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Probate /closing accounts / statutory declaration.(16 Posts)
Dad has died. I managed his finance under power of attorney. I have a degree of experience if finance after a death. As dealt ŵith mums stuff last year.
His will is simple. Everything split 50/50 with my sister. Funeral is payed etc
We registered the death etc today. Tried to close the account with a building society - has 1600 in it and he said " we'll send it off and release it when you have probate.
As far as I can see we don't need probate. Well under inheritance tax threshold etc. So he said we need a " statutory declaration " by a solicitor.
Why? What is this all about?
With mum ( same situation but house to sell) we were either given a cheque at the time, or the money sent later . We only went to probate as there was a property to sell ( Half proceeds went to dad and a lot has gone on 18 months are costs ).
So why is the building soc playing silly beggars ? Or are they doing the right thing? The chap was nice enough but it was clear he was basically following the instructions on screen stage by stage so I must say I didn't ask!
The building society is making sure that you have the right to administer your father's estate. That's what probate is for.
Prh47 is correct. Pretty sure they pay the monies to your solicitor, not to you.
Are you named as the executor in the will?
Executor yep. No solicitor involved. Very very simple will 50/50 split with my sister. All in agreement etc.
Seems such a annoyance and waste of money to have to go to probate when we've jointly controlled his money for 2yrs anyway. But Ho hum. Certainly not involving a solicitor just to fill some amounts into a form !
I guess the BS needs to be sure the will is legal.
I think you can do it yourself. It's essentially swearing an oath. There may be a small fee for a solicitor to witness. But hopefully a solicitor will come onto this thread and advise.
I had to get a 'sworn oath' thingy done by solicitor after DM died. The solicitor charged five pounds. I was astonished at the small charge and he said that was all they were allowed to charge by law.
Sorry for your losses
Bank want probate " because of the amount" and reading around they can basically choose to make you if they want regardless of being well under inheritance tax etc. . So off to the annoyance of probate we go , starting with letters of permission from the executors that live in spain to allow me to collect the will from the solicitors , then they have to officially renounce being executors etc.
I don't mean not willing to pay the swearing thing, I mean paying a solicitor to do probate. We would have to gather all the information , permission to release the will / renouncing executor role etc anyway.
Keeping it under the mattress would have been so much easier all round
Hi there Helen, sorry for your loss. Our mum died recently and I have not had a very good impression from the solicitors she had lodged the will with and am thinking of managing it all myself.
It is a straightforward 3 way split (I think - the sols won't discuss the contents of the will till we can prove we are the executors which is underway) - am I mad to think of DIY? We would have to go to probate I think based on value of estate, house to sell etc. DSis and DB will be happy for me to lead exec, haven't asked them what they feel about me taking on the added responsibility
Financially able but no legal experience other than have been exec on other wills so know a bit about what happens.
I guess I am hoping someone can come on and say yes I did it and tell me whether I need the sols to apply for probate or whether I can do the whole thing
Keeping some cash handy under the mattress for the immediate expenses would have been a great idea. Our mum died very suddenly and tho we had power of attorney we didn't think it through and DSis has had to stump up cash for funeral.
You really don't need a solicitor for probate Sinclair have a look at the forms on line. We did it last time. You will need it to sell the house.
I filled in the forms and ticked that I'm going to probate office for the oath (doesn't need to be solicitors)
Thank you both - I am going to try and DIY it. I was talking to some friends about it last night and by chance two of them had done it - both for their mums too (sad) but they said it was pretty straightforward. As they pointed out if I get stuck or find it too difficult for any reason I can bail out and go to a solicitor.
I think you will be able to do it yourself it is not difficult but it will help if you are very organised. It is basically a process of confirming the value of every asset owned and entering details on a form. We have a local probate office we could collect forms from and they were also very helpful. If you don't have a local office I know they will post forms to you. They also have a helpline number and I found the staff manning it very helpful and patient after I explained I had never had to deal with anything like that. I'm certainly not stupid but I'm not degree educated either. It's more about being methodical and taking it one step at a time. When you have applied for probate they will tell you when you can sign the oath and as a previous poster said its a very minimal amount and can be done at a solicitor local to you in about 5 minutes. As a pp said if there comes a point when it is just too difficult and bear in mind it is hard to deal with under the circumstances then you can just instruct a solicitor at that point. I wish you well.
You shouldn't need probate for £1,600 if you have a stat dec to say the total estate is under the BS's limit. The limit varies but is usually around £15,000.
IHT limit isn't relevant, other than that the procedure will be much easier.
I'm a probate solicitor and I'd still say you don't need one in this case so long as you have the time to do the paperwork.
Get yourself a copy of
I used this when administering DH's estate - very useful guide
Sorry for your loss
Just to say, in case it helps, that a stat dec only costs £5. At our firm the solicitor doing the swear keeps the money themselves.
Hope you get it all sorted soon. My DMs estate is slightly more complex so I've paid for it to be administered, but I am impressed with your tenacity in managing it yourself.
Sinclair - I have just done it for my mum (going to sign Oath with brother in London on Tuesday). You dont need any books, just download all forms and guides off the web and the helpline only kept me hanging on a few minutes when I rang (to ask if I needed to send marriage cert as my maiden name was in will - answer was no, its a common occurrence).
The solicitor who gave us mums will was helpful, explaining that figures for IHT form are those at date of death, other than things like funeral bill, so it doesnt need every last penny owed to utilities after death.
We were under IHT limit, but needed to include some gifts she gave us both in past 7 years and include those in calcs (still well under IHT).
Just ensure you get get items such as house valuations in writing, although not necessary for everything. The registrars for mums 1 set of shares wanted about £20 for a written valuation, but I then found out that wasn't necessary, just use share price on date of death.
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