Probate Consultation Service
We know how emotionally difficult it can be for many people when administering an estate after losing someone close to them. So we will support you as sympathetically and professionally as we can with our comprehensive probate service.
The risks of DIY probate
An increasing number of executors choose to deal with an estate themselves when a close relative dies but is this really a wise move? The reality is that probate is usually a complex process, even where the estate appears, at first sight, to be straightforward.
If you take into account the feelings of grief and the need to adapt to the loss of a loved one, you need to consider carefully whether you want the responsibility of calculating the inheritance tax liability and taking on the risk of personal liability if things go wrong.
You will be personally liable
As the executor dealing with the estate, you could be liable for debts that are left unpaid. What does this mean in practice? You will have to pay out of your own pocket if a beneficiary does not receive their rightful inheritance from the estate, for example, because you did not obtain the true market value for a property;
or if an unknown beneficiary comes forward after you have distributed the estate; or when there is an outstanding inheritance tax bill. You will not be able to plead ignorance to avoid payment.
This is a heavy risk to carry.
All the estate debts need to be settled before any beneficiaries are paid their share. The only way to avoid personal liability is to make sure the estate is dealt with properly and the best way to ensure this is to instruct a specialist solicitor who has had appropriate training and experience.