DIY Probate – Cutting the Cost of Probate
DIY Probate is suitable for a small proportion of families who can probably do all the work and apply for probate without any professional help: but it is easy to switch on the help if you need it! The DIY Probate fees do NOT include Court fees (Probate Court fees are around £100.)
The mission of DIY Probate is to help people do as much of the work as they can themselves, but with the safety net of professional help at relatively modest cost. Hopefully you won’t need any extra help but it is reassuring to know it is there.
“DIY Probate with a safety net if you need it”
If you have both the time and the ability it can be quite satisfying to do as much as you can yourself, and with our system we won’t need to redo all of the work you have already done if you do decide you need help. But do beware of complications which can be very dangerous for non-professionals. We had one chap whose wife died leaving a special trust in his Will, and appointing us as executors as she knew it was complicated (as did he) – sadly, he insisted on doing everything himself, and could well get a totally unnecessary tax bill for £110,000. With just a couple of hours help, that could have been avoided. That said, many Last Wills are pretty uncomplicated and may not even need probate at all – we’ll go into that on another page.
Where probate is needed, it typically takes between three and nine months depending on the complexity of the persons estate, the number of assets and liabilities and the number of beneficiaries. The more of any of them, the longer it will take.
To deal with probate yourself, three things are necessary:
- You must be persistent – it will take several attempts to obtain the information you need, and what they tell you will often be wrong!
- Keep careful records so that you can fill the forms in accurately.
- You must know your limits and seek help if necessary.
With our system, all the work you do will save you money, and the systems guide you through with help on tap at every point.
The Probate Wizard can handle a wide variety of situations and estates of any value.
The DIY Probate Wizard is suitable:
- Whether or not the deceased left a will;
- Whether or not a grant of probate is required;
- Whether or not inheritance tax may be due; and
- Whether or not a transferable nil-rate band may be required.
When is The DIY Probate Wizard unsuitable?
The DIY Probate Wizard may not be used if:
- The deceased was not domiciled in England or Wales;
- The deceased died more than 12 months ago;
- The will or estate is disputed;
- The surviving spouse is domiciled abroad; or
- The deceased died bankrupt or the estate is insolvent.
The DIY Probate Wizard can be used if the estate is subject to inheritance tax or is otherwise non-exempt. However, it will not compile the IHT400 and separate inheritance tax calculations will be required (though it does provide an estimate of tax liabilities in all cases).