Empty Property Damaged During Probate - Case Study

19 April 2017

Client Situation

Our probate team helped Mrs T after the death of her sister. Mrs T had told our probate advisors that her unmarried sister had died without leaving a will and that she owned a flat in her sole name. We quickly established that probate would be required as the Estate was valued at around £100,000 and the flat was owned in the deceased’s sole name.

One of our Probate Consultants met with Mrs. T and provided her with a fixed fee probate quote, after which Mrs. T decided to instruct Co-op Legal Services to carry out the estate administration on her behalf. As Mrs. T lived a long way from her late sister, we also agreed to manage the sale of the flat for her.

How We Helped

One of our probate case handlers contacted Mrs T and went through the estate in detail. He explained how the administration process would work, including how our in-house property team would manage the maintenance and sale of the flat.

We prepared the forms for Mrs T to sign. She also wanted to be sure that her sister’s flat would be protected, and the estate would not have to pay out any unnecessary costs. Mrs. T therefore asked us to insure the flat under our specialist insurance policy.

Unfortunately, there was then a water leak at the flat, which damaged some of the contents, including the fitted carpets. The front door to the flat was also damaged as the building manager needed to get in quickly to turn the water off and stop other flats from being damaged as well.

We arranged for qualified tradesmen to visit the flat, fix the leak, replace the damaged contents and fit new carpets and a replacement front door. They also took all the old damaged contents away and left the flat in a clean and tidy condition ready for it to be sold.

When the flat was sold, we removed it from the insurance policy. The estate did not have to pay the insurance premium for the final month that it was covered, as it had not been insured for the whole month.

The Outcome

We arranged for the deceased's property to be repaired quickly and without Mrs. T needing to make telephone calls, or check the reputation of the professional tradesmen who completed the work at the flat to a high standard. This was all covered by the fixed fee premium that the estate paid to ensure that the vacant property was insured against damage.

We obtained a grant of probate, sold the property and distributed the estate. The estate administration process took over a year to complete, with the family saying that they were “delighted with the support that you have provided throughout” and that "we will never be able to thank you enough."

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.

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 Probate fees are deferred and will be taken from the Estate once it is in funds.

If you need help with probate, contact us:

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