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 Wills,Trust and Probate department is headed up by Emma Stride. Director, Susan Howarth, is the Practice Supervisor for the private client department (Wills, Trust & Probate) and the Law Society's WIQS accreditation.
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.
If we are appointed as either sole executors or jointly with a lay executor, or for more complicated estates depending on the situation, there may be an additional charge that can range from 0.5% to 1.5% of the gross value of the estate, in line with Law Society recommendations.
Probate is not always a black and white process as the level of complexity and circumstances of probate matters and administration can vary enormously between estates.
In order to provide you with an accurate estimate, we need to fully understand the specific details of the estate and your requirements. You can contact us to arrange an appointment or pop into our free weekly Wills & Probate clinic, every Wednesday 12-2pm (no appointment necessary) – http://www.susanhowarthsolicitors.co.uk/site/events/
We can help you through this difficult process by just 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 or administrators
- 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 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 to include the obtaining of the grant
Range of Costs For Estate Administration
Our legal fees will range between £2000 to £10000 plus VAT and disbursements. The fees will vary and are dependent upon individual circumstances, as some estates can be relatively simple and straightforward, where others can be highly complex estates liable to Inheritance Tax.
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 including obtaining the Grant of Probate 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 ten bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- Whether any beneficiaries do not have capacity under the Mental Health Act or a minor
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the vision of assets. If disputes arise this will lead to an increase of costs
- Whether or not there are any trusts in the Will
- Whether or not there are any 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 for Estate administration
2000 – 10000
400 – 2000
2400 – 12000
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.
The typical disbursements are outlined below. Additional disbursements are occasionally required, at which point we would notify you accordingly.
Office Copies for the Grant of Probate (per copy)
ID Check (per executor)
Land Registry Search fee (per property)
Bankruptcy Search fee (per beneficiary)
Notice in the local newspaper (approx. if required)
Notice in the London Gazette (approx. if required)
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.
Discussing Inheritance Tax and providing appropriate advice that is relevant to your personal probate matter is part of the service we provide.
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 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.
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 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 will take between 3 - 6 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 estate through to more complex estates.
Occasionally the administration of an estate can become protracted due to unforeseen difficulties or complications, but we would keep you fully informed throughout the process.
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
- Producing Estate accounts
- Distributing funds