Thank you for looking at our probate services. Coping with a death 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.
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 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.
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 should not be a need for you to fund the administration personally.
We are proud to hold the Lexcel Accreditation 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. We do not charge a value element on the estate even where this firm is acting as Executor.
We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. This fixed cost estimate is limited to obtaining the Grant of Probate only and does not include any asset identification or distribution of assets.
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate solicitor to work on your matter
- Complete the Probate application and relevant HMRC Form from the information provided by you
- Draft an Oath or Statement of Truth for you to swear
- Make the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf
- Send the IHT400 to HRMC (where applicable).
- Obtain the Grant and send the original and copies to you
|Fixed Legal Fees to include the obtaining of the grant only (IHT205)|
|Fixed Legal Fees to include obtaining of the grant only (IHT400)|
As a guideline, for an average estate (see below) our legal fees will be in the region of £2,400 to £4,800 plus VAT and disbursements. The fees will vary and are dependent upon the size and nature of the deceased’s estate.
The legal costs to administer an estate will depend on issues such as the number of assets, liabilities, legatees, beneficiaries and whether the estate includes any property. Our fees will typically increase if there are multiple bank accounts, shares or other assets and if there are many liabilities or beneficiaries of the estate.
We will handle the full process for you and this estimate is for estates where:
- There is a valid Will
- There is no more than one property
- There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts
- There are no more than 2 UK shareholdings
- There are no intangible assets
- There are no more than 4 beneficiaries
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise this will lead to an increase of costs and would normally be dealt with by our litigation team who would charge separately for such matters.
- The only trusts arising in the Will are life interest trusts or bare trusts for minors
- There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC (i.e. an IHT205 is required)
- There are no claims made against the estate
Legal Fees for Estate administration (based on an average of 15 hours work)
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. Please note we may ask the Executor to pay disbursements such as the probate court fee up front. This expense would normally be refunded from the estate once funds are to hand.
Please note these costs are charged by third parties and are subject to change. The probate fee in particular is under review and is anticipated to change in April 2019, please see the court website for full details.
Office Copies for the Grant of Probate
Commissioners fees for Swearing Oath of probate (assuming a Will with two executors)
Land Registry Search fee (per property)
Bankruptcy Search fee (per beneficiary)
Post in the Local Newspaper
Post in the London Gazette
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.
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.
Where our fees are estimated and include items detailed above there may still 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 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 6 – 12 months. Generally, the time taken to obtain the Grant of Probate will take between 3 - 6 months (where the estate is not taxable and a form IHT400 is not required). The range takes into account handling everything from straightforward estate through to more complex estates although larger and more complicated estates may take longer to administer. We will attempt to keep you advised throughout whether they are any delays anticipated.
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
- Expiration of Trustee Act Notices
- Distributing funds
- Producing Estate accounts