Why probate sits are on the rise

Posted on 8 July, 2019

Pixabay - Rest in Peace

In May, it was reported that technical glitches in the new online probate IT service introduced in January are causing delays of up to 11 weeks for bereaved families applying for probate.

Typically, it used to take a court ten days to grant probate — the legal authority to take control of someone's finances when they pass.

When homes are left empty during probate some people are choosing to appoint live-in guardians to provide vacant property protection.

In our experience properties are particularly vulnerable when awaiting probate. Burglars are often keen readers of obituaries and death notices so it can be quite simple for them to find out which homes may be empty.

Once word gets around that a home is unoccupied, it is all too easy for an unwanted visitor to turn up with a van and pick off cherished antiques and irreplaceable heirlooms, adding to a family’s grief at the worst possible time.

In March, it was also reported that use of Google’s Street View tool has left homes across Britain vulnerable to burglars. The head of Neighbourhood Watch warned that Street View allows criminals to scout for “easy pickings”.

Police chiefs advise that people could consider asking Google to obscure property images. This is definitely something to consider if a home is going to be empty for any length of time.

If a family friend or relative is unable to stay in the property during the probate period, one option to improve the property security is to employ a live-in guardian. These are professional people who stay in the home for as long as is needed acting as both a vandalism deterrent and intruder deterrent.

They are also on hand should something happen in the house such as a burst water pipe and to keep the property aired and lived in, ready for a potential sale after probate has been granted.

Many insurance companies will only offer restricted or expensive cover for empty properties, so a live-in guardian can be a cost-effective solution. Restricted cover could mean people are left out of pocket if the insurer doesn’t cover particularly incidents for example.

At Homesitters, we are used to moving fast to protect these high-risk properties. We can provide a live-in guardian for as long as needed to protect against burglary and damage, care for possessions and pets, and maintain unrestricted insurance cover.

We also offer a special one-day service, so the property of the deceased is not left vacant during the funeral. For their peace of mind, funeral attendees may also wish to use this service to secure their own home and care for any pets in their absence.

If you are dealing with a home going through probate and want to make sure it remains safe and secure give us a call today on 01296 630 730 to discuss your requirements.


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