13th FEBRUARY 2021
If you are the executor of a will, you might find yourself putting a lot of time and energy into handling the probate process. Depending on the size and complexity of the estate, probate can take years to complete. Therefore, it’s not surprising that, as the executor, you might feel like you deserve compensation for your work. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that you will receive any payment for your efforts.
If you were particularly close with the person who died, you might be a beneficiary of their estate as well as the named executor. For example, people often name their adult children as executors as well as the main beneficiaries of their estate. This means that you will be receiving the fruits of your labour in the form of your gifted assets as listed in the will.
If you are not the main beneficiary of the will, but have been trusted with the role of executor, the deceased will likely have left a gift for you in their will on the understanding that you will take on the tough job of handling their estate. You should read through the will thoroughly before you begin the application process to determine whether this is the case.
If the deceased did not leave you a gift in the will and still named you as executor, you are not entitled to take any money from the estate regardless of how much time you put into the probate process. However, you will also never be expected to pay out of pocket when applying for probate or handling the estate. If you choose to handle the application on your own, the £215 paid to the probate registry will come out of the estate. If you choose to hire a professional solicitor or probate service such as Kwil, the cost of the service will also come out of the estate.
Before deciding whether to hire a professional, you should consult with the beneficiaries of the will because the money spent on these services will come directly from their inheritance. Ultimately, it is your decision whether they agree or not. It is generally recommended that you hire a professional to help you unless you are confident in your understanding of legal and financial jargon, as you could be held financially liable for any mistakes you make in the probate application forms.
It is also worth hiring a professional because they might be able to save you some money from hidden assets and tax exemptions that the average person might not notice. Before you decide to hire a solicitor or service, you should thoroughly compare quotes to ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck. Many solicitors charge an hourly rate or a percentage of the estate for their work, which means they are not always able to give an accurate estimation of the final cost of their services and you might have a nasty surprise when you eventually come to pay.
At Kwil, we offer a fixed-fee probate service. Whether you choose our grant-only service or full estate administration, our costs will be outlined to you in full before you agree to hire us so you can be confident that there are no hidden costs. Call us for a discussion of our services and a free quote based on your situation.