The Most Common Probate Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Posted by Chris Ringham on Dec 8, 2021 9:00:00 AM

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There is no doubt that making an application for probate can be complex. Many people will try to handle it alone and take on all the work involved personally, but this can leave you open to making costly errors that bring extra work and delays.
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But what are the most common probate issues and how do you avoid them?

Interpreting The Will Incorrectly

Wills can be written in very technical legal jargon, which is easy to incorrectly interpret. This can see disputes arise among beneficiaries and can make it very hard to ascertain what the will says for sure. The best solution to this problem is seeking clarification from legal experts on what a will actually states.

Not Assessing Debt And Liabilities Correctly

Correctly assessing any estate debts or liabilities is also crucial. Failing to do this is a common error, however, and can see these liabilities and debts not settled properly. This, in turn, can see beneficiaries needing to reimburse the estate to cover any outstanding items. If you are struggling to grasp what debts or liabilities need settling, taking professional advice is wise.

Distributing Funds To Beneficiaries Too Early

Executors can often face pressure from beneficiaries to distribute funds before the collection of all assets. If future costs arise after this happens, it can cause a real headache. If explaining this to beneficiaries proves difficult, letting a legal professional, who is experienced in such matters, take over is sensible.

Executor Acting Without Proper Legal Assistance

As the executor of a will, you can be held liable for any errors or mistakes when dealing with the deceased's wishes. This is naturally not a situation you want to find yourself in! With this in mind, it is a good idea to seek professional legal advice in order to protect yourself.

Not Completing Probate Documentation Correctly

In addition to the above, a mistake on probate form documentation and inheritance documents can have dire repercussions for the executor. Many people underestimate how complex these forms can be to complete accurately though. Hiring a lawyer to help is the best solution and ensures these documents get completed correctly.

Will Not Signed Or Not Signed Properly

Do you need the original will for probate applications? Or can it be a later, revised version? This is a common question people ask and the simple answer is that the most recent will with a valid signature will be used. Unfortunately, common probate errors are unsigned wills or wills which are incorrectly signed, thus making them invalid. To help ensure any will made is legally binding, it is best to use a legal professional when drawing it up.

Help With Probate From Bowsers Solicitors

As the above shows, there is a range of mistakes that are all too easy to make when it comes to probate. To make sure you avoid them, why not let Bowsers Solicitors help? With offices in Wisbech and March, our experienced team can give professional probate assistance to anyone in the Cambridgeshire area. Get in touch today via the chat function on our website.

The Bowsers Guide To Probate

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Topics: Wills & Probate