DIY Probate

Does anyone have any experience of applying for probate without using a solicitor? How easy was the process and what problems if any did you encounter?

My father passed away last month and myself and brother are the executors of his will, my mother is still alive, and because they changed their wills a couple of years ago to make them tenants in common we have been advised that we need to apply for probate before the house can be transferred into her sole name. The only other asset he had which was in his sole name is a stocks and shares ISA which is valued at approx £6500.

I've had a quick look at the form and it looks fairly straightforward, the solicitor who drew up the will also sent two HMRT forms which are confusing me a little, the value of the house is probably between £160,000 and £180,000, so well below Inheritance tax levels.
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  • SailorSam
    SailorSam Posts: 22,754
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    Very very straight forward to do, the people in the probate office are always only a phone call away and only to willing to help.
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  • TonyMMM
    TonyMMM Posts: 3,368
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    Very straightforward, especially when no IHT is involved. A few forms and a five minute appointment to swear an oath.
  • Sues48
    Sues48 Posts: 285 Forumite
    Cheers, that's what I wanted to hear, Thank you:)
  • C_Mababejive
    C_Mababejive Posts: 11,645
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    This case sounds straightforward. I have self probated two estates. All you need to do is get the forms,fill them in and wait. Probate is really all about the state ensuring that it has totally drained one of its subjects in case it misses a few quids worth of tax.
    Feudal Britain needs land reform. 70% of the land is "owned" by 1 % of the population and at least 50% is unregistered (inherited by landed gentry). Thats why your slave box costs so much..
  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230
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    It's really easy and straightforward and the Probate offices are very good at helping/ explaining over the phone.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • I've been through probate twice DIY.

    The IHT forms are used to show whether or not the estate is over the IHT threshold.

    The guidance notes can seem a litttle daunting at first, but if you cross our everything that doesn't apply, you'll probably end up with only about 5% which DOES apply, so really it'll be very simple.

    Guidance notes for IHT form here:
    http://search2.hmrc.gov.uk/kb5/hmrc/forms/view.page?record=1fRygg1uHrc&formId=3310

    Best place for all information, both basic and detailed:
    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/Taxes/BeginnersGuideToTax/InheritanceTaxEstatesAndTrusts/index.htm

    Just work through it methodically, you'll be fine.
  • getmore4less
    getmore4less Posts: 46,882
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    You need 2 forms to start with

    PA1
    IHT205

    read the notes and if you need further help the notes with the IHT400 have a bit more detail.

    if it is a case of wife get everything then it will be simple as no IHT anyway.

    if ther are othe bequests then there is a followon impact on the transferable nill rate band which is worth understanding for future reference.


    once you wade through the notes it is relativley easy, also there are books in the library thaat cover the subject in more detail which can help allthough may not be needed if this realy is a simple estate.

    If the swearing will be difficult or inconvenient due to locations you can get a solicitor to just help with that bit so you don't need to go to the probate office.
  • Sues48
    Sues48 Posts: 285 Forumite
    Thanks everyone. I think I should be OK, it just looked a little bit daunting. We can't do anything until we receive the will from the solicitor's storage facility, and have got a weeks holiday next week so hopefully will sit down and tackle it when I get back. I think the most difficult bit will be getting an appointment at the Probate office at a time that both myself and brother can attend,not so much for me as I only work 3days and live quite near, but for my brother who has a pretty "full on" full time job and lives about an hours drive away.
  • withabix
    withabix Posts: 9,508 Forumite
    edited 27 August 2012 at 6:52AM
    You don't BOTH need to apply for Probate.

    As you are both probably honest and trust each other, one of you can go on the form as 'Rights Reserved' and the other can apply for Probate.

    It doesn't stop both of you working on the Will/Estate between you (as long as the signatures on letters, emails and any phone calls are made by the Executor).


    I have just finished dealing with my late father's estate myself. His widow was also on the Will as Executor but I did all of the work and Probate as above.
    British Ex-pat in British Columbia!
  • pollypenny
    pollypenny Posts: 29,389
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    Yes, straight forward. I did it when my mum died, everything going to dad.

    When he died, we used a solicitor.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
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