Probate is one of the oldest and most well-developed parts of UK law; it has been revamped multiple times in order to allow lay people as much access to the processes as possible. This has made it entirely possible to navigate probate yourself, although if you are in the unfortunate position of being the executor of an estate for somebody who did not leave a will or has a particularly complicated financial situation, it can still be overwhelming. This is compounded due to often having a close personal relationship with the deceased and often going through grief at the same time as trying to navigate a legal system, which you may have little experience of.
A good place to start after finding out that you are the executor in the deceased’s life insurance savings or mortgage agreement; all three often contain representation services as a perk. Sometimes, these free services are pre arranged with legal firms, forcing you to use a particular firm or organisation but often they leave the choice of the probate solicitor Portsmouth up to the executor of the estate, covering the expenses when invoiced by the legal firm. Workers unions and regulatory bodies also offer legal advice for inheritance matters.
You should then attempt to identify a will but unfortunately many people do not have a will prepared, and if you intend to navigate probate without assistance, you should be aware that there will be administration fees that have to be paid at the beginning of the process in order to receive the appropriate certification to gain access to the deceased’s estate. If you are financially dependent on the deceased, you will be able to fast track this process, giving you a limited access to current accounts and possibly some savings in order to financially support yourself throughout this process.
If the estate is worth less than £5,000, probate will not be considered necessary; most banks will accept a death certificate and proof of identification as next of kin, greatly simplifying the process. Also, there is unlikely to be any form of inheritance tax or other financial limitations. after resolving any unsettled debts; the balance will be transferred and the account permanently closed
Unfortunately, there have been cases of banks applying additional charges which are not strictly legal. This is one of the greatest advantages of using legal assistance, as such pitfalls can be nipped in the bud rather than having to go through an ombudsman or complaints process.
Although by far the most simple procedure is to make sure you have a well-written, valid and clear will held by a solicitor, allowing you to save your family members the aggravation of having to go through probate at all.
Will writing services do not have to be expensive but it’s important to keep in mind the complexity of your estate and you should be willing to pay for a will writing service that reflects this. Any financial instruments or the use of overseas banking can significantly complicate the process of organising somebody’s estate and result in it remaining in probate for an extended period of time.