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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.
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.
Our team consists of the following:
Outi Hubbard is a partner in charge of the probate department. She is bi-lingual in Finnish and English and has over 18 years of experience in dealing with this area of law. Her hourly charge out rate is £300 plus VAT.
Ana Gonzalez is a solicitor who has over 13 years of experience in dealing with probate. She is an associate member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). She is bi-lingual in English and Spanish. Her hourly charge out rate is £300 plus VAT.
A junior solicitor’s hourly charge rate is £200.00 plus VAT.
A Trainee Solicitor/Paralegal’s hourly charge rate is £145.00 plus VAT. We normally have a trainee solicitor working in our probate department.
Pascale Goodheart is our probate department secretary. She has worked in this area of law since 2002.
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. Where the firm acts as executors we may also charge an additional percentage charge on the gross value of the estate. This will range between 0.5% – 1% depending on the complexity of the matter.
Range of Costs
- Simple Estates:
Our fees legal fees will range between £1,500-to £6,000 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 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
- Whether or not any executors have died or refuse to act
- There is no more than one property
- There are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are 1-2 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.
- Medium complex estates:
These are estates where in addition to the above example full inheritance tax return IHT400 is required and there are numerous assets and several beneficiaries. Our charges would normally be in the region of £5,000 – £12,000 plus VAT and disbursements.
- Complex estates
These estates would normally include estates where for example the value of the estate exceeds £2 million and there are numerous assets and for example foreign property and beneficiaries who live abroad. Sometimes complex estates can be estates where the value is less than £2 million or where there is no inheritance tax but our level of involvement is greater. These estates often involve the firm taking a practical steps in the administration of the estate such as dealing with funeral arrangements/ registering the death/dealing with the property and chattels etc. Our fees in these types of estates can range from £12,000 plus VAT and disbursements – £35,000 plus VAT and disbursements and in some cases can exceed £35,000 plus VAT and disbursements.
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||£1.50||£1.50|
|Land Registry Search fee||£6.00||£6.00|
|Bankruptcy Search fee (per beneficiary)||£3.00||£3.00|
|Grant Total Estimate||£441.50||£55.20||£496.70|
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
In the event that there is no Will or 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 Probate are required, these will be charged at £0.50 per copy or per asset.
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.
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
- Counsel’s opinion where there are issues in dealing with the interpretation of the wills.
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. Complex estates may take 12-24 months or even longer to complete depending on the circumstances.
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
- Drafting and sending out Estate Accounts
- Obtaining tax clearance for both Inheritance tax and Income tax including Capital Gains tax.
- Distributing fund
Please feel free to contact us for an estimate of our fees. Please note we are not able to give you an estimate over the phone without more detailed knowledge of the estate.