Do I Need a Probate Solicitor?Smart Will
Do I Need a Probate Solicitor?
When someone passes on it can be a really difficult and confusing time.
There are so many legalities to take care of and it can feel a little overwhelming.
One of the terms that keep cropping up is ‘probate’ and you may well be wondering whether you actually need a solicitor to carry out probate on your behalf.
In this post, we’ll look at this issue and try and help you demystify the topic.
What is probate?
Probate is the formal term for acceptance of the Last Will and Testament of the deceased as a valid document.
Probate will be applied for when the deceased has passed on and the ‘grant of probate’ is the point where the executor can begin to administer the distribution of the deceased estate.
Generally speaking, the executor will apply for probate.
However, if there is no Will then a slightly different approach is needed.
Usually, a member of the person’s family or a close friend will apply to become the administrator of the estate.
This involves applying for ‘letters of administration’ in much the same way that probate is applied for.
In both cases, the distribution of the estate cannot be started until the grant has been made and this will usually take a minimum of three weeks and indeed many institutions such as banks and building societies may not allow access to data until they see a grant of probate.
Do you actually need a probate solicitor?
Legally, it is not necessary to appoint a solicitor to carry out the probate application process.
Any executor or potential administrator can make the application but that really is only part of the story.
The process of applying for probate or letters of administration can become quite complex and unless the estate is relatively small and uncomplicated it can take quite a bit of work.
It’s is also important to remember that if it is being handled by a friend or relative then the whole process may be unnecessarily upsetting.
You really should think about using a probate specialist when the estate has income bearing assets, or includes trading companies, has foreign assets or if it looks like it may be insolvent.
So whilst you don’t have to have a solicitor to apply for probate, we’d say that for very practical reasons it is a good idea to involve a specialist at an early stage to avoid any potential time consuming and expensive errors.
How can SmartWill help?
Many people shy away from solicitors given that they can become very expensive very quickly and this is why the SmartWill Probate service was launched.
All Smart Will users have access to our carefully selected probate panel, so you can rest assured knowing that our probate service is fixed fee and if there is a property on the estate, we can sell any property through our national estate agency at no extra cost. This is a unique service that Smart Will offers.
We understand that you’ll want to make sure that things are handled sensitively, quickly and in a cost-effective manner and our service is designed to achieve just that.
Our probate specialists do this kind of work day in day out and they will be able to guide you through the process, letting you know what to expect at each stage.
Our experts will be able to prepare all of your probate documents or letters of administration application and submit them on your behalf.
Call the team on 08001181603 or email on email@example.com