In roughly 50% of cases, probate is required after a person dies. This process of dealing with their estate can easily become expensive. However, should you close accounts, sell property and land and distribute any relevant assets yourself, you won’t need to pay a solicitor to help you.
Is it worth the risk to opt for DIY probate?
Here are the key things you need to know to make this decision.
The legal process of selling a probate property revolves around grants of representation, of which there are two main types.
If the person who has died has a will, you’ll need to fill out paperwork for a grant of probate.
If there is no will, you’ll apply for a grant of letters of administration.
In both cases, you gain the authority to deal with the deceased person’s estate as well as be required to handle any tax on inherited property and associated costs.
As noted above, about half of all deaths lead to a need for probate. You likely don’t need to apply if there’s joint ownership of the deceased person’s land, property and accounts, or if their estate is valued at less than £10,000.
A DIY probate process looks appealing inexpensive, but it’s vital to know exactly what you’re signing up for. In particular, you’ll need to (1) apply for probate, and (2) administer the estate.
Probate solicitors often offer estimates that go well into the thousands. However, they’re often not just giving you a quote for probate - they’re estimating the cost for full administration of the estate. Here’s how the costs really break down.
Ultimately, you’ll need to contrast the pros and cons associated with DIY probate, as well as taking the cost into account.
Pros: DIY probate is cheaper than using a professional There’s often some therapeutic value to the distraction provided by dealing with the state. You control all the decisions made about the estate.
Cons: The paperwork associated with probate and inheritance tax is lengthy and complex. Any mistake in the paperwork cause delays at the probate registry. It’s hard to communicate effectively with the probate registry, who can be hard to reach over the phone/email. A DIY probate takes longer.
Ultimately, your confidence in completing the grant paperwork and tax forms will likely make the decision.
If you don’t feel competent with the probate application, you may nevertheless feel comfortable doing the estate admin, in which case a simple probate service is likely best for you. Meanwhile, if you’re anxious about the paperwork and also feel overwhelmed with the estate administration, the cost of a full estate administration professional may well be worth it.
At Property Buyer, we can help you with the process of selling probate property, without extensive fees, or needing to pay a solicitor.
Our valuations are non-obligatory and our promise is we can make selling inherited property a stress-free process.
Learn more about selling inherited property and commonly asked questions about probate property by contacting Property Buyer.