If you ask a lawyer or trustee company to hand over a Will that they are holding so that you can apply for probate, you might hear "what ifs" that are intended to frighten you into employing them. Of course they will try to frighten you - if you ask them to apply for you they make thousands (or tens of thousands if you employ a trustee company).
Two common "what-ifs" are:
- "What if your application is rejected?"
- "What if you make a mistake?"
Once you have handled your own probate application you will know that these "what ifs" mean nothing, but just in case you hear them, here are the answers:
"What if your application is rejected?"
Rejecting applications is not the Probate Office's purpose in life. Its purpose is to accept applications, and if an application is not immediately acceptable it asks the applicant to provide further information to make it acceptable.
It is almost unheard of for an application to be "rejected" outright, and if it is, the usual reason is that the Will has some serious fault that makes it impossible for a reasonable person to accept that it represents the last wishes of the Willmaker. An army of lawyers could not change that.
"What if you make a mistake?"
When you follow our DIY Probate Kit you are not likely to be making "mistakes", but even if you did the result in almost all cases is that you would be asked for further detail.
That would not mean that your application has failed - merely that you are asked for further detail on your road to success.
Our Probate Kit reflects over 30 years of probate experience, so it alerts you to many things to watch out for. Our Probate Kit users have an extremely high "first time success rate".
So forget about the "scare-talk".
If there are family disputes
Disputes are not common but they can happen, and sometimes they start early - with a refusal to let family members see the Will.
Some other disputes are about who gets what. Such disputes are sometimes accompanied by threats to "challenge the Will".
Such threats are usually not acted on, but if stroppy family members start sending letters of demand from lawyers, then we ourselves would suggest that it makes sense to seek legal advice about how to handle the demands.