Why should I use an accountant to apply for probate?

4 November 2016

Until very recently it was only solicitors who could submit probate applications on behalf of their clients. However, with the probate market now opened up, there are some very good reasons for asking an accountant to deal with this work for you:

  1. Numbers – probate is essentially a numbers process. Whether or not there is an Inheritance Tax (IHT) return to be submitted, the task essentially involves gathering information and quantifying the deceased’s assets and liabilities.
  2. Time – if we already act for the deceased, we may have much of the required information needed on file. If we do not, the information is often in a form such as tax returns that we are familiar with.
  3. Charges – our policy is very simple:  we charge on the basis of the time we spend. We do not charge a percentage of the value of the estate (either as a one-off or a recurring fee) and we have no minimum fees.
  4. Efficiency – there is no getting away from the fact that some estates are complex to administer and that issues with the drafting of the Will or challenges to its legitimacy can lead to serious delays in obtaining probate. In the majority of cases, however, such issues do not arise and we expect to be able to obtain probate within a few months of the death.

At UHY, we have decades of experience in dealing with IHT returns and estate administration. A number of our offices now offer the ‘full service’ and are authorised to carry out non-contentious probate work as well. If you would like to discuss the ways in which we can help you with this process – or with IHT planning, Wills or simply getting your affairs in order – please contact our probate specialists: Mark Giddens, Simon Browning or Nick Edwards.  Alternatively, you can find details of your nearest UHY office here.