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Why Fixed Fee Probate Saves You Money, Time and Stress

April 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 196

The thought of getting a legal expert to deal with probate on their loved ones behalf fills many people with dread. The prospect of endless solicitor's fees, on top of massive taxes when you have just lost a loved one, can be worrying.

But you don't have to get a solicitor to deal with the deceased's estate at all. If their affairs are not too complicated, you may even be able to deal with it yourself. And even if their finances are not straightforward, you certainly don't need to put yourself in a position where you are faced with unlimited legal fees. Fixed fee probate is based on a pre-agreed sum, so you know exactly what the costs are in advance.

What Does Probate Involve and Can You Deal With It Yourself?

Dealing with probate involves applying to HM Courts & Tribunals Service for permission to take over the deceased's estate and gain access to their finances. If your loved one has left all their assets in their bank account, and they are worth less than £5000, you may not need to apply for probate at all. Most banks will give you access to the deceased's account if the total sum is below £5000, or £10,000 for some banks.

Even if the total sum is above £5000, you will not need to apply for probate if you shared all your loved one's assets in joint names. Banks and other financial institutions will usually be happy to switch the assets into your name, on proof of the death of the deceased.

If none of those cases apply to you but you feel confident paying outstanding bills, chasing up money from those who were in debt to the deceased and dealing with financial institutions you may be able to deal with probate yourself. But don't forget you will also need to make sure you understand the tax implications of your loved ones estate, and feel confident dealing with HMRC.

What If You Don't Feel Comfortable Dealing With Probate Yourself?

Many people don't feel comfortable dealing with probate and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Dealing with financial issues and taxes can be complicated enough at the best of times. But when you are still grieving the death of your loved one it is even harder. Nobody wants to leave those close to them with financial complications to deal with when they die, but few of us know exactly when we are going to die until we become too ill to tie things up ourselves, or it just happens.

It can be tempting just to hand everything over to your family solicitor, if you have one. But don't feel obliged to do so. Solicitor's fees can mount up quickly and dealing with complicated finances can be a long and drawn out process. Having someone deal with probate on your behalf is meant to take the stress away, but if you're worried about mounting hourly fees it can have the opposite effect. Using a fixed fee probate service can take that worry away.

What Can a Fixed Fee Service Do For You?

A fixed fee probate service will handle all your loved ones affairs from the application for probate, to the distribution of the estate to benefactors. Plus they will do all this for a pre-agreed fixed cost, so you will know exactly what you need to pay. You will receive no additional and unexpected bills at the end.

In addition to applying for probate and distributing the estate, a fixed fee probate service will deal with all necessary matters of the estate on your behalf. This includes paying bills and chasing up debts owing to your loved one. They will also deal with financial institutions, stock-broking firms and the sale of any properties included in the estate. And they will work out what inheritance tax is owed and pay it from the estate, before distributing the remainder.

So if you can't deal with probate yourself, or simply don't want to deal with it when you are still dealing with the pain of your loved ones death, a fixed fee probate service really can take all your worries away.

This article was written by probate expert; Tony Crocker+, Director of IWC Estate Planning & Management Ltd.

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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