Our Service Explained

Our Service Explained

Our experienced team will guide you through the probate procedure which can seem confusing and complicated.  Your matter will be dealt with by an experienced solicitor specialising in estate and administration work and their individual profiles and respective experience can be found here
 
Our private client team consists of the following:
Louise Salisbury – Partner (Head of Private Client)
Zoe Clough – Partner 
Wendy Connor – Consultant 
Joanne Ford – Solicitor

 

Our Fees

We offer a complete administration service dealing with everything for you, or, we have a limited grant only service to obtain the Grant of Representation which will enable you to close accounts and administer the estate.
 
Every estate is different and circumstances can arise which are not anticipated when we are initially instructed but we will provide you with our best estimate as to the overall costs involved and we will update you regularly on your costs throughout the matter.
 

Pricing

The fees involved in a probate matter can vary and this will depend on the individual circumstances involved. We charge on a fixed fee or time basis in the majority of cases.  In complex estates or where we act as Executors we may charge up to 1% of the estate but you would be advised of this at the outset and we would provide an estimate of our costs and any disbursements that may be payable . 
 
Estate administration – this involves ascertaining the assets and liabilities, completing the necessary Inland Revenue forms and submitting forms and a statement of truth to the Probate Registry and then once we have obtained the grant, obtaining repayment of the assets and discharging liabilities and then distributing the estate.  Fees start at £1,000 (plus VAT £200) plus Probate Court fees .  The costs will depend on the size and number of assets and we will provide an estimate of costs once we have details of the estate. 

 

An example of costs

The fees charged will depend on the number of different assets and beneficiaries and whether the estate includes any property, for example to obtain a Grant only based on the following : 
 

  • there is a valid will that is not disputed and the will names executors who are prepared to act;  
  • there are no more than four bank or building society accounts;
  • there are no more than four shareholdings 
  • there is no more than one property;
  • there are no debts to discharge other than utility bills and up to one mortgage;
  • there are no more than four equal adult beneficiaries;
  • there are no disputes between beneficiaries;
  • there is no inheritance tax payable;
  • the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC;
  • we are provided with details of  the monies held in the banks or building societies at the date of death and a valuation for the property; and
  • there are no claims against the estate.
     

Legal fees to obtain a grant only would be £750.00  (plus VAT £150.00 and disbursements)
 
Legal fees for the full administration of the estate would be between £1,500 and £2,800 (plus VAT of between £300 and £560 and disbursements)
 
Our fees would be increased if, for example:

  • not all the paperwork was available or having missing or incorrect information which needs investigation and correction;
  • having to make repeated requests for information;
  • if there was any dispute between beneficiaries; and
  • dealing with assets of a complex nature.
     

As soon as we became aware of any matters that would be likely to increase the costs, we would discuss the likely increase to our estimated costs.

 

Disbursements that are likely to be incurred

We have to pay costs to third parties such as the Probate Court to obtain the grant.

 

Standard disbursements:

Item Cost VAT Total
Probate Court application fee £155.00 this is under review by the Government and Probate Court fees are scheduled to increase None £155.00
Additional copies of the grant (per copy) £0.50 None £0.50
Anti-Money laundering checks (per check) Electronic Compliance Check £6.00 £10.00 £2.00 £1.20 £7.20
Bankruptcy search (per person) £2.00 None £2.00

 

In addition, there may be fees payable for additional services such as:

Item Cost VAT Total
Trustee Act notices inserted in the London Gazette (for the executors protection) £62.15 £12.43 £74.58
Statutory advertisements – local newspaper Varies on location    
Stockbroker fees  A quote will be obtained    
Will Certainty will search £99.00 plus VAT    
Property/asset valuations A quote will be obtained from an estate agent    

 

Timescales

At the outset of the matter we would try and give you an indication of the likely timescales.  Each estate is different but the steps involved in the process are as follows:

 

Steps involved in the process VAT
Identifying the deceased’s assets and liabilities We would write to all the Deceased’s banks and financial institutions and contact share registrars so that we can ascertain the extent of the estate including any liabilities.  We can contact local estate agents to obtain property valuations.  This is likely to take up to 8 weeks depending on how fast third parties respond.
Completing the inheritance tax return for HMRC Once we have all the financial information, we can collate the form.  If the estate is simple and there is no tax to pay, there is a shorter form to complete.  However, if the inheritance tax is payable, or the estate is complex or involves claiming additional inheritance tax relief such as residence nil rate band, then a larger form is completed and has to be submitted to HMRC who typically take at least 6 weeks to return the required acknowledgement.
Completing the application for the grant of representation Personal representatives have to submit a statement of truth to the Probate Registry.  In a simple estate, this is signed and then submitted to the Probate Court.  Typically the court takes two weeks to return the grant.
Collect the assets and pay the debts Once the grant is received it can be sent to the various banks etc. so that the assets can be collected in.  This process typically takes 4 – 8 weeks depending upon the assets.  If there are shares to sell this may take longer to complete
Distribute the estate If an executor is not a beneficiary, then typically they will not want to distribute the estate until time statutory time limits have expired.  We will have discussed this with the personal representatives  at the outset .
Inheritance tax There are various factors that will affect any inheritance tax due on an estate and the availability of any inheritance tax allowances.  We would give advice on this when we are consulted and would advise on the availability of any allowances. HMRC has a calculator that would give an idea of inheritance tax payable at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-tools-and-calculators#inheritance-tax-a...

 

Why us

We understand that most people are not familiar with the probate procedure and we will take the time to explain the procedure to you . Your matter will be dealt with by a named solicitor who will be supported by an administrative assistant. We will provide you with the solicitor’s direct line to ease communication. We care about your matter and we aim to guide you through the process as quickly and as smoothly as possible.