Dealing 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.
Where a Will is in existence the Executors will usually 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 Executors, an Administrator will need to be appointed and Letters of Administration obtained.
We can assist you with every aspect of the probate process, reducing the administrative burden and advising on key decisions which need to be made when managing an estate.
We will give you a time frame of how long probate should take and will keep you advised throughout.
We are proud to hold the Lexcel issued by the Law Society. This involves the firm undergoing a rigorous audit process which ensures we maintain high levels of client care and practice management.
The firm does not undertake litigation so that if there is a likelihood of a contested Will or other dispute concerning the deceased' estate then more specialist litigation solicitors should be consulted
The fees involved in a probate matter can vary and this will depend on the individual circumstances involved.
We offer an hourly rate charging rate, whereby you will be charged for each hour of work undertaken. The hourly rate of charge is £210.00 plus VAT and £145.00 plus VAT based on the status of the member of our team who is dealing with your matter.
Range of Costs
Our fees legal fees for a straightforward estate will range between £1,750 to £3,000 plus VAT and disbursements (expenses which have to be paid out). We do not charge for a percentage of the estate or property comprised in the estate.
The fees will depend on issues such as difficulties over the validity of any Will, the number of beneficiaries and whether the estate includes any property. The costs will be higher if there are multiple bank/savings accounts, shares, and based on the number and value of any properties. However, we can advise on the likely range of legal fees for your particular matter however complicated at an early stage.
We will handle the full process for you and the above range of legal fees is for estates where:
- There is a valid Will
- No 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 no more than 5 beneficiaries
- No beneficiaries have capacity issues under the Mental Health Act
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise this will lead to an increase of legal costs.
- There are no assets situated abroad.
- There are no missing beneficiaries
- There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full form account to HMRC
- There are no claims to be made against the estate
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees or Probate court fees.
Office Copies for the Grant of Probate
Commissioners fees for Swearing Oath of probate
Land Registry Search fee
Bankruptcy Search fee (per beneficiary)
* Post in the Local Newspaper
*Post in the London Gazette
* Costs vary depending on location of local newspaper
NB: There may be other third party costs to pay depending on the nature of a particular asset in the estate, e.g valuations.
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.
It would be sensible to attempt to provide at this stage an estimate of any tax that may be payable. We would advise you to look on the HMRC Website to calculate Inheritance Tax which may be due, the calculators can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-tools-and-calculators#inheritance-tax-and-bereavement
In the event that there is no Will or the estate consists of any share holdings (Stocks and Bonds), there is likely to be additional legal fees and disbursements 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.
If there is a property comprised in the deceased’s estate then the sale of this or the transfer to a beneficiary will be dealt with separately and there will be separate legal fees and disbursements for this work. We will be able to provide an estimate for any necessary work should this situation apply.
On average, probate for the typical estate will take between 6 - 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 3 - 6 months. The range takes into account handling everything from straightforward estate through to more complex estates.
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
- Distributing funds
- Producing Estate accounts