Probate

Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy. As well as this being a very emotional time, there are often legal formalities that you will need to deal with such as applying for grants of probate and dealing with the administration of the deceased’s estate. Such formalities can seem very daunting and can be a big responsibility but our experienced and sensitive team can offer you not only the assistance you require in respect of these legal formalities but also provide emotional support throughout the process, irrespective of the circumstances of your case and size of the estate.

The process that you will need to go through depends on the individual circumstances surrounding the matter. If your loved one left a will, then we are able to work with the Executors to extract Probate. If there was no will left, we can work with family members to obtain Letters of Administration. Both situations are similar, but slightly different in process, however whereas a will gives instructions as to how the proceeds of the Estate will be divided, an Intestacy (where there is no will) relies upon the provisions of Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975.

In either case we are able to advise on the appropriate path and procedures.

The exact cost for the service provided will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

Fixed Fee – Simple Probate - £1650 + VAT and disbursements

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 2 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 1-2 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • 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

 

Disbursements included in this fee (where applicable VAT is charged at 20%):

  • Probate application fee of £273
  • £5 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £73.90 plus VAT - Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 each.

 

Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included, and would be subject to a separate Conveyancing charge.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

 

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 4 - 5 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 8 -12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4 - 6 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4 weeks.

Timescales are dependant upon the prompt provision of the necessary documentation to determine assets and liabilities, and the prompt and timely action by external organisations such as the Probate Registry and banks and building societies, which are outside of our control.

Delays can also be incurred in cases where the whereabouts of beneficiaries are unknown, or in cases where further investigations may be necessary to determine their identities, or in case of the death of a beneficiary.

 

More complex Estates

If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) it is not possible to provide a fixed fee service.

Depending on the exact characteristics of the estate and how it is to be dealt with, we can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.

Such cases will be dealt with at our hourly rate of £325 per hour (plus VAT), and the following disbursements will also apply:

  • Probate application fee of £273
  • £5 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £73.90 plus VAT - Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 each.

(where applicable VAT is charged at 20%):

Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included, and would be subject to a separate Conveyancing charge.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

More complex estates where there are multiple assets are subject to longer timescales dependant upon the number and responsiveness of the organisations involved, and we would be able to provide an accurate estimation of the total elapsed time once the extent of the estate is determined.

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