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  • Writer's pictureEmma Aslett

Wills & Probate | 5 Reasons To Use A Probate Lawyer

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Being an Executor of an estate comes with many responsibilities, including paying for inheritance tax (IHT). Whilst I can understand that many Executors either think that probate is straightforward or a Grant of Probate is not required (when it is!), it is not as simple as you think…

1. The first reason you should consider instructing a Solicitor to act on your behalf is minimising risk. Did you know that the Executors are accountable to the beneficiaries and are personally liable for anything that should go wrong during the process? Doing this yourself means taking on significant additional risk.

2. There are many important deadlines to adhere to including paying any IHT liability with HMRC’s “6-month” deadline post-death. I do not need to tell you that HMRC are not going to be lenient with that deadline. Failing to adhere to the deadlines can mean personal financial penalties.

3. Unfamiliarity with the probate system, HMRC and financial organisations can lead to unnecessary problems and time wasted. Whereas instructing a law firm is an obvious solution to the problem. It means you are in safe hands, their specialist expertise adds an additional layer of protection and time will be spent better.

A law firm that specialises in probate, deals with this type of work on a daily basis and knows the process and how the system works.

4. It is crucial to know how IHT works and how to apply for exemptions as, otherwise, without applying for them, HMRC is not going to turn around and tell you that you do not need to pay for that much IHT!

Therefore, the knowledge of the system, experience and expert knowledge, can save you time in the long term and potentially costs. Probate is a lengthy process and, on top of your day job, you are taking on another full-time responsibility.

5. Taking time to grieve the loss of a loved one. Most often it is emotionally challenging for the Executors and whilst taking on the additional full-time role as an Executor, you will inevitably be going through the grieving process. The risk is not being in the right head-space to take tough decisions in the timeframes expected from you. The sad truth is, the probate process and HMRC are not very generous when it comes to time limits.

We are currently holding a probate clinic for a free consultation. I would seriously consider taking advantage of this so you know where you stand as an Executor or, of course, what your Executors would need to do when you pass away and whether your estate is taxable.

Please contact me to book your time with our advisors.

0207 183 4595

The information provided in this article is not intended to constitute professional advice and you should take full and comprehensive legal, accountancy or financial advice as appropriate on your individual circumstances by a fully qualified Solicitor, Accountant or Financial Advisor/Mortgage Broker before you embark on any course of action.


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