Losing a loved one is one of life’s most painful, yet inevitable experiences – and on top of the emotional burden those left behind have to bear, there’s often a substantial bureaucratic burden to keep abreast of, as well. But if you’re suffering the bereavement of a parent, beloved partner or loyal friend, spending your days putting their estate in order is likely to be the last way you wish to spend your time.
Immersing yourself in tying up their affairs may simply be too painful, or may take you away from comforting friends and family; and thinking about financial concerns may feel too close to the bone. Nevertheless, protecting the legacy your loved one spent their life working for is important, and, as Chartered Accountants in Watford and London who specialise in probate, DUA. can take the stressful and bewildering process of probate off your hands.
Probate is the commonly used term for a grant of representation which confers the legal right to deal with the property, money and possessions of the deceased. As it’s a legal process, you may be under the impression that a lawyer would be the appropriate party to take care of probate – but actually, your trusted family accountant and business advisor is a far more logical choice. Here’s why…
NO-ONE KNOWS MORE ABOUT YOUR FAMILY’S FINANCES
Dealing with probate is a financial exercise – and no-one knows more about your loved one’s finances than their accountant. An accountant is already in possession of the fiscal information necessary for kick-starting the probate process, and if you use a law firm, they’ll normally have to ask the deceased’s accountant for this information anyway. So it makes sense to keep things simple and cut out the middle man, saving your family time and unnecessary costs. Because…
USING YOUR ACCOUNTANT IS MORE COST EFFECTIVE
Licensed accountants are trained to deal with probate, and as I just mentioned, they’ll most likely need to be involved in the probate procedure anyway. This means you’ll have two separate firms involved in your loved one’s private affairs, doing much the same work and sending you separate bills for their time. And professionals do charge by time – so if you’re using an accountant, who already has the information necessary to get things done to hand, you’re going to reduce costs significantly. Accountants almost always charge by the hour, at a more affordable rate than lawyers do, further decreasing unnecessary spend. Many lawyers charge a fee based on percentage of the estate which can be excruciatingly expensive. At DUA. we can take care of everything and offer a fixed fee with no hidden costs.
YOUR ACCOUNTANT HAS THE EXPERTISE YOU NEED
Using an accountant to handle probate isn’t only an option if the accountant was previously employed by the deceased – licensed accountants are trained in every aspect of probate, as well as issues which go hand-in-hand, such as inheritance tax. For example, accountants can complete and submit the IHT100 form to HMRC, covering numerous questions a lawyer normally has to consult an accountant on separately.
So using an accountant for probate really is a no-brainer. It’s more cost-effective, they’re more likely to be adept at minimising exposure to inheritance tax, they may already have much of the information you need to hand already, and they’re used to dealing with complex financials on a daily basis. At DUA, we’re experts in probate, and we’d be honoured to be able to relieve some of the burden on you and your family at such a difficult time.