Do I need a solicitor – what could go wrong?

Written by Terry Johansson | 13th September 2013

It is not necessary to appoint a solicitor to apply for Probate for you.

Some executors prefer to instruct a solicitor to act on their behalf for a number of reasons such as if the Estate is large or complicated, or if they simply do not have the time to undertake the required tasks themselves.

Many executors do get a solicitor to act for them knowing that the legal costs can be claimed from the Estate and they will not need to pay these costs from their own pocket.

If someone does challenge the Will, the executor may be personally sued. You should obtain legal advice to best protect the Estate as well as your own personal position.

You will need a specialist solicitor who works in Will Disputes, to best protect you as the executor and Estate from a claim. Click here for more information.

Other issues may arise in addition to someone challenging the Will, and seeking “further provision”. These may complicate matters and delay the administration of the Estate. These issues can include:

  • Where the deceased was domiciled in a foreign country;
  • The original Will is missing or is held by a foreign body;
  • The Will is unclear or ambiguous, and you need to ask the court for a ruling on what the Will means;
  • Disputes arising between beneficiaries;
  • The estate is complex featuring foreign assets or assets held in trust;
  • The whereabouts of a beneficiary is unknown;
  • Creditors claim against the estate;
  • It is difficult to prove the death.

In these circumstances, it is strongly recommended that you obtain legal advice. CWPL are experts in Will disputes and estate law and can provide advice, conduct searches, arrange advertising to find beneficiaries or assets, liaise with accountants and the HMRC, prepare affidavits and appear on behalf of the executor in court.

You may also need to employ a professional firm to trace missing assets and missing beneficiaries. 


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