Do It Yourself Probate
Probate is an essential part of administering an estate following someone’s death. Only estates with a value under £5,000 do not need to apply for probate.
Given that many people’s estates will need to go through probate at some point in time very few understand how much work can be involved in settling someone’s estate.
Probate does not need to be done by a professional and you can do it yourself if you feel confident to do so.
You will save on probate fees as you will not be paying someone else to do it for you. The probate application still needs to be paid, which is currently £215. Additional copies cost £1.50. Many organisations ask for original documents so if you have extra copies you can send them out all at once and not wait for them to be returned before sending onto the next organisation.
If There’s No Inheritance Tax
If the estate is straightforward and under the IHT threshold you may decide to do it yourself. Inheritance Tax is one less thing to think about although you still need to complete the forms even if there is nothing to pay.
Estimate The Estate Value
You need to estimate and report the estate’s estimated value before you can even apply for probate.
Inheritance Tax Liabilities
If there’s any Inheritance Tax to pay it might become complicated and you must calculate and pay it correctly.
Probate can take a long time, especially if it is a complicated estate. A normal timeframe is easily 6-9 months. Remember many people dealing with probate will have a job, other responsibilities and possibly children to also take care of during this time. It can add extra pressure and slow down the process if not enough time can be allocated.
Yes, sometimes probate can be complicated especially if you’ve never done it before. You need to be organised at every step. You will need to fill in a lot of forms and be confident the declarations made are accurate. You need to contact all organisations, declare and pay Inheritance Tax (if applicable) and report to the HMRC. You also need to deal with any accounts the deceased had including banks, credit cards, mortgage and utilities etc.
It can be more complex if someone dies without a Will, known as dying intestate. Not only are things more complicated they can take much longer too. The rules of intestacy need to be followed.