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How to avoid problems with probate – valuing assets and liabilities

28th June 2016

If you have been appointed as an executor in a will, you may be tempted to try to obtain probate yourself with a view to saving on legal costs.

However, except with the simplest of estates, the process can be complex for inexperienced executors to handle and there are many potential pitfalls and problems which can arise. In the event of a dispute regarding the will it can end up costing much more than it might have done and adding a significant delay to the process.

Marie Tisdale, director and head of wills and probate at Ansons Solicitors in Lichfield has put together this blog series, to explain the common areas where complications arise, and how using a solicitor can avoid some of the potential pitfalls.

Gathering information on assets and liablities

As an executor you will need to collate information on all the assets and liabilities of the person’s estate, which can be very time-consuming. Your solicitor can take over many of these duties on your behalf, including writing to the various banks, building societies, credit card companies, share registrars and obtaining valuations of the investments as of the date of death. They can also obtain a valuation of any property and the contents.

By instructing an experienced solicitor, you can shorten the process of obtaining probate and avoid causing unrest among the family. With often large amounts of money at stake, it is safer to leave it in the hands of an experienced solicitor who specialises in probate law and can provide you with the assurance that everything will be handled correctly. The fees of a solicitor are a legitimate expense of the estate.

For more advice about obtaining probate contact Marie Tisdale at Ansons Solicitors in Cannock and Lichfield, on 01543 267 981 or email mtisdale@ansons.law.