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Do I need a solicitor for Probate?

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Many Executors can now make a personal application for a Grant of Probate in respect of an estate online by using the probate application system.

Until very recently, as part of the application for a Grant of Probate, Executors were required to swear an Oath and this usually took place at a Solicitors Office or a Probate Office. If represented by a Solicitor, the Solicitor would prepare the Oath and if unrepresented, the Probate Office would send an Oath to the Executor(s) once the application had been considered. The cost of swearing an Oath was usually £7 per Executor.  

The Oath has recently been replaced by a Statement of Truth meaning that the trip to get the Oath sworn is no longer needed. The Probate Office, will, however, still accept sworn Oaths in applications for the foreseeable future. The changes that have been made to the Probate process are said to be a simpler way of doing Probate.  

With all of the recent changes that have been implemented to make Probate simpler, is DIY Probate something to consider?

Like many things that seem simple on the face of it, Probate is a big responsibility and can be more complicated than you think, especially if the estate is complex, if some of the residue of the estate passes to charity or if you have never done it before. Whilst you can apply for Probate yourself, using an expert Solicitor will help relieve the pressure and burden in a difficult time. Executors must also be aware of the personal liability that can arise if mistakes are made and so instructing a professional is always going to be the “safer” option.

Applying for Probate is just one aspect of administering an estate. At Emery Johnson Astills, we can assist you with the administration of an estate from start to finish.

The key stages of the administration of an estate are as follows:-

  • Taking initial instructions from and advising Executors/Personal Representatives
  • Obtaining date of death values for all assets and liabilities
  • Conducting searches such as a Will search and asset search and placing statutory notices
  • Completing the appropriate inheritance tax form
  • Preparing a Statement of Truth to be sworn by the Executors/Personal Representatives
  • Applying to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Representation
  • Dealing with the assets and liabilities in the estate
  • Preparing estate and distribution accounts
  • Distributing the estate in accordance with the Will or the rules of intestacy and obtaining receipts

Finalising any liability for income and capital gains tax during the administration period

If you would like information about our Probate Pricing, visit our Probate Pricing page

If you would like more information about Probate or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Emery Johnson Astills on 0116 2554855 (Leicester) or 01509 610 312 (Loughborough) and a Solicitor in our Wills and Probate Team will be happy to assist you.