Do I need a Solicitor

I have an elderly relative who is very ill and not expected to live very long. I am the executor of her will.

There is no property involved, just a little cash and a few shares.

Do I need to get a Solicitor involved when she passes away? A Solicitor does hold the original copy of her will.
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Replies

  • Ted_HutchinsonTed_Hutchinson
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    What to do when someone dies
    This sets out the jobs involved and provides links to further information. I doubt you would need to involve a solicitor but it depends on how many people and how much money is involved.
    I haven't had to sort out financial affairs after a death myself but I've received money from two deaths, one sorted by a relative and the other by a solicitor. Neither were speedy and both later found extra investments they hadn't included initially so there were two cash distributions. The share of the inheritance taken by the solicitor for expenses seemed disproportionate to me.
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  • CLAPTONCLAPTON Forumite
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    no, solicitors charge large fees for doing things you can do quite easily and they take twice the time you would.
  • RASRAS Forumite
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    Holiday wrote: »
    There is no property involved, just a little cash and a few shares.

    Do I need to get a Solicitor involved when she passes away? A Solicitor does hold the original copy of her will.

    Request the will from the solicitors holding it and execute it yourselves. Does not sound as if there is any risk of Inheritance Tax, so it does not matter how long it takes.

    One thing though, there are a couple of databases of unclaimed/lost accounts which can be searched for a small (I mean small) fee. It might be worth doing that.

    Also, it does pay to advertise for outstanding debts, so there is no come-back later if anything creeps out of the woodwork.

    Will try and find the legal advice we got on those two items.
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  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
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    MY BIL, who was executor for my mum, did it himself. She just had a few thousand in the Building Society. Very straightforward and simple.
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  • AddiscomberAddiscomber Forumite
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    It is a straightforward process, even if property is involved. It just takes time and a methodical approach.
  • moonrakerzmoonrakerz Forumite
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    Do it yourself - all you need is here:-

    http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/wills.htm
  • Willman_RoddersWillman_Rodders Forumite
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    As stated in the earlier posts you can obtain probate yourself. It can be time consuming, but a logical approach to the tasks required and you will reach a satisfactory conclusion.

    A couple of points. As an Executor you are a trustee of the estate, holding the estate for the beneficiaries in trust. If you fail to distribute the estate in accordance with the will you are in 'breach of trust' and, in theory, can be sued by the beneficiaries. An earlier post advised that one family found additional monies; it's more of a concern when an unknown debt comes to light - and can prove very costly to the executor (unless the will includes some protection clause.) It is for this reason that you should not rush to conclude the estate - but make sure all i's are dotted and t's crossed - and follow RAZ's suggestion of advertising for debts; the advert is deemed public notice and lenders should be aware.

    Secondly, the solicitor may tell you that the process is difficult, risky, time consuming etc etc. They will then probably offer their services to ease your pain. I would suggest you decline their offer; most people can sort probate themselves, and save the deceased's estate a significant fee.

    If the estate is less than £5,000 probate may not be required at all.
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