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  • FIRST POST
    • mdoran1974
    • By mdoran1974 28th Jan 15, 8:19 AM
    • 6Posts
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    mdoran1974
    Probate Interview
    • #1
    • 28th Jan 15, 8:19 AM
    Probate Interview 28th Jan 15 at 8:19 AM
    Hi all, wondering if you could help.

    My uncle recently passed away and left me and my mother the executors. I have completed the probate paperwork (hopefully correctly!) and am now about to send the forms off.

    I just have two questions.

    First one is, does it matter which probate office you request for an interview in regards to timescale? I live in Hertfordshire and we are able to get to 3 offices easily, Oxford, Ipswich and London. I think I read that applying to Ipswich would result in the paperwork being processed faster etc.

    The second question is what type of questions do they ask in the interview and how long does an average one take? The estate is around 150,000 and no property is involved. I just need to prepare my mum as she gets nervous in these types of situations.

    Many thanks for reading this.

    Mike
Page 1
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 28th Jan 15, 8:47 AM
    • 2,664 Posts
    • 2,948 Thanks
    TonyMMM
    • #2
    • 28th Jan 15, 8:47 AM
    • #2
    • 28th Jan 15, 8:47 AM
    Yes you can apply to any office, and some arrange interviews elsewhere ( e.g. I applied to Oxford for a death that happened in Lancashire - the interview took place in Slough County Court offices).

    The "interview" just really consists of reading an oath to lawfully execute the will and confirming the details on the form are correct - there was nothing deeper than that.

    Your mother could also reserve her powers as executor and let you deal with it alone if she doesn't want the stress.
    • Hermia
    • By Hermia 28th Jan 15, 9:49 AM
    • 4,139 Posts
    • 11,256 Thanks
    Hermia
    • #3
    • 28th Jan 15, 9:49 AM
    • #3
    • 28th Jan 15, 9:49 AM
    I went to a probate office elsewhere as the queue was much shorter than in London. The 'interview' really only takes minutes and is nothing to worry about. They will send you details of what you need to take etc.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 28th Jan 15, 11:22 AM
    • 32,192 Posts
    • 19,352 Thanks
    getmore4less
    • #4
    • 28th Jan 15, 11:22 AM
    • #4
    • 28th Jan 15, 11:22 AM
    Consider using a local solicitor so swear the oath.

    Could be cheaper than the fuel and parking to get to a Probate office.
    • Shelldean
    • By Shelldean 28th Jan 15, 12:08 PM
    • 2,012 Posts
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    Shelldean
    • #5
    • 28th Jan 15, 12:08 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Jan 15, 12:08 PM
    We used a solicitor in the local high street cost fiver and we walked down so no parking or travel expenses.
    • nom de plume
    • By nom de plume 28th Jan 15, 12:51 PM
    • 696 Posts
    • 646 Thanks
    nom de plume
    • #6
    • 28th Jan 15, 12:51 PM
    • #6
    • 28th Jan 15, 12:51 PM
    Another vote for using a local solicitor. It was a very simple and painless process and certainly nothing to get nervous about.
    • mdoran1974
    • By mdoran1974 28th Jan 15, 2:47 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    mdoran1974
    • #7
    • 28th Jan 15, 2:47 PM
    • #7
    • 28th Jan 15, 2:47 PM
    You can swear the oath in a local solicitors? Now I'm confused! lol Do you mean get the solicitor to complete the forms and do the oath or just do the oath at the solicitors?

    I thought we completed all the forms, sent them off to the probate office, they checked everything and if everything was ok we would then be invited to complete the oath part of the process. Could it now be that I could send the forms off today and complete the oath this Saturday for example?

    I pity the families that have a complicated estate to go through. Ours is very simple and thankfully no one is arguing over any part of the estate.

    Many thanks for your time helping me and my family out.

    Mike
    • LutonGirl
    • By LutonGirl 28th Jan 15, 3:02 PM
    • 443 Posts
    • 837 Thanks
    LutonGirl
    • #8
    • 28th Jan 15, 3:02 PM
    • #8
    • 28th Jan 15, 3:02 PM
    We too had a very simple estate to execute. I had to go to London to do my Dad's probate. (Wasn't told about the local option.) This was in 2012 and I saw there was an option to do it in Luton, but when I applied they told me that there's no call for it, so had to go to London.

    The date of the appointment was about 4 weeks after submitting the paperwork. It was a very simple procedure - just rock up with two forms of ID.
    • nom de plume
    • By nom de plume 28th Jan 15, 3:25 PM
    • 696 Posts
    • 646 Thanks
    nom de plume
    • #9
    • 28th Jan 15, 3:25 PM
    • #9
    • 28th Jan 15, 3:25 PM
    You can swear the oath in a local solicitors? Now I'm confused! lol Do you mean get the solicitor to complete the forms and do the oath or just do the oath at the solicitors?

    I thought we completed all the forms, sent them off to the probate office, they checked everything and if everything was ok we would then be invited to complete the oath part of the process. Could it now be that I could send the forms off today and complete the oath this Saturday for example?

