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Convenient Wills     The home visit will writing service

Stoke (01782) 639716

or     0800 072 5510

What is Grant of Probate?

Probate is the legal document, issued by the Probate Office, confirming that the person named thereon has the power to act in the process of winding up the deceased’s affairs.

- Dying with a Valid Will

If there is a valid Will, and you are the executor, and the Probate Office is sure you are the person authorised to wind up a deceased person’s estate, the Probate Office will issue you with a ‘Grant of Probate’.

- Dying Intestate

If there is no Will, or the Will is rejected by the Probate Office, the next of kin applies to the Probate Office for ‘Letters of Administration’.  Like the ‘Grant of Probate’ these authorise the person named thereon to wind up the deceased person’s affairs.

Obtaining Letters of Administration however is more costly, and time-consuming, than obtaining ‘Probate’.

What are the Executor and Administrator’s duties?

After a person’s death the executor or administrator (depending upon if there is a Will or not) is responsible for sorting out the deceased person’s estate.

For an executor this means distributing the estate in accordance with the persons Will.

For an administrator this means distributing the state in accordance with the rules of intestacy.

If an executor fails to distribute and estate in accordance with the Will, or an administrator fails to distribute an estate in accordance with the ‘rules of intestacy’, then the executor or administrator are in breach of trust, and personally liable for the mistake.  So it is important that everything is done correctly, with all i’s dotted and t’s crossed.

You can down load our fact sheet by clicking …

How long does it take to get Probate?

Occasionally we hear of estates being sorted in 3 months; most take at least 6 months, and 2 years is not uncommon. The worst case we did hear of was 24 years!  

Much depends upon the complexity of the deceased’s estate. If there is a property to be sold this can take substantially longer than when there is no property to be sold.

How much does obtaining Probate cost?

Much depends upon who obtains Probate.  

A solicitor will charge for their time.  If you do it yourself then you have the Probate Office’s fees of £90 and the need to swear on oath that your submission is correct, accurate and honest etc - possibly costing another £10, giving a total cost of £100.  Solicitors usually charge a % of the whole estate (typically 1.5 to 2.5%), whilst most Banks charge 3 to 5% - with minimum fees applying.

You do need to be careful about the fees that professionals will charge.  We have heard of instances where the estate just comprises a significant amount of money held in one bank account.  In other words it would be an absolute doddle to sort out and yet the solicitor charged their percentage fee for doing so.

Our Policy

Our usual solution is to recommend that you choose a family member as your executor. We then include the appropriate powers within the Will that allows your executors to use the services of a professional (e.g. a solicitor) should they need to do so.

If no family member is suitable for appropriate then we will suggest alternatives. We do not try to appoint ourselves as your executors; we do not provide a Probate Service ourselves.

The Next Step

If you would like us to make your Will in the comfort of your own home and at a time that is convenient to you then please contact us.

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What is Probate?

On this page you will find answers to:

Probate is usually either very easy or very frustratingThe two faces of obtaining probate!

Deed of variation

A Deed of Variation (Often referred to as a “DOV”) is a legal document that forms an agreement between all beneficiaries of a Will [affected by a proposed change] to change aspects of the distribution in the deceased person’s Will  – after the testator’s death.

The ‘deed of variation’ provides an opportunity to put into place effective tax planning opportunities that have been missed whilst the testator (the person who made the Will) was alive.  This is the most common reason why the Deed of Variation is used.

The ‘deed of variation’ has one major failing; minors cannot be party to such a document. So where a Will gifts part of the deceased’s estate to a minor then an approach must be made to the Law Courts as only the Courts can act on behalf of minors where the minors are beneficiaries.  The Law Courts usually impose very strict criteria before agreeing to any amendment.  There is often a significant cost involved also.

In view of the potential complications and risks with these documents we recommend you seek professional advice before undertaking a ‘deed of variation’.

Did you know …

Wills can be stored at Central Probate Registry, London for a one off fee?

Are you paying annual storage fees to your Will-Writer?

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Deaths & Probate Each Year

It is estimated that 500,000 people a year die in the UK.

Approximately 35% of the deceased’s estates are sorted by their own family (in 2013) up from 28% in 2004.