixed fee quote for the cost of probate at the beginning of the case. If you would like a fixed fee quote, please call us on 0844 740 1637 or e-mail here.
The probate registry also charge a fee, if the application is made in person, the cost will be £90 while through a solicitor the cost is £40.