DIY probate.Is it worth it.

  mrwoowoo 19:38 22 Jul 2008

My ma in law and her sister,being the executors in their mothers will,may be going down the DIY probate route.Basically,ma in law is not too sure,but her sister is very keen to do this and sort it all out herself,rather than use a solicitor.
I think the sister is seeing pound signs in the way of saving a few bob.
I've warned them that there may be a lot of stress and hassle involved.
Has anyone any experience of the pro's and cons of doing this?Is it worth it?

  keverne 19:52 22 Jul 2008

I think you've put this in the wrong forum.

  I am Spartacus 19:53 22 Jul 2008

Difficult one to answer. I did the probate after my younger brothers death 9 years ago and for the 8 months it took me to resolve everything was extremely stressful and time consuming.

I had to contact every utility company, financial institution often on a regular basis to get things finally sorted. Halifax Building Society without doubt were the most stressful part of it all, reguarly demanding the mortgage payoff on a monthly basis despite agreeing intially to wait until the house was sold.

I would never do it again. After saying that it's just a question of documenting everything and keeping on top of it.

  I am Spartacus 19:55 22 Jul 2008

Forgot to mention the difficulty of trying to sell a house and car when living 200 miles away. It involved many phone calls. I was lucky to have the help of a local solicitor who gave me a hell of a lot of guidance for free.

  Monoux 19:57 22 Jul 2008

In my experience it is fairly easy to obtain probate yourself. I suggest they visit the local Probate office who will give advice on the proceedures to follow and whilst there obtain the necessary forms and guidance notes. Once they have read these it should become clearer if they feel confident to go it alone. If however there are assets which are held abroad it becomes much more difficult and I would suggest professional help should be sought.

By doing it yourself you can save thousands of pounds in solicitors fees and achieve the end result far more quickly.

  mrwoowoo 20:01 22 Jul 2008

Yes,i realized i was in the helproom after i posted.Already asked FE to move it.
I am Spartacus
Thanks.Confirms what i have warned them about really.

  wiz-king 20:03 22 Jul 2008

It's a very frustrating process! If the estate is a simple one and the deceased left an up to date will then it is easy but long winded. If there are any complicating factors i.e. beneficiaries in the will that are now dead themselves or people who may think that they are entitled to a share but weren't named due to a family dispute then rush to the legal beagles.
You should get a probate form when you register the death, photocopy it and start filling it in and you will soon see if you need help. The thing that takes the time is waiting for replies from the various insurance companies, banks and the worst is getting a market price from any share holdings in now non-listed shares where the company may have been taken over several times.
I have done two simple ones and other than the time it takes - allow six weeks - and a quick court appearance it was a relatively painless thing.

  john bunyan 21:28 22 Jul 2008

mrwoowoo. It is ok if you are good with spreasheets and basic accounts. I did quite a contentious one involving 5 siblings, one of whom wanted more than the willed share. There is a good website for DIY probate executors. Basically you assemble all the deceased bank accounts etc, have the property valued, shares etc, deduct all owings including funeral and see if the net comes to more than the inheritance tax threshold. Another point is if the house sale is delayed and it sells at a higher figure than the probate value the estate may be liable for CGT.

  LastChip 21:29 22 Jul 2008

This thread couldn't have come at a better time for me.

Sadly, one of my wife's relatives died recently and I'm the executer of the will. Having never had to do anything like this before, I was wondering just how involved it was and whether I should simply hand it over to a solicitor.

The estate is really simple. Everything passes to the deceased wife, rented accommodation and next to no assets, so I would think I'll try and help the living relative myself.

She's got enough stress losing her husband, without the additional worry of paying further bills.

  john bunyan 21:45 22 Jul 2008

Lastchip If the estate is less than about £5000 there is no need for probate. This may be higher if ,say it is all in a bank and they are willing to release it on production of a death cert. It is really easy if the estate is small. Just add up all the assets, deduct all outstanding debts including funeral expenses and phone the probate office nearest to you to ask if probate is needed.

  woodchip 22:01 22 Jul 2008

I had no Problem when my Farther died, But I am the only one

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