Solicitors often charge significant fees for their services, which can make probate a pricey process. To save money, you might consider applying for probate and dealing with your loved one’s estate without any professional help. This article will help you figure out whether this is the best option for you.
The first step to applying for probate is submitting your application to the probate registry. If there is a will, you will be applying for a grant of probate using the form titled PA1P. If there is no will, you will be applying for a grant of letters of administration using the form known as PA1A. You will also need to fill out an inheritance tax form, regardless of whether inheritance tax is due or not.
Once your application has been approved, you will be sent your grant of probate or grant of letters of administration by post. This allows you to deal with the estate in question, which can involve gathering funds, closing bank accounts, paying outstanding debts, selling or transferring property, and many more tasks depending on the size and contents of the estate.
The main reason why you might want to deal with probate on your own is money. Solicitors often charge a large sum for their services and many people are not willing to part with this money when they don’t necessarily need to. Some solicitors also charge by the hour, or based on a percentage of the estate, which can be confusing as you are not totally sure of how much you need to pay until the probate process is complete.
Another reason why you may choose to handle probate on your own is that you want to oversee the process and stay up to date on the progress of your application. It should be noted that the probate registry is extremely backed up, particularly at the moment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that getting in contact with someone to discuss your application’s process can be exceedingly difficult regardless of whether you do it yourself or not.
The forms required for a probate application are long, complicated, and full of legal jargon. The majority of people will not have a perfect understanding of the content of the forms and might struggle to fill them in without error. Filling out the forms can therefore be a hugely time-consuming and frustrating task, which is why many people choose to hire a professional.
Additionally, if you make a mistake on these forms, your application could be significantly delayed. It takes a long time to get an application approved even without such delays, so they should be avoided if possible. If you hire a professional to handle your application, you can ensure that there will be no errors and your application will be approved as quickly as it can be.
Once your application has been approved, you might find that you need help with handling the estate. This is especially likely if the estate you are dealing with is particularly large or complex. Handling an estate can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years in the most complex cases. Many people would rather pay for a professional service to manage this for them than have the responsibility hanging over them for such a long time. Moreover, the less free time you have to deal with the estate, the longer it will take. A professional probate service will not only take the responsibility off you but will likely get the job done faster if you work full time or have children to look after.
If you are handling probate on your own, the application will cost you £215 and each copy of the document will cost you £1.50. This is the lowest possible cost for handling probate as you are not paying any third party.
If you have a lot of free time to handle the estate, or you simply wish to handle it yourself, but you are unsure about the complicated tax forms, you can opt for a grant-only service. With Kwil, this will cost you £595 if your estate is simple, or £999 if your estate is more complex. If you choose to use a professional service such as Kwil, the probate registry fees will be reduced from £215 to £155, which is not included in the fixed fee mentioned above.
If you are worried about the probate application and you do not have time to handle the estate administration yourself, you might choose a full estate administration service, whereby the solicitor or organisation handles your application and your estate for you. With Kwil, this will cost you upwards of £1,500. The benefit of using a service such as Kwil rather than a solicitor is that we can offer you a fixed fee so that there are no unexpected costs when you come to pay.