DIY Probate Administration – A Risky Business
When a relative or a close friend passes away and we are contacted by the executors, sometimes we are asked whether they can DIY probate administration. Our answer is, yes, of course and it will save on professional’s costs. But, is DIY probate administration really worth the risk of making what could be an expensive mistake?
What Is Probate?
Probate is the name given to the process of dealing with the deceased’s estate. This may necessarily involve (but not always) obtaining a Grant of Probate (or other type of Grant of Representation) from the court. The Grant of Probate is the ‘ticket’ that you as the person entitled to administer the estate (known as an executor or administrator, or more generally “personal representative”) needs to administer the estate. Then the personal representative will need to carry out the job of collecting and distributing the estate assets to the beneficiaries.
Is DIY Probate Cost Effective?
The idea that relatives can save on professional fees may be an attractive one, but executors have a duty to manage the estate correctly and are personally responsible during what is already a difficult and stressful time. It is rare for there to be an extremely straightforward estate.
It is puzzling that some people would rather DIY probate administration rather than instruct professionals. After all, in principle (if we read the right books or find the right articles online), you could fix your own car. Do most of us do this ? No (not unless you are a mechanic). Mostly we don’t want to spend the time puzzling this out (when we could be doing other things that we know how to do). Also we don’t want to take the risk of making a mess of it and causing a big problem further down the line.
When it comes to dealing with the affairs of a deceased relative or friend, this can be a stressful process. Many people do not realise the extent of the emotional impact of having to dig through their loved one’s belongings , putting them in order and then having to present this information to the court in a tax return. It is difficult to be subjective, particularly when you are still grieving.
In many ways, DIY probate can be a false economy. Many people who take on probate themselves ultimately end up seeking legal advice due to errors made or because they’re struggling with the paperwork. Even a simple mistake may mean that any cost savings you’ve made by not using a solicitor is spent having to rectify matters.
That’s why, in all but the very simplest of estates, we at Geoffrey Lurie Solicitors recommend that you speak to a probate specialist for legal advice. This can save you both time and money.
At Geoffrey Lurie Solicitors we aim to make our probate service good value for money, ensuring that our clients receive the best customer service as if we are helping members of our own family.
Make A Probate Enquiry Now
All initial enquiries are without obligation, so please call us now on 0191 466 1444 and ask to speak to our expert solicitor or complete a Free Online Enquiry and we will soon be in touch with you.