A minority of families apply for probate themselves. If they have both the time and the confidence people may derive satisfaction from taking responsibility for completing the financial affairs of the deceased. However this decision should not be taken lightly as some areas are complex and unless it is a very simple estate it will normally take between 6-9 months.
Most people applying for probate are doing so either because they have experience in this field, or the estate they are dealing with is very straightforward. In general this means that the deceased did not own a property of any kind and their personal wealth was not enough for the estate to be liable for Inheritance Tax.
Together with our colleagues at Simplify we have created a free guide and letter templates to help you if you wish to apply for probate yourself. You can download the guide from the end of this section. If you are unable to download the guide, are uncertain whether you will need probate, or are not sure whether you should be administrating probate yourself, please call our helpline on 0800 634 9494.
Do call us if you are uncertain about doing probate yourself. We can discuss this with you on the phone and also arrange for a Simplify consultant to visit you at your own convenience to talk this through in greater detail.
We do recommend that you should seek professional advice if any of the following apply:
- You think there is a Will but have not been able to find it
- There is any doubt about the validity of the Will
- The Will is likely to be contested
- The whereabouts of all the beneficiaries is not known
- The terms of the Will are not clear
- Part of the estate will be subject to Inheritance Tax
- There is no Will and the deceased was married with children and the estate is over £250,000
- There is no Will and the deceased was married and the final value of the estate is over the Inheritance Tax threshold, currently £325,000.
- The estate may be liable to inheritance tax and the husband, wife or civil partner of the deceased has died previously and none or only some of their inheritance allowance was used at that time.
- There is no Will and the value of the estate is over £450,000 and the deceased left behind a spouse or civil partner with no children
- Irrespective of whether there is a Will, a part of the estate is to pass to children under the age of 18
- The deceased has left money or property in a trust
- The deceased owned a business or was a partner in a business
- The deceased owned land or property that has an unregistered title
- The deceased owned land or property abroad
- Someone is due to benefit from a life interest in the estate
- No more than two years have passed since the deceased inherited from another estate
- The estate is insolvent