Although it is possible to apply for probate without instructing a solicitor, there are times when seeking legal advice is the best option. Whilst many people do apply for probate and execute the will by themselves, this is often when the estate is small and the terms of the will straightforward. If you are considering applying for probate and administering the will yourself, you ought to take into account the size of the estate and the complexity of the will.
Before deciding to act for yourself, you should also weigh up whether you can dedicate enough time to the process and whether you feel confident that you can manage some moderately complex legal work. You can read our full guide to the probate process here.
You should always seek legal advice if:
- The will is vague or unclear in any way, or the validity of the will is in question.
- Some of the assets have been left in a trust.
- There are likely to be disputes over the Will, or someone is likely to appeal for provision.
- The estate includes overseas assets, whether property, money or land.
- The estate includes a business, or the testator was a business owner.
- There are beneficiaries named in the will who are under eighteen when testator dies.
- The estate is particularly large, or involves multiple properties.
- The estate is subject to inheritance tax (that is, the estate is valued at £325,000 at the time of the testator’s death).
The circumstances mentioned above are likely to take much longer to process and will require expertise from different areas of law.
How Are Probate Fees Calculated?
Although the cost of fees will vary between different solicitors, fees for probate are usually based on a percentage of the estate as a whole. Remember that any legal fees are paid from the estate, and so will not place an unfair financial burden on the executor alone.
As our fees for probate are always variable, it’s best to speak to us about your individual circumstances and we will be happy to provide you with a quote. A first consultation is always free, so whether you just want to establish if you should apply for probate yourself or just get a quote for our fees we’ll be able to help. Give us a call on 0191 567 7244 – first advice is free and there’s no obligation to instruct if you don’t think our services are right for you.