Wills & Probate

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We provide a friendly, professional and efficient service tailored to suit your individual needs.

We can assist in the following areas:-

Estate Administration

The administration of an estate can prove very traumatic.  Our experienced Solicitor provides a personal, sympathetic and efficient service, advising on all aspects of the administration of the estate.  Many of our clients simply do not have the time to administer an estate themselves or to claim all tax exemptions that are available to them.

If there is a Will then a Grant of Probate will be necessitated.  If there is no Will, then the Grant is referred to as Grant of Letters of Administration.  We are able to act either on a full probate administration service or alternatively, on a limited grant only service.

Probate – Full Administration Service

We would prepare an application for a Grant using financial information collated and we would thereafter wind up the estate on behalf of the personal representatives.  This would typically involve:-

[1]        Initial advice.

[2]        Collating information required for Probate.

[3]        Formal Application for the Grant.

[4]        Collecting in the assets of the estate.

[5]        Ascertaining the debts and any tax liabilities.

[6]        Liaising with Banks and other relevant third parties.

[7]        Liaising with HMRC.

[8]        Completion of estate accounts.

[9]        Obtaining approval of estate accounts from Executors.

[10]      Distribution of estate.

 

Cost

The cost for dealing with an estate will depend on the individual circumstances in the matter.  For example, the number of Beneficiaries, nature of assets, number of shareholdings and complexity of the estate.  The estate value means the gross estate at the date of death which is calculated by valuing the assets of the estate.  That information will not always be readily apparent when we are instructed.

The following examples do not include disbursements:-

 

Description Range Typical Cost VAT at 20% Total Exc. Disbursements
Standard Estate

No complicated assets involved and Estate left to the surviving spouse or to children with no Inheritance tax complications.

£1,000.00 to £3,500.00 £2,500.00 £500.00 £3,000.00
Standard Estate With Complications

– e.g, an estate requiring the tracing of missing family members or investigating unknown assets and complicating features involving additional expenditure of time.

£2,250.00 to £6,500.00 £3,500.00 £700.00 £4,200.00

 

Medium Complexity – This would typically involve an estate where the estate would exceed £325,000.00 and Inheritance Tax would be due.  In addition, it  would typically involve the creation or administration of a trust. £3,000.00 to £6,500.00 £5,000.00 £1,000.00 £6,000.00

 

The above examples reflect the cost for us dealing with the full administration of an estate which is not subject to any litigious element, for example, entitlement being contested by Beneficiaries or any challenge to the validity of the Will.  Should the estate be contested, then the range of costs would not be applicable.  We cannot provide a fixed price for estate administration as we charge on the amount of time that would be involved conducting the estate. Before proceeding with any work, we will meet with you to discuss the estate and then provide you with a fees estimate, which is a range of costs that we believe would be incurred when administering the estate.  Our fees estimate is based on the hourly rate of £250.00 plus VAT, if the work is carried out by a Partner, plus 1.5% of the net residuary estate and 0.75% of the net value of the property. If a non-Partner carries out the work then the hourly charging rate would be £225.00 plus VAT.

It is important to note that the administration of the estate will cover the legal work involved but will not cover work involved outside the typical scope of a Probate, for example, dealing with any claim against the estate by a third party or the conveyancing of property or administering an estate that is insolvent.  Please contact us directly so that we can advise further on this.

Typical disbursements necessitated are usually:-

 

[1]        Probate fee – £155.00.

[2]        Oath fees – £7.00 per Executor.

[3]        Bankruptcy Search – £2.00 per Beneficiary.

[4]        Posting in:-       London Gazette -£90.00.

Local newspaper – £80.00.

[5]        Additional certified copies of the Grant – 50p per copy.

[6]        Land Registry fee – £3.00.

[7]        Creditor’s Advertisement (local newspaper) – £150.00 plus VAT, i.e, £170.00.

[8]        Unknown missing Beneficiaries search – £135.00 plus VAT, i.e, £162.00.

[9]        Valuation fee for property – £160.00 plus VAT, i.e, £192.00.

[10]      Auctioneer valuation fee – £160.00 plus VAT, i.e, £192.00.

[11]      Transfer of property ownership – (variable depending on value).

 

The above are typical disbursements but not an exhaustive list and are subject to change.  In certain circumstances, it may be appropriate to employ Enquiry Agents or more complex assets will require specialist tracing agents.

Timescale

Whilst we endeavour to administer an estate within 6-18 months, it can take up to 3 years to administer a large estate, particularly if HMRC investigate the valuations submitted.  However, these are guidelines and there are a number of variables which would impact on the timescale, for example, there may be issues in locating Beneficiaries, Share Certificates, difficulties in selling any Probate property etc.

Limited Grant Only Service – Fixed Fee

This may be a cost effective option, if the personal representatives are willing and able to deal with the assets and liabilities of the estate.  Under this provision, we will prepare the Application for a Grant relying on information provided by the personal representatives.  Following obtaining of the Grant, it is the personal representatives who will be liable for administering the estate.

Should we act in this limited capacity then the following fees would apply:-

[1]        Obtaining Grant of Representation –

This will include completion of the

Probate Application and Form IHT205 (short form)

using information supplied by yourself –                         £1000.00 plus VAT.

[2]        Obtaining Grant of Representation.

This will include completion of the Probate

Application and Form IHT400 (long form)

using information supplied by yourself –                         £1500.00 plus VAT.

Our Grant only service is based on us proceeding with accurate and complete information supplied by yourself.  If work is necessitated outside the scope of the above remit then that work would be charged at an hourly rate of £250.00 plus VAT.

The cost of proceeding with a Grant will still require payment of monies to third parties, for example, Court fees and Probate fees.  Typically, the cost of disbursements would be around £350.00.  Examples of the typical disbursements incurred are set out below but this is not an exhaustive list.  The disbursements incurred would vary depending on the particular circumstances of the application and are subject to change:-

[1]        Probate fee – £155.00.

[2]        Oath fees – £7.00 per Executor.

[3]        Bankruptcy Search – £2.00 per Beneficiary.

[4]        Advert in:-        London Gazette – £90.00.

Local newspaper – £80.00.

[5]        Additional certified copies of the Grant – 50p per copy.

We would attend on yourself and following your signing of a professional engagement letter, we would obtain relevant information from yourself, advise you generally and proceed with the Probate application relevant to you.

It is very difficult to provide an accurate timescale but typically a Grant could take between 5-12 months.  Obtaining a Grant is subject to various factors outside our control, for example, there may be difficulties in obtaining a valuation of assets or delays liaising with third parties.

Please contact us directly and we will provide you with specific information in relation to your case.  Every estate is different which is why we encourage you to contact us so we can provide you with an estimate outlining the range of potential fees to make sure that you receive the relevant support to meet your individual circumstances.

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