Probate – What service do I need?

Earlier in the week I took a call from Wendy. She was typical of the people who don’t know if they need the full estate probate administration service or just the executor’s grant of probate. Here is what I told Wendy and it is fairly typical:-

“We can get the grant of probate for you. That includes talking to you and getting to know the circumstances of your particular case. It means having a look at the will or discussing the circumstances and the family situation if there were no will; and then preparing the necessary forms for you as an executor or administrator to obtain the grant of probate or letters of administration. This is the official document which then enables you to deal with the estate. On a simple estate you will pay less than £800 which includes VAT. It no longer includes the Probate Registry’s fees as these are increasing in May to alarming levels. But we think it is ideal for you if you want to save time and save worry and at the same time be confident that the application will be dealt with in a professional way.”

Wendy wondered whether she could ask us to deal with full administration even if she opted for the grant only service. I told her “This happens quite often”. People find it a relief to have got to the grant stage and then decide that they do not really want to go the trouble of opening an executor’s account and deal with beneficiaries who might be pressing for information or action. Far better to hand everything over to us and we will deal with the full administration. We always take into account what has already been paid for the grant only service.

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