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Clear answers to important probate questions

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Stumbling blocks to probate…

Obtaining probate can be a simple and straight-forward process, but we want to hear from you if you had any particular problems, hurdles to overcome, annoyances, grievances or gripes, so that others may learn from this to make the process run more smoothly for them. Please post a comment below.

Have I been over-charged for probate?

The cost of probate varies enormously from those who effectively pay nothing by going through the process themselves, to those who pay tens of thousands of pounds in fees to solicitors. We want to hear from you as to how much you paid, and how you were charged - was it a fixed-fee, an hourly [...]

Reclaim care home fees/Income Tax

1. Did the deceased person spend any time in a nursing or care home? If so, it is necessary to investigate whether you can recover any care fees paid by the deceased person or his/her family, dating back to 2003. These amounts can be substantial, often running into tens of thousands of pounds. Many people [...]

The Empty House

There are two important actions to take where the deceased owned a property: -    Notify the home insurer of the death. Ensure that insurance cover is maintained and that any special conditions (e.g. inspecting the property every 30 days) are adhered to. -    Cut down the risk of a burst pipe by either keeping the [...]

Swearing an oath with a Solicitor

You no longer need to attend at a Probate Registry to swear the oath, but can do it in front of a local Solicitor like this: Complete the Probate Application Form (PA1) using our Sample PA1 for guidance. On the first page in the ‘Interview venue’ box write ‘Solicitor’s Office’ and leave the ‘Dates to [...]

Will I have to sell my home to pay for Care Home Fees?

Will I have to sell my home to pay for Care Home Fees? There’s no law that says if you go into care you will have to sell your home to pay for it. What the law says is that if you go into a care home you will be given certain allowances, but you [...]

Intestacy – there’s no Will – what should I do?

There’s no Will – what should I do? When a loved one passes without leaving a Will, they are said to have died ‘Intestate’ and their estate should be administered in accordance with the ‘Rules of Intestacy’. This sets out who can administer the estate, and who can benefit from it. Intestacy occurs where: There [...]

Which Power of Attorney to use?

There are three types of Powers of Attorney to use: A General Power of Attorney (GPA) A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for Property and Financial Affairs A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for Health and Welfare The difference between a GPA and a LPA, is that a GPA is much simpler, and gives a [...]

The Inheritance Tax threshold needs to be raised

The Government is pocketing a stealth tax on inheritance by failing to raise the threshold in line with inflation. The threshold has not been index-linked, so in real terms it’s being eroded. In some cases the allowances are only worth a third of their original value, after taking into account inflation. Some reliefs have not [...]

Jointly owned property and Inheritance Tax

You may have heard the phrases ‘joint tenants’ or ‘tenants in common’ in relation to jointly held property. Although both terms have ‘tenant’ in the title neither relate to renting or ‘tenancies’ in the everyday understanding of the word, but refer to joint ownership. This legalese is confusing and on the face of it irrelevant, [...]