In 2012 the Legal Services Board undertook an interesting piece of research concerning all aspects of the probate process, particularly concentrating on people’s reasons for using or not using paid services when dealing with inheritance matters, as well as possible difficulties that may be encountered with either choice.
It was established that just over a half did use paid probate services at least at some stage, 75% of which used paid services for the entire process. The likelihood of using paid services rather than DIY probate increased the higher the value of the estate. Also, matters like complexity of the estate, presence of family trusts and underage beneficiaries were of great influence.
Although most DIY involved fairly straightforward cases, many found that sourcing the will and evaluating assets were the most difficult tasks. Some decided to use paid services at this point or later, when the inheritance tax liability became obvious or the situation of the estate turned out to be more complicated than expected.
The main reasons for using paid services seemed to be the lack of personal expertise in the matter, vulnerability of the situation and hassle of dealing with all the paperwork. However, paying a specialist to do it did not always guarantee the desired peace of mind. Some comments pointed out that people were not happy with major delays in services, lack of external and internal communication, frequent rotation of the personnel dealing with the case, careless mistakes in the paperwork that delayed the process. Some clients also expressed the view that, in their opinion, the particular person dealing with their case was not properly qualified.
The reassuring thing is that the majority of users were satisfied with the results. The cases of dissatisfaction were proportionally higher when non-solicitors were employed. This was also the reason why customers were more likely to use more than one provider to finalise the process.
It was also found that people tend not to shop around and subscribe to the first provider they come across locally. In other cases, a solicitor dealing with the affairs of the family for decades is automatically nominated to proceed with the matter. Curiously, the cost of the service is not the key consideration in choosing the specialist.
We are confident that choosing us will be a pleasant experience for you as we offer outstanding professional quality, friendly approach and affordable prices.