Do I Need a Probate Solicitor?

09 December 2015

If you have been named as an Executor in a Will in England or Wales, it is very important to understand exactly what the role of Executor means for you and what is involved in the Probate process.

Many people think they have no choice but to do Probate themselves if they have been named as Executor, but you do have options. You may want to consider instructing a specialist Probate Solicitor to complete the Probate and Estate Administration process for you.

Reasons to use a Probate Solicitor

Liability - When you complete Probate on an Estate, you are legally responsible for ensuring that everything that needs to happen by law, happens. This includes making sure that all money owed to the Estate is paid and any debts owed by the Estate are settled. If you get any elements of the Estate administration accounting process wrong, you can be held legally responsible for any errors.

You will need to make a valuation of the Estate, once all of these debts and monies are settled, in order to decide if Inheritance Tax is payable to HMRC. The current Inheritance Tax threshold is £325,000 (in 2015) but there are many factors involved in the calculation of Inheritance Tax, including lifetime gifts.

If you are in any doubt as to whether Inheritance Tax will be payable, please call our Probate Advisors for free initial advice.

Time - There is no doubt that Probate takes time, on average nine to twelve months for an experienced Solicitor to complete. This is a significant investment of your time, particularly if you work full time and have a family. This may put you off from doing it yourself, and instructing a Probate Solicitor to do all of the legal, tax (excluding VAT), Estate administration and property work for you will definitely have a positive impact on your time.

Expertise – Using a specialist Probate Solicitor means that you can rely on their expertise to get things right for you. There are so many things that can go wrong with Probate. You may not complete the Probate forms correctly, you may incorrectly value the Estate which could mean you pay the wrong amount of Inheritance Tax, and this can have a significant impact on the time it takes to complete Probate, and in fact cause considerable issues for you as Executor. Your lack of expertise will also impact on the time it will take you to complete Probate.

Emotional Impact – There is no denying that there will be an emotional impact on you following the loss of a loved one or family member. This can result in you not wanting to focus on the issues you are facing in the Probate process. Instructing a Probate Solicitor can take all of the pressure away from you so you can concentrate on what is important to you at this sad time.

At Co-op Legal Services we offer our Probate services and a sympathetic ear when you need it most.

With our Probate Complete Service, we take full responsibility for getting the Grant of Probate and dealing with the legal, tax (excluding VAT), property and Estate Administration affairs.

Probate Complete Service includes

  • A free initial face to face meeting with a local Probate Consultant in your home or another location of your choice (in England or Wales).
  • Complete on-going customer support from start to finish.
  • We can also settle the cost of a Co-op Funeralcare funeral* and reimburse any deposit paid, as soon as you have instructed us to represent you.

* Providing that the Estate owns assets that can be liquidated.

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