May 29, 2018
As regular readers of our blog will know, I specialise in Wills, Probate and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) and have written a number of articles outlining the benefits of preparing for later life through Wills and LPA’s
I thought it was now about time I touched upon a subject we don’t like to think about - what happens to someone’s estate when they die, in other words, the legal area of Probate.
Specialising in this field, it seems death is something I encounter on an almost daily basis. Although a very natural part of the cycle of life, it is always extremely hard when you lose someone close to you. It is only natural for those left behind to feel lost. We all have own way of coping with death and, quite frankly, we don’t know how well we will cope until it has happened to us.
The last thing someone in these circumstances wants to be bothered with is dealing with the administration of the estate of the person who’s died.
Here’s a few ways how Pudsey Legal can help should you find yourself in this unenviable position.
We can obtain a Grant of Representation (probate) for you (this is the legal document giving the Executor or Administrator (if no Will has been left) the power to administer the estate.) The cost of doing this is a lot more affordable that you might think. Our fixed charges start at £499 plus VAT and disbursements, and can include a HOME VISIT. Probate can normally be obtained within 3 to 4 weeks of you instructing us.
We can also handle the full administration of the estate for you (which involves the valuation and distribution of the estate) and, in most cases, we will be able to provide you with a fixed price at the outset of the matter, for your own peace of mind.
We can also advise on Inheritance Tax mitigation, which is often overlooked by people. For example, I have had many older clients who have inherited money which they didn’t require and wanted to pass directly to their children. This can be done in a tax efficient way by a Deed of Variation.
A few points to note:
- Probate is not normally required for small estates of under around £15,000
- Probate may not be required if everything has passed to the surviving spouse and all assets are in joint names
- The Grant of Probate is effectively a court document giving the executor (the person appointed in the Will by the Deceased) power to administer the estate
- Some providers of probate service may charge you a percentage of the value of the estate - consider whether this is cost effective
We live in an age where people are extremely price conscious and are increasingly able to cut out the professional in favour of a DIY job. My adage has always been to leave things to the experts. Would I tile my bathroom or change the alternator on my car? No way!
I have seen many clients who have tried to do legal work themselves and it has all too often proved to be a false economy. Mistakes had been made which have cost them time and money which can far outweighed the initial saving in legal fees.
I hope you’ve found this article useful so, if you feel I could help at such difficult times, please do give me a call.