Do I need a solicitor to apply for Probate? Can I apply to the court by myself?
You do not need a solicitor if you wish to go to court and apply yourself. My advice is to go your hardest if that is what you want to do. If the estate is simple, then you will save some money. However, if the estate is slightly complicated, the reality is that solicitors provide a specialist service designed to alleviate trouble, stress and anxiety, and to remove the risk of any disputes. Of course solicitors charge for their work, but in our experience solicitors will save you time, stress, anxiety and money. But of course we would say that!
How much does a solicitor cost?
You should always ask this question at the initial conference. Some solicitors charge by the hour, others charge according to a court scale. We charge according to a court scale – the rates are available here. When the Supreme Court changes its filing fees or brings out a new scale, then our rates will change. But remember:
- Initial telephone advice is always free.
- In most cases, you do not have to pay until the end of the matter, and the costs will come out of the estate.
- Sometimes we do ask for the filing fee to be paid upfront, because solicitors are not banks.
I see Will kits and online Wills advertised – why wouldn’t I get one of these?
Again, go your hardest! Will kits may often be cheap, but they are simply not designed for all circumstances, will not answer all of your questions, and you will not get the specialist knowledge that you get when you speak to your solicitor. In our experience, many Wills drafted through Will kits or online Wills end up in court with a dispute because of a mistake that has been made. In that situation, you will need legal advice to work it out and it will cost several thousand dollars to resolve the dispute. In our view, it is better to reduce your stress and anxiety and get an expert who can answer all of your questions.
For further information, have a look at the following links on our website: