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.
Where the deceased person did not leave a Will, or 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 a Grant of Probate which will give them the legal right to administer the estate. Where there is no Will in existence, or the Will is invalid, or if it does not specify the 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 the probate process should take and will keep you advised throughout.
You will have the confidence that you are our priority, with a dedicated legal advisor appointed to administer the estate. In the event your legal advisor is unavailable our aim is that a 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. Our fees (providing there are sufficient funds), are normally paid out of the estate.
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.
Range of Costs
Our legal fees have historically varied between £750.00 plus VAT and £18,350.00 plus VAT, and disbursements. Our legal fees are dependent upon individual circumstances.
The fees charged will depend on issues such as the value of the estate, the number of beneficiaries, the number and type of assets, if we have been appointed as professional executors, and whether the estate includes any property. Probate fees will increase, depending on whether there are multiple bank accounts, numerous shareholdings and the value of any property.
We will handle the full process for you, and the estimate below is for an estate of £200,000 where the following circumstances are ascertained:
- There is a valid Will
- None of the executors have died, or refuse to act or are otherwise unable to act and we are not appointed as professional executors
- There is not more than one property in the estate
- There are not more than four bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are not more than six beneficiaries (including legatees)
- Beneficiaries all have capacity under the Mental Health Act
- None of the beneficiaries are under eighteen
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise this will lead to an increase of costs
- 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
Legal Fees up to applying for the Grant of Probate
Legal Fees for Estate administration after obtaining the Grant of Probate
Legal Fee Estimated Total
For the above fee we will:
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced member of our team to work on your matter
- Identify the legally appointed executors 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 a Legal Oath or Statement of Truth for you to swear
- Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
- Obtain the Grant of Probate and securely send two copies to you
- Collect and distribute all assets in the estate
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.
Probate Fee (on Estates over £5,000)
Office Copies for the Grant of Probate (per copy)
Commissioners fees for Swearing Oath of probate (for
each person swearing)
Land Registry Search fee (per title)
Bankruptcy Search fee (per beneficiary)
Section 27 Notice in the Local Newspaper
Section 27 Notice in the London Gazette
Estimated Total Disbursements
Grand Total Estimate
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 estate’s 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 the 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 fee 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 £0.50 per copy or per asset.
The legal fees for 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 include the items detailed above; however there may be factors which would typically increase 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 fees will be provided.
We would not normally expect to carry out the following work within the administration:
- Dealing with disputed claims or inheritance act problems
- Providing valuations for assets
- Dealing with overseas assets
- Providing extensive Capital Gains Tax advice
- Provide tax, legal or financial advice to beneficiaries
- Vary the provisions of the Will on intestacy
- Making a claim for transferable Nil Rate Band
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 three and twelve months. Generally, the time taken to obtain the Grant of Probate will take between three and six months, followed by the collection of assets and distribution of the assets which can take between four and twelve months. The range takes into account handling everything from a straightforward estate through to more complex estates. However in some estates, for example where the Inland Revenue’s Capital Taxes office instructs the District Valuer to value land or buildings, there are likely to be delays beyond our control.
Once the Grant of Probate has been obtained it is good practice not to distribute the estate until a period of ten months has elapsed. This is because anyone wishing to make a claim against the estate has a period of six months to do so, and has four months from the issue of the claim to serve it.
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
- Making interim payments and payment of legatees
- Producing Estate accounts
- Distributing funds