My wife and I are helping sort out her dad's will. Its clear and simple but one building society insist on a grant of probate before releasing some money to her mum. It looks quite a daunting form filling exercise. Has anyone experience in these matters or is the best course of action to employ a solicitor?
Grant of probate questions
if its santander, be very careful, the most ignorant ......................
Is there not a Power of Attorney in place? I thought that would suffice.
Have actually just completed Probate which I did myself. If it's straight-forward then you don't need a solicitor.
Not them but could be easily owned/part of the same group I think they want to hang on to the money for as long as possible.
Its a pretty straightforward form filling exercise once you work out which forms need to be filled out.
Had to do this last year and the HMRC helpline was very helpful as were the institutions involved.
Sorry to hear about your wifes bereavement.... I went through something similar after my dad died whilst helping mum.
Our experience was with the family solicitor. I think the thing that triggered probate was the value of the estate. It was a relatively simple process but took a very long time for Probate to be granted and money released. This is not the solicitors fault but the official office that deals with it. Almost 8 months IIRC which if mum wasn't financially secure herself would have caused some problems.
If you go down the solicitor route then just check how they arrange their fees, either a flat rate, per hour billing or a percentage of the estate value... if the estate is large and they charge by the percentage it could be a large fee.
This has been asked before so have a search for the topic but I hope the above helps.
No power of attorney but a will which leaves everything to his widow no house involved. Basically savings in banks/building societies and premium bonds
There are a lot of forms to fill in, but they're all available on the net, and most estates should be fairly easy to complete, even where IHT is due.
Unless the assets of the deceased were unconventional / complicated I wouldn't hesitate to do yourself. Although get a quote off the solicitor, the price may be reasonable if you don't want the hassle. (It is hassle......)
Second the Santander comment. They are awful with the probate. Managed to close my current account cos they thought I'd passed away, I was dealing with my late fathers account, suffice to say I didn't re-open it.
This is what you need:
It doesn't need to take as long as rickmeister's did, certainly going by my experience. It's imperative to complete forms correctly, sort out attachments, any swearing on oath etc. Check and double-check.
Has the building society asked to see the Will? Have they a copy of the Death Certificate?
Itstig, deepest apologies for your sad loss of your father in law, did the probate for my dad, ring the probate office helpline, and they will tell you a list of the offices which you can attend, the addreses and opening times, the lad who answered the phone for me sent us on a 130 mile journey as he had no idea about geography, so check for the nearest,on the website, youll need to make an apointment, and take a few official forms of id along with a copy of the will if available,and dont forget the death certificate, swear on a bible and sign a few forms, get a few copies and then take thenm to a branch of your fils bank, and they will do the rest very slowly.
Beaware if the f-i-l claimed any state benefits, as these will be reclaimed from the estate, if its thought he wanst entitled to them, or was overpaid.
@istig - sorry to hear your news.
It should be pretty straightforward, definitely no need for a solicitor. Plenty of advice online on official site, the form should be very straightforward for you (I assume you are named as an executor) as your father in law was organised with a will. Depending on what you have to do its worth the few extra pounds of getting two copies of the grant of probate, that way you can multi-task with the various banks etc. It's absolutely correct they ask for the probate. If things are quite simple you don't need a seperate bank account yourself, when I did this for my mother in law I set up a simple savings account linked to my main account to keep it all seperate but that was because I foresaw a potential dispute between multiple siblings.
Plenty of good advice above also
Thanks for all the replies I'll just have to get my head down and do the form filling! though we are still searching through a fine collection of old paper work to make sure we don't throw the wrong stuff out
CG the one building society insisting on probate had both mil even has an account there as well.
sorry for your loss . i am a solicitor and my usual advise (unbiased as i do crime)is to use a lawyer this is because they either do it right or have insurance to compensate you if they don't . But your situation sounds like a dead simple estate and the forms are relitively straightforward from memory the probate office staff are very knowledgeable and helpfull . I would strongly suggest that there is no point at all using a solicitor for this .
if you are in leeds and need any swearing doing i will do it for you.
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