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Probate, please explain!

(18 Posts)
SpringyReframed Mon 11-Nov-13 23:37:12

My Mum died a couple of weeks ago. She left a Will done up properly with solicitors only a few years ago and leaves behind my Dad who is nearly 90. She has left everything to him, and he in turn will leave everything to me, their only child. I am the executor on Mum's Will with Dad.

They own a house in joint names, most of their savings are in joint names (not sure if all of them are as havent looked yet). Mum has a current account in her name only with about 3k in it.

Please could you tell me if I am right in thinking that I dont need to rush to deal with financial/probate matters? I have sorted out the state pension. Also should all this be simple enough for me to do myself or should I pay a solicitor and how much is it likely to cost. I am horrified that Dad has already been approached by a company dealing with probate and it seems they charge 4% of the value of the estate!! He is too elderly to be bothered by pestering phone calls never mind dealing with them and I am going to call them tomorrow and tell them to get lost.

I didnt want to have to think about all this till after the memorial service but this call to dad has really upset me.

caroldecker Tue 12-Nov-13 01:19:16

Sorry about your loss thanks

You are executor of the will, so the only person who can employ help. It should be pretty simple - if only to her husband, then no inheritance tax. You just need copies of the death certificate to every financial institution and then move everything into your dad's name.
Most financial institutions have a special berevement phoneline, so people who understand your position and not the normal telephone helpline.

SpringyReframed Tue 12-Nov-13 04:54:21

Thank you Caroldecker. Does this mean I dont have to apply for probate? I dont even know what that means really. (sad)

SpringyReframed Tue 12-Nov-13 04:59:30

Ops, I meant sad. I feel very stressed about all this as I have a nephew of my mothers who is trying to interfere and took my Dad off to a bank (not even his own branch where they know him and me) along with a death certificate without consulting me and has triggered this hassle.

JeanSeberg Tue 12-Nov-13 05:02:15

I'm going through probate at the moment as executor of my late mum's will. It's easy to sort yourself and they are very helpful on the phone. Give them a call as a starting point.

SpringyReframed Tue 12-Nov-13 06:02:21

Thanks. That is really useful and clear.

Has anyone got any tips for heading off this probate firm so my Dad isnt pestered with phone calls?

JeanSeberg Tue 12-Nov-13 06:06:50

Just tell them no!

SpringyReframed Tue 12-Nov-13 06:32:10

The problem is they aren't ringing me, they are ringing my Dad.

JeanSeberg Tue 12-Nov-13 06:38:20

Get the number off your dad's ph

JeanSeberg Tue 12-Nov-13 06:39:44

Get the number off your dad's phone and call them yourself.

Sorry to hear about your mum by the way, if you need any practical advice about who to contact etc let me know.

teaselweasel Tue 12-Nov-13 07:05:07

I've just got the probate for my deceased father's estate. The company phoning your dad are taking the p#ss! Our solicitor wanted to charge 2k to get the probate but they have to be more thorough as they are a company. We decided to apply ourselves and rang the helpline. The helpline will advise you which forms you need to complete. You then send the forms, death cert and cheque for the probate costs to your local probate office and will be asked to swear an oath either at probate office or in front of solicitor (costs about £5). Once oath is sworn and signed, send back to probate office and should get the probate cert within a couple of weeks.

teaselweasel Tue 12-Nov-13 07:06:25

Oops the Will also needs to be sent with probate forms.

Alwayscheerful Tue 12-Nov-13 07:26:06

You can save lots of money and time dealing with probate yourself. You say you are executor on your mums will with Dad, are you joint executors?if so, complete the forms to allow your dad to stand down and you can swear the oath alone.

If you are the sole executor you can go to any probate office to swear the oath, it does not have to be your local one, waiting times are stated on the recorded message on the probate office line.

You can get lots of help from mumsnet.

Good luck.

NCISaddict Tue 12-Nov-13 07:42:23

AFAIK you don't need probate if a person leaves everything to a spouse and the property is held as joint tenants rather than tenants in common. When my Mum died in 2001 she left everything to Dad and we didn't have to get a grant of probate. When Dad died he left everything split equally between my sister and me and we did have to get probate.
Not sure if the law has changed since then but it was certainly the case then.

Kundry Tue 12-Nov-13 08:14:24

We didn't do probate 2 years ago when my dad died. He had left everything to my mum but had v little in his name, their property was held as joint tenants. I think probate was only needed if the estate was over a certain value but I can't remember properly.

Anyway it was v easy to sort the estate and no-one ever asked me for probate although some companies did want sight of the will.

SpringyReframed Tue 12-Nov-13 09:19:56

Thanks everyone. This is incredibly helpful. I have already spoken to the company and hopefully have got that bit sorted out.

I feel very reassured having read the posts and am now going to spend an hour on what I am going to stand up and say at Mum's memorial service not on stuff that can be dealt with at a later date. The sun has just come out outside my window, I have put my Mum's wedding ring on my little finger and I am feeling better.

I will be back no doubt flowers

JeanSeberg Fri 15-Nov-13 14:49:06

Hi Springy, sorry I'm late coming back to this thread. I hope everything went well at your mum's memorial service. I think you did the right thing to concentrate on that, everything else can wait.

Also glad you have got some nice 'physical' memories of your mum like the ring to wear.


antshouse Sat 16-Nov-13 08:48:54

My mum did my step-dads probate herself. He had left everything to her and it was very straight forward. Now my mum has died I have needed those documents for mums probate as she is allowed double the allowance for inheritance tax. I would advice you to sort out your mums probate when you are up to it because of that.

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