Majority of Scottish public ‘unaware’ of after-death probate process

According to a new study carried out by Edinburgh-based business, My Probate Partner, only 21% of the Scottish public understands what probate is and what the process entails. 

The research, which questioned members of the Scottish public on their experience and understanding of dealing with the administrative side of someone’s death, also revealed 82% have no idea as to how long the process takes, with 86% unsure as to how much it costs.

When questioned on who or where individuals would seek help when dealing with the admin and/or financial side of a family member’s death, 65% confirmed they would consult a solicitor and 11% advised they would look for support online.

Other key take outs from the research include:

  • Over 90% of respondents underestimated the cost of hiring a solicitor for probate, by thousands of pounds on average – 55% thought it would cost less than £1000.
  • 39% of respondents incorrectly believed all property and/or financial assets are automatically inherited by the people entitled to inherit them.
  • 52% of respondents didn’t think any planning had been done to deal with the finances of a family member they will be responsible for dealing with after they die.

Discussing the research, Mike Davis, Founder and Director of My Probate Partner, said:

“The administrative process when someone dies often comes as a very unwelcome surprise if the person responsible hasn’t dealt with it before, meaning they usually turn to a solicitor. But this option can make a badly designed process even more unnecessarily time-consuming, stressful, and costly with solicitor fees averaging between £3000-£5000.

This latest research is extremely telling and highlights that the majority of people are unaware of the administrative process needed when someone dies, let alone the timescales and costs involved. However, with the right guidance and support – which can be found online – the majority of people would be able to manage the process themselves, dramatically reducing the time and cost burden as a result.”

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