Five step guide to probate – No. 4 – do I need to use a solicitor ?

2nd October 2015

When a loved one dies, not only is it an emotional time for close relatives but there is a lot to do including registering the death and organising the funeral. You will also need to make appropriate arrangements regarding the assets and property of the deceased. If your loved one left a will, their wishes should be clearly set out for the executors to follow. If there is no will, then the intestacy rules will determine who will inherit and in what order.

Regardless of whether there is a will or not, someone to get the legal authority to deal with the estate, and this process is known as obtaining a grant of probate. The process can be complicated and an inexperienced executor could cause unnecessary delays.

In this series of blogs, Shelly Wainwright, solicitor in the wills and probate team at Ansons Lichfield office, Staffordshire, answers your frequently asked questions on probate – including how the probate process works, how you need to apply and how we can help.

Do I need to use a solicitor?

You do not have to use a solicitor, however, we recommend that you do as sometimes dealing with an estate can be more complicated than initially thought.

You can choose to make the application in person to the probate registry. The most local probate registry is in Birmingham. You will be required to complete the necessary paperwork and then present it at a personal interview with one of the registry officers. Most people prefer to use a solicitor so that they do not have to attend the interview. The waiting time for the personal interview can be a few months. This can delay what needs to be done.

If you do not use a solicitor to make the application, if there is a property to be dealt with, you will need to take legal advice about this.

Our wills and probate team advise and support families throughout Staffordshire in making an application for probate. We can also act as a professional executor.

For further information and advice, please contact Shelly Wainwright in the wills and probate team, on 01543 267 984 or email Ansons Solicitors has offices in Cannock and Lichfield, Staffordshire.