    I pity the families that have a complicated estate to go through. Ours is very simple and thankfully no one is arguing over any part of the estate.

    Many thanks for your time helping me and my family out.

    Mike
    Originally posted by mdoran1974
    Can't remember the procedure for requesting this option but a very quick search produced this result.....

    On the first page in the !!!8216;Interview venue!!!8217; box write !!!8216;Solicitor!!!8217;s Office!!!8217; and leave the !!!8216;Dates to avoid!!!8221; box blank.

    (That would be at the top of form PA1)
    • Mattygroves2
    • By Mattygroves2 28th Jan 15, 3:29 PM
    • 576 Posts
    • 459 Thanks
    Mattygroves2
    You can swear the oath in a local solicitors? Now I'm confused! lol Do you mean get the solicitor to complete the forms and do the oath or just do the oath at the solicitors?

    I thought we completed all the forms, sent them off to the probate office, they checked everything and if everything was ok we would then be invited to complete the oath part of the process. Could it now be that I could send the forms off today and complete the oath this Saturday for example?

    I pity the families that have a complicated estate to go through. Ours is very simple and thankfully no one is arguing over any part of the estate.

    Many thanks for your time helping me and my family out.

    Mike
    Originally posted by mdoran1974
    You need to send the forms to the probate office who will then check everything, satisfy themselves that the taxman is happy and then send you the oath part back and offer you the opportunity to either go in or get it done at a local solicitors. If there are more than one of you you each need to do it. My OH and his sister used local solicitors (but different ones as they live 400 miles apart).

    You won't be able to swear the oath on Saturday as the whole process will take a while. In my OH's case it took a month from submitting the forms to him sending the sworn oath back (having being sent round the country) and then about a week for the grant to come back.
    • Shelldean
    • By Shelldean 28th Jan 15, 4:10 PM
    • 2,012 Posts
    • 1,301 Thanks
    Shelldean
    mdoran1974, please note what non de plume has written about the form filling in.

    It simple to do, we didn't even have an appointment at the solicitors. Just turned up, waited a few minutes. An available solicitor can took my OH ( who was dealing with everything) to side room. Oh just repeated some words after th solicitor along the lines of everything in the form.was accurate. In and out in under five minutes, cost 5.

    Form then sent back to probate office, Grant came through shortly afterwards.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 29th Jan 15, 1:10 AM
    • 38,626 Posts
    • 35,358 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    You need to send the forms to the probate office who will then check everything, satisfy themselves that the taxman is happy and then send you the oath part back and offer you the opportunity to either go in or get it done at a local solicitors. If there are more than one of you you each need to do it. My OH and his sister used local solicitors (but different ones as they live 400 miles apart).
    Originally posted by Mattygroves2
    I hadn't realised we could have sworn our oath separately, have not long done this.

    I think the local solicitor's option may be a new thing: I don't remember it being an option when Dad died in 2009.

    However, having just done it for Mum at a local solicitor, I'd say that the probate office was a more formal affair: we were asked to stand and read the oath aloud, for example.

    Whereas at the solicitors, he was fiddling around in his ring binder trying to find the right form of words for affirming (rather than swearing on a bible), didn't get us to stand up, it all felt a bit casual.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern arrived and going strong!
    • Hermia
    • By Hermia 29th Jan 15, 7:58 AM
    • 4,139 Posts
    • 11,256 Thanks
    Hermia
    I hadn't realised we could have sworn our oath separately, have not long done this.

    I think the local solicitor's option may be a new thing: I don't remember it being an option when Dad died in 2009.

    However, having just done it for Mum at a local solicitor, I'd say that the probate office was a more formal affair: we were asked to stand and read the oath aloud, for example.

    Whereas at the solicitors, he was fiddling around in his ring binder trying to find the right form of words for affirming (rather than swearing on a bible), didn't get us to stand up, it all felt a bit casual.
    Originally posted by Savvy_Sue
    I had my interview at a probate office in 2012 and there wasn't any standing up to swear oaths. It was very professional, but not that formal.
    • sneekymum
    • By sneekymum 29th Jan 15, 8:58 AM
    • 4,642 Posts
    • 3,861 Thanks
    sneekymum
    All a bit weird. Do people generally lie and cheat unless they've sworn an oath not to?
    still raining
    • DollyDee
    • By DollyDee 29th Jan 15, 9:57 AM
    • 748 Posts
    • 852 Thanks
    DollyDee
    My sister and I have just completed probate for our late Mum.

    On the PA1, the second box is "Interview Venue", put Solicitor's Office. Third box is "Dates to avoid", put Not applicable (as you will make your own appointment with a local solicitor).

    Send everything required to Probate Registry office with cheque for 215.00 plus 0.50 for each extra copy of grant required. We had 4 extra so cheque was for 217.00. We also sent 3 copies of the will. PA1 states 2 copies but elsewhere on the government's website it states 3 so we sent 3 to be on the safe side.

