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 or not the deceased person left a Will or there is substantial wealth and property involved, the sense of burden can increase. Where a Will is in existence the Executors may need to apply for the Grant of Probate which will confirm their 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 may 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.
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 charging rate, whereby you will be charged for each hour of work undertaken.
Range of Costs With Fixed Fee For Additional Work
Our legal fees will range between £750 to £2,000 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 complexity of the estate, 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 or no Will has been executed
- 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 4 beneficiaries
- 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 there are any trusts in the Will
- Whether 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
Our legal fees do not include disbursements such as Probate Court fees presently £155 plus 50p for each sealed copy of the Grant, Swearing Fee, Bankruptcy searches against each beneficiary, Notices in Local Newspaper and the London Gazette or Land Registry fees.
On average estates that fall within this range are dealt with within approximately 3 to 6 months (excluding the time factor relating to the sale of any property). Typically the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration takes six to eight weeks, collecting assets which can take between eight to twelve weeks and then distribution approximately thirteen to sixteen weeks depending on the assets of the estate. For more complex estates or those incurring inheritance tax this time scale will be longer and you will be advised of the timescale anticipated in these cases.
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 a Legal Oath for you to swear
- Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
- Obtain the Probate
|Fixed Legal Fees to include the obtaining of the grant||£750||£150||£900|
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)||50p||NA||50p|
|Commissioners fees for Swearing Oath of probate (each Executor)||£7||NA||£7|
|Bankruptcy Search fee (per beneficiary)||£2||NA||£2|
|Post in the Local Newspaper|
|Post in the London Gazette (approx)||£65-£85||£13-£17||£78-£102|
|Estimated Disbursement Total||£249.50||£17||£266.50|
|Grant Total Estimate (incl legal fee above)||£999.50||£167||£1,166.50|
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.
Our legal fees in relation to an estate subject to inheritance tax will be based on our hourly rate charges plus vat and further information regarding charges can be provided on request including anticipated timescales for the administration of the Estate.
In the event that 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 Representation, either Probate or Administration are required, these will be charged at 50p per copy or per asset, provided ordered at such time as the application for the Grant, alternatively, the Probate Court charge a fee of £10 for the first copy and then 50p per additional copy if ordered after the grant has been issued.
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 the assistance of a third party at additional cost include:
- Tax advice
- Valuations for property, savings, investments or other assets
- Financial advice
With every transaction there are key milestones, which may vary according to individual circumstances. They may be as follows:
- Enquiries of the Estate
- Applying for Grant of Probate
- Obtaining Grant of Probate
- Settling Liabilities
- Collecting funds ready for distribution
- Producing Estate accounts for approval by the Personal Representative
- Distributing funds