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 will need to apply for the grant of probate which will give them the legal right to administer the estate. 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.
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.
We are proud to hold Lexcel and WIQS Accreditations, issued by the Law Society. This involves the firm undergoing a rigorous audit process which ensures we maintain high levels of client care.
The fees involved in a probate matter can vary and this will depend on the individual circumstances involved.
We offer both fixed fees and an hourly rate charging rate, whereby you will be charged for each hour of work undertaken.
Range of Costs With Fixed Fee For Additional Work
Our fees legal fees will range between £4,000 to £10,000 plus VAT and disbursements. 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. Probate fees will also typically increase, depending on whether there are multiple bank accounts, shares and based on the number and value of any property.
We will handle the full process for you and this estimate is for estates where:
- There is a valid Will
- Whether or not any executors have died or refuse to act
- There is no more than one property
- There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are between 1 and 5 beneficiaries
- Where there are no beneficiaries who do not have capacity or under the Mental Health Act or are a minor
- Where there are no trusts in the Will
- Where there are no missing beneficiaries
- There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
- There are no claims made against the estate
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the vision of assets. If disputes arise this will lead to an increase of costs
We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf.
As part of the fixed fee we will:
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate solicitor 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 relevant HMRC Forms
- Draft the Statement of Truth for you to sign as Executor
- Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
- Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
|IHT 205 plus Statement of Truth|
-No assets in trust
|IHT 205, IHT 217 plus Statement of Truth|
-No assets in trust
|IHT 400 plus Statement of Truth|
-Non-taxable estate (below £2,000,000)
|IHT 400, IHT 100 plus Statement of Truth|
-Taxable estate (below £2,000,000)
-Assets in trust
Disbursements (For Both 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.
|Office Copies for the Grant of Probate (each)||£1.50||Nil||£1.50|
|Land Registry Search fee||£3||Nil||£3|
|Bankruptcy Search fee (per beneficiary)||£2||Nil||£2|
|Post in the Local Newspaper and London Gazettes||£150||£30||£180|
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 do not believe that it would be sensible to attempt to provide at this stage an estimate of any tax that may be payable. 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 no Will or the estate consists of any share holdings (Stocks and Bonds), 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.
In the event that additional copies of the Grant of Probate are required, these will be charged at £1.50 per copy or per asset.
The cost of selling or transferring 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.
Additional services that will require either additional advice from us or the assistance of a third party at additional cost include:-
- Tax advice
- Valuations for property, savings, investments or other assets
- Advice on the variation of the terms of the Will
- Correspondence with HM Revenue and Customs where queries to the value of assets returned for Probate are raised
- Foreign assets
- Collection and distribution of the assets in accordance with the terms of the Will
On average, probate for the typical estate will take between 5 – 18 months. Generally, the time taken to obtain the Grant of Probate will take between 4 – 8 months, followed by the collection of assets and distribution of the assets which can take between 4 -12 months. The range takes into account handling everything from straightforward estates through to more complex estates, but would not take into account estates where agricultural business assets are included or where we are dependent on third parties for the disposal of certain assets such as those based in other jurisdictions.
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