Are you an executor and considering doing your own probate? Why risk it?

Friday, 10 July 2015 | Elizabeth Larkin
Are you an executor and considering doing your own probate? Why risk it?

If you’re considering doing your own probate then there are a number of factors that you should consider before taking the step of doing things yourself.

Things to Consider before doing your own probate:

  1. The time factor: Administering an estate by doing your own probate can take many months.  Doing your own probate can be complicated and will require you to invest a great deal of your time. You’ll need to consider whether you can take this on in addition to all of the other demands on your time.
  2. Consider the potential complications of doing your own probate:  Things aren’t always straightforward.  Occasionally the validity of a Will is called into question, family or friends may attempt to contest the Will, assets within the Will may be wrapped up in a Trust or dependents who have a claim for support from the estate may have been deliberately left out of the Will.  If Inheritance Tax is due then a full IHT form will need to be completed.  You could face a personal penalty from the Inland Revenue if mistakes are made. We’ve known individuals receive personal fines of £140,000 when they’ve attempted to incorrectly calculate the IHT on an estate themselves. Is doing your own probate really worth the risk?
  3. You could end up being personally liable: As an executor you could be personally liable for mistakes made when doing your own probate. You may have to be responsible for large  sums of money and you will need to investigate and pay all of the debts and liabilities of the deceased. These investigations can be onerous and if you make a mistake when doing your own probate then you could be held liable for losses incurred by the estate.probate 2
  4. Facing family politics when doing your own probate: The death of a loved one is an emotional and painful time for everyone affected.  It’s not uncommon for arguments to arise within families over who should be given what and whether assets should be sold quickly or held back to realise a higher price later.  Using an independent lawyer, as opposed to doing your own probate, can prevent conflict.

Why use Ascot Lawyers instead of doing your own probate?

    1. We have the expertise:  For example, do you know what to do if the deceased left a car to a beneficiary in their Will and then subsequently sold it just before they died? What do you do if company shares are left to a beneficiary in a Will? The law relating to the administration of estates is complex but an experienced lawyer will understand the law and be able to apply it to the benefit of the estate.  Deniece Lines at Ascot Lawyers has been successfully undertaking probate work for more than 10 years.  We guarantee that you’ll be delighted with the level of service and care offered by Deniece, to you, as her client. 
    2. You get peace of mind: Ascot Lawyers is a Solicitors Firm, governed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.   All client monies are held in a designated client account and all of our lawyers are covered by professional indemnity insurance.  You can rest assured that you, and the estate, are in safe hands as opposed to doing your own probate. probate 1
    3. Competitive Fees: Our fee structure is transparent and highly competitive when compared with the risk of doing your own probate.  We charge a flat 1% fee on the gross value of the estate.* Please also remember that our fees are taken out of the estate, you do not need to privately fund the work that we undertake.

*Subject to minimum charge of £500

Contact us rather than doing your own probate:

If you’re an executor and you were thinking of doing your own probate then please do not hesitate to contact Ascot Lawyers.  Deniece Lines can be reached on 01344 512370 or please click here to contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss the benefits of instructing Ascot Lawyers as a safe alternative to doing your own probate.