DIY Probate

Wills, Probate, Tax & Trusts Article

09 May, 2012

The death of a relative or close friend can be one of life's most upsetting and stressful events. Whilst it is possible for the Personal Representatives (referred to as Executors where there is a Will and Administrators where there is no Will) to apply for probate and administer an estate without consulting a specialist solicitor such a course of action can often hold potential risks.

The role of Personal Representatives carries personal liability and mistakes made can leave this person exposed to the risk of legal action and personal liability for loss incurred by the estate.

Some common problems which can arise from failure to consult with a specialist solicitor include issues with matters such as:-

  • Interpretation of the Will
  • Administering the estate where there is no Will
  • Completing the appropriate Inheritance Tax Account
  • Safeguarding assets
  • Collecting in all assets of the estate
  • Discharging all liabilities of the estate
  • Attending to all relevant taxation matters
  • Distributing the estate correctly
  • Submitting notices to advertise the death to unknown creditors
  • Distributing the estate prematurely

The job of a Personal Representative can be particularly complicated if there are a number of high value assets and you need to pay tax.

There are many dangers that can catch the DIY probate applicants which might render such applicants personally liable to authorities such as HMRC as well as beneficiaries and creditors.

Whilst instructing solicitors to deal with the administration of the estate will incur legal costs such costs would be paid out of the deceased's estate and not personally by the Personal Representative. This would not only provide the guarantee of protection from the risk exposure highlighted but also the confidence and reassurance that all matters relating to the administration of the estate had been properly dealt with.

For further information and specialist advice on how we can help you with your probate matters please contact Ian Howard on 01772 220022 or email Ian Howard

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