News and insights from our Private Client team
DIY probate VS using a lawyer
- AuthorNadine Wealands
DIY probate application
Much has been written and spoken about the proposed hike in probate fees recently – likely to cost families, they say, £145m in the first year. ‘They’ say the reason for the increase is to modernise and improve the experience currently provided by the Probate Service, ultimately easing the burden on the grieving applicant.
Furthermore, increased charges for the grant of probate itself might also be on the cards – justified by MPs saying that the principle of the justice system is that its users contribute to the upkeep of the court and fund it through such fees (cross-subsidising, if you will), ultimately limiting demands on taxpayers.
What are you getting for your money now – and what changes will you see?
There are numerous Registries throughout England and Wales, each fully manned by skilled personnel. All applications and supporting documents are thoroughly checked and processed by experienced handlers before a grant is made, which typically takes between eight to ten days.
To improve the service, applications and payments are to be made easier by using online facilities, with digital assistance being provided for those who are perhaps not quite so technologically proficient. As with any modernisation, it is possible that some streamlining of offices and staff may occur, and part of the existing service provided could be outsourced. The question should also be asked what checks are in place to prevent fraud which is very likely to occur.
“A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client”
Why use a lawyer?
It’s a given that companies need to continually modernise and keep up to date with technology to improve services. But when dealing with an ageing population such as ours is, and at a time when individuals are at their most vulnerable, it’s equally as important to make sure they are catered for. To navigate through unfamiliar online systems whilst suffering immeasurable grief is a daunting prospect.
Using a lawyer may not be cheaper than applying for probate yourself, as the hiked fees will still have to be paid, but what you’re buying is relief from the stress of dealing with something you’re not familiar with and certainty that it will be done right the first time. You can carry out as much of the application yourself, and we will only intervene when you ask for help. There will always be someone to talk to who can take you through the process, step by step. If your particular circumstances are complex, we have the knowledge and expertise to execute the entire application on your behalf.