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  • FIRST POST
    • katihannah
    • By katihannah 8th Jul 17, 3:11 PM
    • 12Posts
    • 7Thanks
    katihannah
    DIY probate
    • #1
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:11 PM
    DIY probate 8th Jul 17 at 3:11 PM
    Hi all

    I'm very glad I found this forum as I'm sure it really will save me some money. I posted on someone else's thread, but was advised to start my own in order to keep things relevant to my situation.

    I am sole executor and beneficiary of my late husbands estate, and I'm somewhat alarmed to find I have to apply for probate despite him having a will (I thought the whole point of a will was to avoid this complication but apparently not).
    So yesterday a nice man came to see me who works for a probate company and did his best to convince me that applying for probate and administering the estate is something that I shouldn't worry my pretty little head about and that his company would do it all for me for around £6500. That seems rather a lot to pay for something that I'm sure I can do myself.
    My question to the forum is is it really such a complicated procedure? I like to think I'm quite an intelligent person, and from everything I've read about it, it really doesn't seem that difficult to me. Perhaps I'm missing something. But all the lists on the various websites that recommend when to use professional services, none if these apply to my husbands estate, it all seems fairly straightforward to me. The only reason I have to apply for probate in the first place is that he owned a property that was in his name only, not joint names, everything else was in joint names. Any advice from people with experience of applying for probate? Thanks
Page 1
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 8th Jul 17, 3:24 PM
    • 27,982 Posts
    • 71,142 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #2
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:24 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:24 PM
    I am sole executor and beneficiary of my late husbands estate

    The only reason I have to apply for probate in the first place is that he owned a property that was in his name only, not joint names, everything else was in joint names.
    Originally posted by katihannah
    Are you sure that you need probate?

    I used to think that you did in this situation but several recent threads have said otherwise.
    • katihannah
    • By katihannah 8th Jul 17, 3:30 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    katihannah
    • #3
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:30 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:30 PM
    Are you sure that you need probate?

    I used to think that you did in this situation but several recent threads have said otherwise.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    The bank advised me that I did, and everything I've read so far seems to agree with that. If everything had been in joint names then no, it wouldn't be necessary. I'm a bit annoyed with the solicitor who drew up the wills since she didn't mention this at all, and it would have been a much simpler process to chance to ownership to joint names had we known it would cause this problem.
    Last edited by katihannah; 08-07-2017 at 3:32 PM.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 8th Jul 17, 3:38 PM
    • 12,115 Posts
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    zagfles
    • #4
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:38 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:38 PM
    Are you sure that you need probate?

    I used to think that you did in this situation but several recent threads have said otherwise.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    For a property owned soley by the deceased? Any links to such threads?
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 8th Jul 17, 3:44 PM
    • 12,115 Posts
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    zagfles
    • #5
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:44 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:44 PM
    Probate isn't that difficult, I've done it/helped out a few times and as long as the financial affairs of the deceased were straightforwards then so should applying for probate be. The complicated bits are the the IHT forms.

    There's plenty of vultures who are waiting to rip you off with excessive fees to do what might only take you a day or 2 including research.

    Does the will leave everything to you? What's the value of the estate?
    • katihannah
    • By katihannah 8th Jul 17, 3:57 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    katihannah
    • #6
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:57 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:57 PM
    as a new user I'm not allowed to post links, but I just googled do I need probate
    • katihannah
    • By katihannah 8th Jul 17, 4:00 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    katihannah
    • #7
    • 8th Jul 17, 4:00 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Jul 17, 4:00 PM
    Probate isn't that difficult, I've done it/helped out a few times and as long as the financial affairs of the deceased were straightforwards then so should applying for probate be. The complicated bits are the the IHT forms.

    There's plenty of vultures who are waiting to rip you off with excessive fees to do what might only take you a day or 2 including research.

