When it comes to probate and estate administration, there are a number of myths that people often mistakenly believe to be true.

The truth is that, whilst many of us will come across probate at some stage in our lives, it is also something that many individuals would confess to knowing very little about.

As probate practitioners, we want to educate people about the process of obtaining probate and administering an estate, so that they can know what to expect and be empowered to make informed decisions when the time comes. In this blog, we debunk some of the most common misconceptions about probate:

Probate is ALWAYS required.

This is incorrect. It is unlikely that Probate would be required where there is jointly owned property, nominated assets, or where the total value of assets/bank accounts is very low (typically less than £5,000 for assets and £15,000 for bank accounts). However, it is important to bear in mind that different financial institutions and other organisations may set different thresholds at which a Grant of Probate is required.

If there is not a valid Will, the Crown will take all funds and assets.

Where there is no valid Will to determine who is to inherit the deceased’s assets, the estate will be administered in line with the rules of intestacy. In the instance that there are no living relatives to inherit, the whole of the deceased’s estate will go to the Crown where the Treasury Solicitor will then administer the estate.

Obtaining Probate and administering an estate is always a simple, straightforward process.

Obtaining Probate and administering an estate can be straightforward, but it isn’t always.

The more component parts and assets that make up an estate, the more complex the probate process is likely to be. Furthermore, executorship can be an arduous prospect, that brings with it a number of heavy tasks, for someone already dealing with the stress and emotion of a bereavement.

We are here to relieve families of their anxieties and ensure the process of obtaining probate and administering an estate is as efficient and stress-free as is possible.

Using a practitioner for Probate is going to cost me a huge amount of money.

Seeking professional support from a Probate practitioner doesn’t have to set you back thousands of pounds. The truth is, the cost will depend upon just how much assistance you want, how complex the estate is, and how complete the estate paperwork is.

We operate a menu-based system, whereby you can pick and choose which elements of our overall offering you require.

For a more detailed analysis of our pricing structure, click here.

If a solicitor holds the deceased’s Will, I have to use them for Probate.

If you have been appointed as an executor in a Will, along with any other named executors, you are free to choose who helps you to wind up and distribute the estate. If a Solicitor holds the Will, this does not mean that you are automatically obligated to use their services.

There’s no difference between using an accountant for Probate and using a solicitor.

Some might say there is no difference, but we firmly believe that there is – particularly if you are an existing client of the firm.

If you’re an existing client, we will already hold an in-depth knowledge of your financial affairs and will have an awareness of the history of the estate assets.

We understand businesses and can offer valuation services as well as advisory services to those who will take over, we have a wealth of experience when it comes to gathering information and completing forms for submission to HMRC, we have the experience necessary to complete estate accounts and we can advise on the entire range of taxes.

Whilst there are clear benefits to clients of using our Probate services, we can just as easily apply this expertise to non-clients.

A solicitor is only required where the probate is ‘contentious’ (i.e. there is a dispute of some kind).

We at GH Probate Ltd. are able to take on all other non-contentious probate cases and were, in fact, one of the first practices in the UK to be licenced to offer Probate & Estates services in 2014.

I am named as an executor and therefore I have no choice but to fulfil that role.

This is not the case. If you are appointed as an executor in a Will, but you do not wish to fulfil the role, there are a few options to consider. You can:

  • Renounce your powers, which means you permanently give up your right to apply for probate and to carry out any associated tasks.
  • Reserve your powers, which means you allow other executors to take the lead but that you can still intervene should you wish to do so.
  • Accept your role as an executor, but engage the support of professional probate practitioners, such as ourselves.

It is worth bearing in mind that the first two options become a little more difficult if you are the sole executor.

You can read more about probate, and the options available to you in our handy FAQ guide.

How can GH Probate Ltd. help you?

GH Probate Ltd can assist with as many, or as few, functions of the executor role as you wish. Our specialist team in Huntingdon, Biggleswade and Letchworth have vast experience in this area, and we undertake the role with the utmost sensitivity and discretion.

By using GH Probate Ltd, you can rest assured that everything will be carried out correctly, with compassion and discretion, and delays will be minimised. We work together with you and ensure that you are always kept up-to-date on how an estate is progressing.

To find out more about the probate services we provide, from our offices in Huntingdon, Letchworth and Biggleswade, or to have a confidential discussion with one of our probate practitioners, contact us today.

Our Probate service is provided through GH Probate Limited. For more information about our services please contact us or email us at probate@georgehay.co.uk.

GH Probate is the trading style of GH Probate Limited. Registered in England and Wales number 9630102. Registered Office: St George’s House, George Street, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE29 3GH.

Authorised to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales

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