Probate

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
As you will have picked up from my comments, there's a bit of family difficulty regarding probate! I'm trying to find a way forward and wondered if any if you can help.
Does anyone have experience of a solicitor dealing with probate please? I'm wondering what the costs might be.
Thanks!
Jx
I'll go and check my records, but a few years ago, after my husband died, I seem to think the solicitor doing his probate charged me a few hundred pounds - I'm pretty sure it was under the £500 mark??

That might have been because it was pretty simple - I was the sole 'heir' and it was just a question of having the house valued, and totting up savings and the value of any other assets (eg, car). I suppose if financial matters were more complex, then the solicitor might charge more? I can ask a friend who is a lawyer to see what they say as to costs roughly.

If it's any consolation, I'm pretty sure that the legal costs of probate are deductible from the estate - ie, say it's £500 to the lawyer, then you deduct that £500 from the value of the estate, which means, effectively, you don't get charged inheritance tax on it (if the estate is big enough to warrant damn tax!)
I had some initial help from a solicitor to prepare all the documents and complete the forms for probate; once we got the probate documents back from the Probate Office I took over- collecting all the monies in from Mum's various bank and savings accounts, settling any outstanding bills, arranging for the transfer of the deed's for Mum's flat etc. The bill from the solicitor was around £2200 - would have been more if they had done all the work.

Any solicitor should be able to give you an idea of their final bill for this sort of work as, like conveyancing, most seem to have a list of set charges for straightforward work of this kind.
Hi Juggler,

I guess that sister of yours is still not playing ball Image .

When my dad died, probate was handled by the solicitors holding his will. It was straightforward, passing everything over to my mum, but frankly there was not a lot to pass over. Nevertheless the bill was around £500 (12 years ago).

I wonder if Citizens Advice, Age Concern or even these people could give you some advice:

http://www.probate1.com/about.html

They have a free helpline but of course they want to make money out of you at some point.

Good luck,
Anne
I was named as joint executor with my sister - but she abdicated the responsibility totally to me (she had to sign a form to that effect for the Probate Office). Mum's was a little more complicated than when I had done Dad's some 25 years previously as we could claim double the inheritance tax threshold (currently £325,000).

As simply as I can put it:

1) Dad's estate was left entirely to Mum and, at the time, was under the then threshold and was spouse to spouse so there was no inheritance tax liability.

2) Because of above we could claim transfer of 'unused nil rate band for excepted estates' when Mum died.

However the forms were complicated and a bit confusing which was why I used a solicitor to help me through the initial form filling process !

Juggler do check out the .Gov website here http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/inheritancetax/intro/basics.htm for more information - one thing I did notice is that inheritance tax (if due) has to be paid within 6 months of death or it attracts interest, but I couldn't see anything that gave a time limit for applying for probate.

This is the link to the .Gov website information on applying for probate https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/overview
Thanks all!

I checked with my solicitor and the costs are coming up at about £1000. We would need to get appropriate docs to her and we'd then deal with distribution afterwards.

I've just written to my sister to suggest this as a way forward. I typed the letter so I have a copy and, having lit the blue touch paper, I shall now stand back and wait for the fireworks! Image Image

Jx
What's she likely to object to? Probate has to be done, and whilst I can see you would want to avoid hefty legal costs, sometimes it's cheaper to get a proper lawyer than do an amateur job that turns out more complicated than you thought. Is there likely to be any inheritance tax due? That's definitely something to avoid if it's at all possible - 40% is daylight robbery!

(Honestly, it's getting like the middle ages when it comes to tax - they'll tax breathing next!)

(Sorry, still haven't checked the probate lawyer's charge for my husband's estate - I'll get back to you!)
You don't know my sister! She has no sense of rhyme or reason and objects to anything and everything...
Juggler - apols, just checked the bill, and it's loads more than £500 - it was something like £1400 in the end, including some fees. Sorry to have misled you.

And sorry to hear about your difficult sister. Why not dump all the probate stuffy on her and let her get on with it? Or are you the executor?
Jenny, my sister's job was to do the probate. A very reasonable deal since I looked after Dad for some six years. She's been dragging her heals over it since we lost him over five months ago. I even sent her an document for a witnessed signature a month ago and she still hasn't sent it to the insurance company. She is a law unto herself...and there's some history here!
Truth is that I want and need to move on and, until probate is through and the family home is sold, I can't do that...and in the meantime it's me who's driving miles to check the house is okay and is paying all the bills.