The Great Hunt: Help others if you've been an executor of a will

edited 28 March 2017 at 9:58AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
103 replies 26.1K views


  • Do NOT use a solicitor when applying for probate!!! Too many people believe that a solicitor is necessary when applying for a grant of probate, but it easy to do it yourself. A solicitor will take around £1000 for simply filling in a form and posting it to the local Probate office, whereas you can do it for £115. Another rip off by solicitors!
  • TonyMMMTonyMMM Forumite
    3.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    It is a daunting prospect at a distressing time - but that is only because it is something we don't understand. People think you have to use a solicitor and just go into it without considering the diy option.

    In reality I found the whole process to be very simple and straightforward. I would always recommend doing it yourself - and employ a solicitor for specific aspects only if really needed.
  • DolliverDolliver Forumite
    7 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    My late husband died suddenly, no will, it was something that was never discussed between us, it was a very traumatic time dealing with grief and having to go through probate and the endless stream of paperwork that just seemed to keep coming! The gov uk website was very helpful in pointing me in the right direction. I did it all without a solicitor as I wasnt going to line their pockets.

    I do not want my son to go through what I went through so I have written my will, I did this on line with ten minute will, I have done a prepaid funeral plan with planned funeral arrangements. I have written a list of 'who to contact' after my death and what forms my son will need to fill in and send off, to make it easier for him.

    Death comes to us all and its not fair if we leave our loved ones in turmoil after weve gone not knowing what they need to do!!
    I am from another planet :eek: but its ok they know me there
  • PensionerkbmPensionerkbm Forumite
    4 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    LPA ceases at date of death. If you have been taking control of finances then it makes it easier to know which institutions to contact after a death.
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
    10.3K Posts
    10,000 Posts Sixth Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    As far as your own estate is concerned, make life simple for your executors and keep a copy of vital information with a copy of your will. I have included the following:-

    Record of potentially exempt gifts from the last 7 years
    Details of bank accounts, savings accounts and credit cards
    Contact details of important people including my IFA and solicitor.
    Instructions for the funeral

    The same info is just as important should I become incapacitated so I keep certified copies of my LPA with the above as well.
  • lakesider52lakesider52 Forumite
    28 Posts
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper
    It makes it much easier if there is just one executor. If more than one, all of you have to co-ordinate times for meetings eg probate application plus no messing around when signatures are necessary.
  • LKM1LKM1 Forumite
    2 Posts
    A little known protection that ALL Executors should have is Executors Liability Insurance - saves YOU a lot of money and heartache if anything goes wrong. Most probate is dealt with by Lawyers for a reason - they already have Liability Insurance AND they can generally save the Estate from paying too much Inheritance Tax ("IHT"), as the rules applicable to such payments and allowances are NOT '1 size fits all' and are NOT clarified on the probate forms.
  • AirthreyAirthrey Forumite
    79 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 10 Posts
    MSE_Sam_M wrote: »
    We're after your experiences and tips to help inform a new guide we're writing.

    Did you have to deal with probate?

    What did you learn?

    What do you wish you had known at the time?

    Thanks in advance.


    I hope you're going to have a section dealing with the differences in Scots law and the process of applying for Confirmation.

    I haven't (yet) had to act as executor myself but know from the experience of helping a friend who was executor of her husband's estate that it helped that the will was really simple and she was the sole executor.

    I'd recommend getting several copies of the death certificate and also certified copies of the will. We did most of the work ourselves and just used a solicitor for some tricky bits, which will have saved thousands.
  • Some years ago I was appointed Executor to my F I L's will, and when that time came, is was disasterous.
    Initially, I registered the death and did all the incidentals, including notifying Insurance etc etc.
    From then on, a solicitor had to be involved as the Will was a D I Y thing, and it was unclear as to what was to happen to the property. Eventually, it was passed to my M I L, who has since passed on, and searches at Probate Office have not revealed who acquired the house. The twist being, there were 2 children but it seems only ONE has benefited from the estate of my M I L, although there is no written evidence as to how (IF?) it should be shared.

    Advice to anyone preparing to write a will, get it written up by a professionally registered solicitor, read it line by line before signing. However, it seems from recent press coverage, wills are now frequently being challenged in the courts.:eek:
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