    Does the will leave everything to you? What's the value of the estate?
    Originally posted by zagfles
    Yes it leaves everything to me, and excluding our marital home which apparently isn't part of the estate, it only has a value of £10-15k, which I why I'm loath to part with half of it to pay the vultures for probate services I don't need! The property he owns has very little equity in it, and I suspect it will be swallowed up in legal fees when I sell it.

    All of the websites I've looked at regarding probate list the circumstances under which professional advice is recommended, his estate doesn't include any of those things listed, so I think it's pretty straightforward.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 8th Jul 17, 4:01 PM
    • 27,982 Posts
    • 71,142 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #8
    • 8th Jul 17, 4:01 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Jul 17, 4:01 PM
    For a property owned soley by the deceased? Any links to such threads?
    Originally posted by zagfles
    I've had a look back and I think I've got it mixed up - it seems as if probate isn't needed if a property is owned as joint tenants or tenants in common.

    Presumably, if the house was solely owned by the deceased, probate will be needed.

    Could you confirm that?
    • JJ Egan
    • By JJ Egan 8th Jul 17, 4:14 PM
    • 9,482 Posts
    • 3,872 Thanks
    JJ Egan
    • #9
    • 8th Jul 17, 4:14 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Jul 17, 4:14 PM
    Self Probate is relatively easy if the estate is a simple one .
    Suggest you read the probate help guides on the governments web sites and decide if you need help .
    https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/overview

    Take your time no hurry would be my advice .
    • katihannah
    • By katihannah 8th Jul 17, 4:18 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    katihannah
    I've had a look back and I think I've got it mixed up - it seems as if probate isn't needed if a property is owned as joint tenants or tenants in common.

    Presumably, if the house was solely owned by the deceased, probate will be needed.

    Could you confirm that?
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    That's my understanding of it, yes.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 8th Jul 17, 4:23 PM
    • 12,115 Posts
    • 10,059 Thanks
    zagfles
    I've had a look back and I think I've got it mixed up - it seems as if probate isn't needed if a property is owned as joint tenants or tenants in common.

    Presumably, if the house was solely owned by the deceased, probate will be needed.

    Could you confirm that?
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    I'm no expert but my understanding is that property always requires probate unless it passes by survivorship.

    So my understanding is it will be required where the property was owned soley by the deceased or was part owned as tenants in common, but not where it was owned as beneficial joint tenants.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 8th Jul 17, 4:25 PM
    • 3,435 Posts
    • 3,704 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    Yes it leaves everything to me, and excluding our marital home which apparently isn't part of the estate, it only has a value of £10-15k, which I why I'm loath to part with half of it to pay the vultures for probate services I don't need! The property he owns has very little equity in it, and I suspect it will be swallowed up in legal fees when I sell it.

    All of the websites I've looked at regarding probate list the circumstances under which professional advice is recommended, his estate doesn't include any of those things listed, so I think it's pretty straightforward.
    Originally posted by katihannah
    Most banks will pay out smaller amounts without the need to go to probate (e.g. Barclays will release funds up to £30,000 without the need to have probate.
    • katihannah
    • By katihannah 8th Jul 17, 4:28 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    katihannah
    Most banks will pay out smaller amounts without the need to go to probate (e.g. Barclays will release funds up to £30,000 without the need to have probate.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    It's Barclays who have insisted on the application for probate, yet the property mortgaged by them is the marital home which was held as joint tenants so automatically passes to me. We had no other accounts with them. It's all so complicated, yet I feel it shouldn't be.
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 8th Jul 17, 4:32 PM
    • 1,168 Posts
    • 1,708 Thanks
    FreeBear
    I'm another one that has done DIY probate including assent & compulsory first registration of a property - There was nothing particularly difficult about the process, and the Probate Registry (and Land Registry) have a helpline when there are any questions.

    There were solicitors available willing to provide help & services (for a fee) should there have been anything that was outside my ability - Not that they were required in the end.
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    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 8th Jul 17, 4:39 PM
    • 12,115 Posts
    • 10,059 Thanks
    zagfles
    Yes it leaves everything to me, and excluding our marital home which apparently isn't part of the estate, it only has a value of £10-15k, which I why I'm loath to part with half of it to pay the vultures for probate services I don't need! The property he owns has very little equity in it, and I suspect it will be swallowed up in legal fees when I sell it.

