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 the deceased person left a Will or whether there is substantial wealth and property involved, the sense of burden can increase. Where a Will is in existence the Executors will 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 Executor, an Administrator will 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.
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.
We are proud to hold the Lexcel Accreditation. This involves the firm undergoing a rigorous audit process which ensures we maintain high levels of client care.
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 rate charging rate, whereby you will be charged for each hour of work undertaken. In more complex cases we may also charge a value element.
We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. We will then leave you to administer the estate but shall remain available to you should you require further assistance at a later stage of the process.
- 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 and securely send copies to you
Fixed Legal Fees to include the obtaining of the grant where the estate is not chargeable to inheritance tax
Fixed Legal Fees to include the obtaining of the grant where the estate is chargeable to inheritance tax
Hourly Charging Rate
The range of fees will depend on issues such as the 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 including but not limited to estates where:
- There is a valid Will
- There is not a valid Will
- Any executors have died or refuse to act
- There is more than one property
- There are a large amount of beneficiaries
- Any beneficiaries do not have capacity under the Mental Health Act or a minor
- There are any trusts in the Will
- There are any missing beneficiaries
- There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
Our hourly rates are as follows:
|Fee Earner Status||Charge Out Rate|
|£250 + VAT per hour|
|Senior Solicitors/Fee Earners||£225 + VAT per hour|
|All other Fee Earners and Solicitors|
£200 + VAT per hour
We estimate costs in the administration of most estates will be between 1-3% of the value of the estate plus vat and disbursements but we will give you a clear estimate at the start of the matter and shall keep you updated at all stages throughout the administration.
In more complex cases we may charge a value element to reflect the responsibility placed upon the solicitor when dealing with something of value.
It is usual to divide the estate (the total value of the assets left after a death) into two parts:
- The value of the deceased’s home
- The value of the remaining estate
The following percentages would usually be applied in complex cases:
- The deceased’s home - 0.5% of the value (if acting for Executors) - 0.75% of the value (if acting as Executors)
- The rest of the estate - 1% of the value (if acting for Executors) - 1.5% of the value (if acting as Executors)
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
Land Registry Search fee
Post in the Local Newspaper (optional)
Post in the London Gazette (optional)
Document Processing Fee
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.
We do not believe that 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
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
On average, probate for the typical estate will take between 3 – 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 between 4 -12 months. The range takes into account handling everything from straightforward estate through to more complex estates.