Thank you for looking at our probate services. Coping with the death of a person can bring a mixture of emotions and the legal side of dealing with a person’s death can often be overwhelming and confusing. Having compassionate, experienced legal advice can make this difficult situation much easier on you and your loved ones.
Whether the deceased person left a Will or whether there is substantial wealth and property involved, the sense of burden can increase. Where a Will is in existence the Executors may need to apply for the grant of probate. Where there is no Will in existence, the Will is invalid, or it does not specify Executor, an Administrator will need to be appointed.
We have an experienced team who can assist you with every aspect of the probate process, reducing the administrative burden and advising sensitively on key decisions which need to be made when managing an estate. We are aware that administering an estate comes at a time of grief and high emotion, and that most people do not know the processes and legal requirements involved.
Some Solicitors will charge their usual hourly rate and then charge a percentage of the value of the estate as an additional fee. We will not charge you this extra percentage of the value of the estate for dealing with the administration.
We will give you a clear time frame of how long probate should take and will keep you and any beneficiaries advised throughout.
You will have the confidence that you are our priority, with our aim being that any member of the team is available to speak with you when you need some clarity and certainty at any stage in the process. We feel this provides reassurance and gives you an outlet for any concerns that you may have. Fees are generally paid out of the estate, so there may not be a need for you to fund the administration.
The fees involved in a probate matter can vary and this will depend on the individual circumstances involved. We offer some of the services on a fixed fee basis and some of the services are calculated on a time spent basis. At our initial appointment we will be able to provide you with an accurate estimate of costs. We will not charge you based on a percentage of the estate for dealing with the administration.
We offer both fixed fees and an hourly rate charging rate, whereby you will be charged for each hour of work undertaken.
OBTAINING A GRANT OF PROBATE ONLY
We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. This will then be provided to the Executors who deal with the remainder of the administration themselves. We offer this fixed price package for non-taxable estate where a full tax account is not required. This package includes:
- Providing you with a dedicated and experienced Probate practitioner to work on your matter
- Identify the legally appointed executors, administrators and beneficiaries
- Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
- Obtain relevant documents required to make the application
- Complete the Probate Application and the HMRC Forms.
- Draft a Legal Oath for you to swear
- Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
- Obtain the Probate and securely send copies to you
Fixed Legal Fees for the obtaining of the grant
If you decide you do not want to deal with the full estate administration you can instruct us to do this on your behalf then the costs will be as follows:-
Range of Costs based on a time spent basis
Straightforward cases are based on there being no more than one property involved, no more than 5 bank accounts and 2 shareholdings. It is also assuming there are no Inheritance Tax issues and a full tax return is not required.
Our fees legal fees will range between £800 to £1750 plus VAT and disbursements for dealing with the administration of a straightforward estate. This includes the application for the grant of probate. The fees will vary and are dependent upon individual circumstances. The range of fees will depend on issues such as the number of beneficiaries and whether the estate includes any property. Fees will also typically increase, depending on whether there are multiple bank accounts, shares and based on the number and value of any property. In addition to the above this service will include:
- Arranging for assets to be cashed/transferred.
- Arranging for the placement of Trustee Act Notices (if required).
- Arrangement for the payment of liabilities (including ongoing bills at any property)
- Preparation of the estate accounts and for the approval of the accounts by the Executors.
- Distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries, including obtaining their identification and arranging for bankruptcy searches to be conducted
- Liaising with HMRC in respect of any estate income tax liability
Estates that require a full tax return
This is when a full tax return needs to be submitted to HMRC. Often tax needs to be paid on these estates. Our fees legal fees will range between £1500 to £5000 plus VAT and disbursements for dealing with the administration. This estimate is based on there being up to 3 properties involved, several shareholdings and bank accounts and that a full tax return is required for the Inland Revenue. The fees will increase if the tax position is more complex, for instance if foreign properties are involved and trusts established. This fee estimate includes all of what is set out above and additionally:
·Preparation of the full account for HMRC and arranging approval by the Executors
·Arranging for the payment of any tax from the deceased’s assets
·Liaising with HMRC to obtain clearance from the estate and answering any enquiries
·Arranging for the completion of any tax return required for the deceased up to the date of death
Disbursements (For all Options)
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees or court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Copy for the Grant of Probate (per copy)
Commissioners fees for Swearing Oath (per executor)
Land Registry Search fee (only if there is a property)
Bankruptcy Search fee (per beneficiary)*
Post in the Local Newspaper and London Gazette*
162.50 - 327.50
162.50 - 367.50
There are various factors that will affect any Inheritance Tax due on an estate, including the size of the estate and any measures that were put in place by the deceased to limit the estates tax liability.
We would advise you to look on the HMRC Website to calculate Inheritance Tax which may be due, the calculators can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-tools-and-calculators#inheritance-tax-and-bereavement
In the event that there is a trust established under the Will, or there are missing beneficiaries or incapacitated beneficiaries then there is likely to be an additional cost that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be handled. We will discuss this with you in detail and advise of any additional fees.
The cost of selling a property is not included in this price, if you require this service, please let us know and we will provide you with an estimate in that regard.
Our fees are fixed and include items detailed above, however there may be factors which would typically increase the cost of the fees involved. Where there is likely to be any additional cost, we will make sure you are informed of this at the earliest opportunity and a clear estimate of those extra costs will be provided at the outset.
Additional services that will require the assistance of a third party at additional cost include:
- Tax advice
- Valuations for property, savings, investments or other assets
On average, probate for the typical estate will take between 3-12 months. Generally, the time taken to obtain the Grant of Probate for straight forward estates will take 3 months for more complex estates up to 6 months. This will be followed by the collection of assets and distribution of the assets which can take between 3-6 months dependant on the complexity of the estate. If Inheritance Tax is an issue for the estate and there are foreign properties involved then this timescale is likely to be longer.
With every transaction there are key milestones, which may vary according to individual circumstances. They may be as follows:
- Applying for Grant of Probate
- Obtaining Grant of Probate
- Settling Liabilities
- Collecting funds ready for distribution
- Distributing funds
- Producing Estate accounts
All of our staff are supervised by our Directors. For more information including details of qualifications and experience of all our staff please visit our profile pages.