    All of the websites I've looked at regarding probate list the circumstances under which professional advice is recommended, his estate doesn't include any of those things listed, so I think it's pretty straightforward.
    Originally posted by katihannah
    You need to be careful when talking about what is "part of the estate".

    For probate & will purposes, stuff you owned as beneficial joint owners does not count as part of the estate, these pass by survivorship. So they don't pass by will, they are outside of the estate as far as the will & probate go.

    However to complete probate you need to fill in the IHT forms. For IHT purposes, stuff that passes by survivorship does count as part of the estate and needs to be declared. No IHT will be payable because you get the spouse exemption, however it all has to be declared including your marital home even if owned as benefical joint tenants.
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 8th Jul 17, 4:51 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Tom99
    DIY probate is very straight forward. I have done it three times.
    Just take your time and work through the forms.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 8th Jul 17, 5:11 PM
    • 2,785 Posts
    • 2,209 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    Yes it leaves everything to me, and excluding our marital home which apparently isn't part of the estate, it only has a value of £10-15k, which I why I'm loath to part with half of it to pay the vultures for probate services I don't need! The property he owns has very little equity in it, and I suspect it will be swallowed up in legal fees when I sell it.

    All of the websites I've looked at regarding probate list the circumstances under which professional advice is recommended, his estate doesn't include any of those things listed, so I think it's pretty straightforward.
    Originally posted by katihannah
    If he owned a property then it does form part of the estate unless there is some unusual ownership issue. Please could you clarify why you think falls outside the estate.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 09-07-2017 at 12:33 PM.
    • TW1234
    • By TW1234 8th Jul 17, 6:14 PM
    • 115 Posts
    • 108 Thanks
    TW1234
    Sorry you are faced with this task, but it should be quite straightforward in this instance from your information so far supplied. Certainly there is no need for the level of charges indicated..
    As has been suggested, the government web site is very helpful and you can often get questions answered (but not advice) from the probate office staff.
    Even if you get paid assistance, you will have to do the work of making a list of exactly what assets your husband owned, how they were owned (jointly or otherwise) and of any debts (eg mortgage) owed.
    From that, you can calculate the IHT (if any) to be paid.
    Specific advice on any points that you do not understand can be obtained far cheaper than handing over the entire procedure, if necessary.
    Having obtained probate, you are then authorised to take control of matters and collect assets and pay debts.
    If the will leaves everything to you, it is even simpler; there will be nobody interested if you make any mistakes!

    Stick with Yorkshireman's posts for sound info.
    • Sevennotemode
    • By Sevennotemode 8th Jul 17, 8:51 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Sevennotemode
    Another DIY probater here..........
    and it's pretty straighforward.

    Keep records of everything and if in doubt about anything ask on here or
    ask the probate office. The probate people are really helpful and offer free advice.

    Don't be fooled into paying silly money to 'probate companies'

    You know your husbands affairs better than anybody and so DIY.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 8th Jul 17, 9:03 PM
    • 7,375 Posts
    • 7,761 Thanks
    Owain Moneysaver
    Even the IHT forms are fairly straightforward once you've got all the paperwork.

    First step is to get statements from all banks etc as at date of death, also check whether there is any pension or benefits overpayment to be returned, or any income tax due. Tax is likely to be the slowest.

    Hopefully at this point you find that there is enough money in the estate to pay off any debts without having to consider selling property.

    Banks will usually repay any overpayment of pension, benefits, tax or funeral expenses from funds held without waiting for probate.

    Then apply for probate, pay the fee (which I think the bank will not pay from funds held), swear the oath, and a few weeks later the grant will arrive, which you send off and get the money coming in.

    If you want a blank spreadsheet of the IHT207 PM me with an email address.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
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