I Started Probate but Want a Solicitor to Take Over
08 December 2017
If you started the Probate process then found that it was too much to deal with, you are not alone. We help and advise people from all over the country who find themselves in the same situation.
Dealing with Probate and Inheritance Tax forms can be incredibly tough to manage, especially after losing a loved one or close friend. It’s often an added and unwelcome burden at an already very difficult time.
It is possible to do Probate yourself and some people choose to do so without knowing the scale of the task in hand. With 70-100 hours of legal, accounting, valuing and communications work to undertake and a mountain of complex paperwork to get through, it’s understandable that many people decide it’s all too much to deal with, particularly at a time of grief, and choose to instruct our Probate Solicitors instead.
With our Probate Complete Service we take full responsibility for getting Grant of Probate and dealing with the Legal, Tax (excl VAT), Property and Estate Administration affairs*.
*We can also pay all the costs of a Co-op Funeralcare funeral, providing the Estate owns sufficient assets which can be sold in due course to repay our costs.
There are no upfront costs to pay as our fees will be taken from the Estate once it is in funds.
Why Decide to Instruct a Probate Solicitor?
When someone is adjusting to the loss of a loved one, the added stress of dealing with all the responsibilities of Probate is often the very last thing that they need.
It can take 9-12 months to complete Probate, or even longer for a large and complicated Estate. There’s a long list of tasks to be completed; Inheritance Tax will need to be calculated and paid to HM Revenue & Customs, property will need to be sold or transferred, all assets will need to be located and valued, debts will need to be paid, bank accounts closed and all beneficiaries will need to be identified and contacted before the Estate is distributed.
Grant of Probate
Banks and other organisations will not allow anyone to deal with a deceased person’s bank accounts or other affairs unless they have a Grant of Probate, so this will to be applied for early on in the process. Until this Grant has been obtained, no one will have the legal authority to begin dealing with the deceased’s affairs.
Calculating the Inheritance Tax that is payable on an Estate can be complicated and the paperwork can also be difficult for some people. If you’re unsure of how much Inheritance Tax is payable on the Estate it’s always worth seeking professional advice.
By instructing Co-op Legal Services to carry out Probate on your behalf, the Estate could actually end up better off than if you were to complete the Probate yourself. Some clients have found that the Inheritance Tax savings that are identified by our Case Handlers more than cover the fees for our Probate Complete Service. So while letting us take the stress off your shoulders, we could also save you a considerable amount in Inheritance Tax if this is possible. Our Probate fees are taken from the Estate, so none of the Executors or Beneficiaries will need to pay out any of their own money for the work carried out.
Consider Whether it’s Worth the Risk
If you choose to do Probate yourself, you could be found financially responsible for any mistakes that have been made. This is another reason why people choose to instruct our Probate Solicitors and Case Handlers to take on the responsibility instead, especially after realising the extent and complexity of the work involved.
Can I instruct a Solicitor after I’ve started the Probate process?
If you have not yet applied for the Grant of Probate then Co-op Legal Services can take over the Probate process on your behalf. We would need to be provided with all paperwork relating to the Estate, including details of:
- Any properties owned by the deceased and the total value
- Any bank accounts held in the name of the deceased, and the total sum of money held in these accounts
- Any outstanding debts held in the name of the deceased
- Any other assets held in the sole name of the deceased and the total value of these assets.
To ensure a seamless transition, we would also need to have sight of any correspondence that has taken place so far. We would then have all required information and be well equipped to take over the Probate process for you.
How Much Does a Probate Solicitor Cost?
The cost of a Probate Solicitor will vary depending on the complexity of the Estate, the Solicitor that you choose to instruct and which stage you are at in the Probate process.
At Co-op Legal Services, we can offer free initial advice over the phone. If you decide to use our Probate Complete Service, then we will arrange for a Probate Consultant to come and meet with you in your home (in England and Wales).
The Probate Consultant will establish where you are in the Probate process and will discuss how we would take over the responsibility for dealing with the Estate on your behalf. We will provide you with a written fixed fee Probate quote for the agreed work, and that price will not change unless the original information we are given is shown to be incorrect or the circumstances surrounding the Estate change.
You can then relax in the knowledge that we will take care of Probate, the Inheritance tax forms and the Estate administration on your behalf.