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The Benefits of Fixed Fee Probate

March 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 165

When you lose a loved one, there can be an awful lot to think about at a time when you just can't seem to think straight at all. One massive burden is dealing with the deceased's financial affairs.

But you don't have to deal with it all yourself. Having someone else handle everything for you won't take away your grief, but it will remove a huge weight from your shoulders. And that is where fixed fee probate comes in.

It is possible to appoint a solicitor, or a probate services practitioner to deal with everything for you. They will apply for probate on your behalf and deal with the deceased's financial affairs. The trouble is solicitors charge by the hour and you could face a massive fee, if dealing with your loved one's finances is a complicated affair. A probate services practitioner will remove the worry of escalating costs by offering you an upfront fixed fee for handling everything on your behalf.

A Fixed Fee Probate Service Will:

Apply for probate on your behalf.

Chase up money owing to your loved one, and pay bills they owe.

Deal with any financial institutions, including banks, stockbrokers and the sale of any properties if necessary.

Work out how much inheritance tax is owed and pay it on your behalf.

Distribute the proceeds of the estate to the beneficiaries of the will.

Take away the worry of mounting legal fees - you will know exactly what the costs are upfront.

Remove the burden of dealing with the estate from you, to allow you time to grieve.

You may feel that you should handle everything yourself if you have been appointed as an executor of the deceased's will. But when someone makes a will they often don't realise how complicated it may be to sort out their finances when they die. So just because they chose you as an executor of their will, it does not mean that they would expect you to sort out the financial aspects of their estate.

How to Decide Whether to Deal With Probate Yourself or Get Help

Is the deceased's estate worth less than £5000? If so, you may not have to apply for probate at all, as the bank may give you access to your loved ones account without probate.

Are all the deceased's assets in joint names with you, including the house, the bank accounts etc? If so, you will not have to apply for probate as you will be able to arrange to have all the assets transferred into your name.

Does the deceased have outstanding bills to pay, or do they have money owing to them? If not, you may want to deal with probate yourself.

Does the deceased have assets tied up in property, stocks and shares, a business, or anywhere else other than the bank? If they don't, handling probate yourself may be straight forward.

Do you feel confident about calculating inheritance taxes and dealing with HMRC? If you feel comfortable dealing with tax issues, you may want to deal with your loved ones estate yourself.

But, if the estate is not straightforward and there are stocks, shares and property to sort out, bills to pay and money to chase up, you may want to pass the responsibility to someone else. So a fixed fee probate service will be your best option. That way, you know that everything will be dealt with correctly, and you won't have to worry about huge legal fees at the end.

+Tony Crocker is Director of IWC Estate Planning & Management Ltd. With over 15 years' experience, he is knowledgeable and proficient in all matters regarding Probate, Letters of Administration, Will writing, Estate Planning and Inheritance tax avoidance.

IWC Estate Planning & Management Ltd. are a specialist Will Writing and Probate Company offering nationwide coverage. The company provides fixed fee probate services; rates are agreed with clients in advance. Probate fees are based on the work that has to be carried out, rather than the estate value or at an hourly rate.

IWC are regulated by the Society of Will Writers and Estate Planning Practitioners and registered at Companies House. Their head office is located in Croydon, Surrey, with satellite office coverage across most of England. Follow us on Twitter @IWCLtd

Source: EzineArticles
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