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Will You Need To Pay Probate Fees?

March 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 176

It can be difficult to think about the practicalities when a loved one dies. But worrying about the unknown while you are in mourning puts you under a great deal of stress. So it is a good idea to deal with the deceased's estate as soon as possible, to remove that worry and uncertainty.

One big concern may be the thought that massive probate fees could wipe out a huge amount of the inheritance your loved one left. And that is completely understandable. If you instruct a solicitor to deal with probate on your behalf and it is a long drawn out process, the legal fees could be massive because he will be working on a huge hourly rate.

Do You Need to Apply For Probate at All?

Regardless of whether the deceased made a will, or not, you may not have to apply for probate if they left assets of less than £5000 after the cost of the funeral. Your loved ones bank may simply require a copy of the death certificate before they release the money to you.

Also if all of your loved ones assets were in joint names with you, you may not need to apply for probate. It may simply be a case of asking the financial institutions involved to change them into your name. In either of these cases, you may be able to avoid paying any probate fees at all.

How Do You Apply For Probate if the Deceased Died Intestate?

If the deceased did not make a will, you can still apply for probate. But you need to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration, instead. As with probate, once you have done this you will be granted permission to deal with your loved ones estate.

Dealing with the estate of someone who died intestate may not be easy at all, especially if they left valuable assets and it would make sense to consult a probate services practitioner, or a solicitor.

What Fees Are Involved?

Anyone who applies for probate will need to pay probate fees when they send the appropriate forms to the Probate Registry. On top of these further fees may be involved, depending on how complicated it will be to deal with the deceased's estate. Dealing with such matters, at the same time as you are mourning your loved ones death may be too much for you to cope with. And you may be better off getting legal advice or assistance.

How to Decide Whether You Need Legal Assistance

If your loved one died intestate leaving assets in excess of £5000, it may be wise to seek legal assistance.

If your relative did not make a will and had a common law partner, carefully consider taking legal advice.

If children under the age of eighteen will benefit from your husbands estate, legal advice should be sought.

If the deceased's assets include stocks and shares, property, government bonds, a business, or anything other than cash, it is in your best interests to seek legal help.

If you are not sure whether you need to pay probate fees, speak to a probate services practitioner, or a solicitor. Also consider using a fixed prices service, so you don't need to worry about rapidly mounting legal fees.

+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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