Thinking of going it alone?

It is always a difficult time when someone has passed away especially if you find yourself having to sort out finances on top.

Whether you are named as an executor in a will or if there is no will you have legal duties and there can be consequences if you get it wrong including personal financial risk. You may be thinking about simply getting on with it yourself but is that wise?

The pitfalls are many and not always obvious especially if this is going to be your first time. Larger estates may be liable to inheritance tax with complex forms to complete, calculations to make and exemptions to claim let alone making sure the estate is accurately valued to the satisfaction of the Revenue.

Where there is no will the risk of failing to understand who is entitled could mean missing a beneficiary and getting sued personally later.

Even small estates can create problems and whilst many families are willing to trust a family member to manage matters that is not always the case and it can be very unpleasant to be on the receiving end of questions and suspicion. Misunderstandings or withholding information can rapidly escalate matters into a full-blown dispute which can cost many thousands of pounds and much heartache to resolve.

Using an independent solicitor to manage the process should keep matters calm and organised from the outset, will insure you against personal risks and most importantly can nip disagreements in the bud.

Anyone handling an estate has a right to appoint a solicitor at the cost of the estate and invariably there is nothing to pay upfront with charges simply coming out of estate monies once they are available.

So, before you decide to go it alone, think about the dangers.

RMNJ are always glad to discuss any questions you have without obligation and at first instance entirely free of charge.

Back to RMNJ's Guide to Probate