    We used Royal Mail Special Delivery because of sending original documents. This was 3rd week of November.

    The Probate Registry sent the oath to us approx 2nd/3rd week of December. We made an appointment at a local solicitor. We went into a side room off reception, he checked our ID, copied it I think. He then stated the declaration and we each repeated it. You then sign the oath and the copy will, he countersigns and stamps it. Cost us 12.00 for both of us and took about 5 minutes - it's not an "interview" as such. Very friendly.

    You then return the relevant documents to the Probate Registry office (I used Special Delivery again) and our Grant of Representation came through end of first week of January which I thought was quick taking into account Xmas and New Year holidays.

    Hope this helps.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 29th Jan 15, 10:03 PM
    • 38,626 Posts
    • 35,358 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    we got our papers in just before Christmas, to beat the rush of executors finishing the job off over the holidays. We swore at a local solicitors mid Jan, posted the forms off recorded delivery the same day, and I was astonished to receive the grant yesterday! So less than two weeks.

    Today I've taken copies to the bank for the executors account, the conveyancing solicitor for the house sale, and posted a few copies to my co-executor.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern arrived and going strong!
    • BobQ
    • By BobQ 30th Jan 15, 12:07 AM
    • 9,964 Posts
    • 13,102 Thanks
    BobQ
    As has been explained you can go to a solicitor to swear the oath. Strictly you are going to a "Commissioner for Oaths". Most solicitors can provide the service but not all do, although they will usually recommend one who does. If you use a solicitor to submit the probate form you have to go to a second solicitor to swear the oath.

    In my experience it is fairly relaxed at a solicitors. You can swear on a bible or affirm. It often only takes 5 minutes. The solicitor usually checks your identity in some way. Then checks you understand that swearing an oath is like giving evidence in a court and lying is a very serious matter. The oath itself is very simple. You are just swearing that you are person named as the executor and that you will execute the will as defined in the documentation. Most will ask you to recite the oath (ie repeat aloud what the solicitor states) or read it aloud which is normal.

    I once accompanied a nervous and elderly relative who kept making mistakes. So the solicitor just said: "OK, what you are supposed to say is .... (he read it aloud himself) ....so is that what you meant to say?" which he took as the oath being sworn. So tell Mum not to worry, they are used to it.
    Last edited by BobQ; 30-01-2015 at 12:28 AM.
    Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions.
    • BobQ
    • By BobQ 30th Jan 15, 12:11 AM
    • 9,964 Posts
    • 13,102 Thanks
    BobQ
    All a bit weird. Do people generally lie and cheat unless they've sworn an oath not to?
    Originally posted by sneekymum
    Not usually but it is far easier to charge you with perjury if you lie in an oath than to prove the other behaviours.
    Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions.
    • NotAMorningPerson
    • By NotAMorningPerson 30th Jan 15, 2:11 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    NotAMorningPerson
    I was amazed how easy it was to swear at a local solicitor also ...

    Initially I applied to the nearest district registry with the intention of trying to get an appointment at one of the smaller venues offered by that location but had the same problem as LutonGirl where there wasn't enough call for appointments at that location.

    When I called the district registry they offered me an appointment a week later, which was pretty good given the letter said they had a 2 week waiting list. I wasn't overly keen on the 2 hour return trip to swear the oath there though and luckily the nice lady I spoke to mentioned that I could swear at a local solicitor.

    I didn't realise it was still an option to use a local solicitor as I thought I had to specify that on my initial application and since I had chosen the registry option I assumed I'd been sent some special version of the paperwork meant for a registry appointment only. However the lady said it wasn't a problem and that the solicitor would amend the oath as appropriate to reflect it was being sworn with them instead.

    I googled local solicitors who were mentioned as a 'commissioner for oaths' and the first one I called said it would be 7 to swear and if I could pop in that afternoon they could do it there and then - this was at 3:30pm on a Friday!

    Can't believe I had even considered the 2 hour return trip to swear at the registry just to save the swearing fee at the solicitor.

    Sent mine off and now waiting for the grant to arrive - think it should arrive within 10 working days once they receive the sworn oath.

    (Note: had to rewrite the last couple of sentences as they disppeared after I tried to edit to finish a sentence it seems I'd stopped in the middle of - all very bizarre! Might have forgotten what I orginally said so this is the closest I can get)
    Last edited by NotAMorningPerson; 30-01-2015 at 7:45 PM. Reason: Missed off the end of my sentence!
    • SandraScarlett
    • By SandraScarlett 30th Jan 15, 7:36 PM
    • 3,921 Posts
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    SandraScarlett
    I've just posted a new thread under DIY Probate. I sent all my documents last Saturday to Ipswich, and received the Oath today. I have an appointment at my solicitors to swear, on Monday, and there is a set fee of 7.


    No need to go anywhere, other than your nearest solicitors. I was advised to post mine to Ipswich because they have a fast turnaround, and that's proved true.


    xx
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