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 for you and your loved ones.
Where a Will is in existence the Executors may need to apply for a grant of probate. Where there is no Will in existence, or the Will is invalid, or it does not specify an 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 many people do not know the processes and legal requirements involved.
Some Solicitors will charge an hourly rate and then charge a percentage of the value of the estate as an additional fee. We will not charge you an extra percentage of the value of the estate when dealing with the estate administration.
We will give you a clear time frame of how long probate will 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 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 costs.
The fees involved in a probate matter can vary and will depend on the individual circumstances involved. We offer some of our 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 a fee based on a percentage of the estate for dealing with the administration.
Obtaining a Grant of Probate (where there is a Will) / Letters of Administration only (where there is no Will)
We can help you through this process by obtaining the Grant of Probate / Letters Of Administration on your behalf. This will then be provided to the Executors / Administrators who deal with the remainder of the administration themselves. We offer this fixed price package for non-taxable estates 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
- Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators
- Identifying the type of application required
- Obtaining the relevant documents required to make the application
- Completing the application for Probate or Letters of Administration and the necessary HMRC Forms.
- Preparing the Legal Statement for you to sign
- Making the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf
- Obtaining the Probate / Letters Of Administration and sending copies to you securely
Fixed Legal Fees for the obtaining of the grant, starting from*
If a full tax account is required then we will charge an increased fee to cover the cost of submitting the IHT account to HMRC and ensuring the necessary paperwork is then sent to the Probate Registry to complete the application
Fixed Legal Fees for the obtaining of the grant where IHT400 required, starting from *
* Disbursements are also applicable
If you decide you do not want to deal with the full estate administration yourself, you can instruct us to do this on your behalf. We can assist you with specific aspects of the estate administration and if we do so our fees will be calculated by reference to the time spent. The costs for a full estate administration will be as follows:-
Range of Costs based on a time spent basis
Straightforward cases are based on there being one property involved, no more than 5 bank accounts and 2 shareholdings,and no more than 4 beneficiaries. It is also assumed there are no Inheritance Tax issues and a full tax return is not required.
Our fees will range between £1000 to £3000 plus VAT and disbursements for dealing with the administration of a straightforward estate. This includes the application for the grant of probate / letters of administration .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, if there are multiple bank accounts, numerous shareholdings and more than 4 beneficiaries. In addition to the work required when we act on a grant only basis this service will also include:
- Arranging for assets to be encashed/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 for approval by the Executors / Administrators
- Distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries, including obtaining their identification and arranging for bankruptcy searches to be undertaken
- 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, but not always, inheritance tax needs to be paid on these estates. Our fees will range between £1500 to £5000 plus VAT and disbursements for dealing with the estate administration. This estimate is based on there being up to 3 properties involved, no more than 6 shareholdings and 6 bank accounts. 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 IHT account for submission to HMRC and arranging for approval by the Executors / Administrators
- ·Arranging for the payment of any inheritance tax
- ·Liaising with HMRC to obtain confirmation all tax has been paid and answering any enquiries raised
- ·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 Probate Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Copy for the Grant of Probate (per copy)
Estimated total anticipated disbursements
Additional fees (not applicable in all cases)
Land Registry Search fee (only if there is a property)
Land Registry registration fees (depending upon value of property)
(note - these fees may be higher if the property is not registered)
20.00 to 125.00
Bankruptcy Search fee (per beneficiary)*
Trustee Act notice fees (these may vary dependent upon the publication)*
There are various factors that will affect the Inheritance Tax due on an estate, including the value of the estate, the identity of the beneficiaries, the allowances available, and certain dealings with assets prior to death.
More information can be found at the following link on the .gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-tools-and-calculators#inheritance-tax-and-bereavement
Certain events may mean that there are additional costs incurred, for example if there is a trust established under the Will, if there are missing or incapacitated beneficiaries or if the deceased had numerous accounts and/or shareholdings with different financial institutions. We will discuss this with you in detail and advise of any additional fees.
The cost of selling a property is not included in the costs set out above, if you require this service, please let us know and we will provide you with an estimate in that regard.
There may be factors which would increase the costs. If this is the case, we will make sure you are fully informed of these at the earliest opportunity and a clear estimate of those extra costs will be provided.
In addition there may be further services required that involve paying fees to a third party, these may include:
- Tax advice
- Valuations for property, shares, investments or other assets
On average, administering a typical estate will take between 3 and 12 months. Generally, it will take approximately 3 months to obtain the Grant for a straight forward estate and for more complex estates up to 6 months. Once the Grant is issued the assets can then be collected in readiness for distribution and this will take between 3 and 6 months dependant on the complexity of the estate. If Inheritance Tax is payable or there are foreign properties involved then this timescale is likely to increase.
With every transaction there are key milestones, which may vary according to individual circumstances. They may be as follows:
- Applying for the Grant
- Obtaining the Grant
- Collecting funds ready for distribution
- Settling Liabilities
- Producing Estate Accounts
- Distributing funds
All of our staff are supervised by our Directors. For more information including details of the qualifications and experience of all our staff please visit our profile pages.