Wills and Probate
A Will sets out exactly what you want to happen to your property and assets once you die and allows you to choose who you would like to deal with your affairs after your death. You can leave specific gifts to loved ones and friends and make charitable gifts.
A Will allows you to make provisions for any children or other dependents you may have, for example, your Will might set out who you want to care for your children in the event of your death (if under the age of 18 years).
It is not necessarily the case your family will automatically inherit your assets once you die. The Law on Intestacy (that is dying without a valid Will) is complex and will not necessarily reflect your wishes. The result may not be what you would have wanted.
Geoff Hindson, a partner in the firm who has practised as a solicitor since 1990 deals with Wills and Probate.
Standard Single Will £140 plus VAT of £28 (£168 including VAT)
Standard Mirror Wills £230 plus VAT of £46 (£276 including VAT)
(for married couples and partners)
If the Will is more complex a quote will be provided at the time of instruction.
PROBATE & ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATE FEES & INFORMATION
Applying for the Grant
We can help you through this process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf.
Grant (no Inheritance Tax payable) – fixed fee of £300 plus VAT of £60 (£360 inclusive of VAT)
Grant (Inheritance Tax payable) – fixed fee of £600 plus VAT of £120 (£720 inclusive of VAT)
And the following disbursements
- Probate Fee £273
- Additional copies of the Grant £1.50 each
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We make payment of the disbursement on your behalf to ensure a smooth process.
What the service includes:-
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate Solicitor to work on your matter;
- Identify the legally appointed Executors or Administrators and Beneficiaries;
- Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require;
- Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application;
- Complete the Probate application and applicable HMRC forms;
- Complete the Legal Statement;
- Make the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf;
- Obtain Grant of Probate
- Provide you with a quotation if required to collect and distribute all assets in the estate
The Probate Registry currently advise on their website it could take up to 16 weeks (4 months) to issue the Grant from receipt of the application.
Please note the above figures are for obtaining a Grant of Probate only and do not include the administration of the estate.
Dealing with the Administration of the Estate (excluding where the Executor is a Partner in the firm) by collecting in and distributing the estate (uncontested matter)
We anticipate this will take between 5-10 hours of work at the rate of £220 per hour plus VAT of £44 per hour. The total costs are estimated at between £1,100 plus Vat of £220 (£1320 including Vat) – £2200 plus VAT of £440 (£2640 including Vat) and disbursements.
As we stated earlier it is difficult to be precise about the anticipated costs as the exact costs 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 more than one bank account costs will be at the higher end.
What the service includes we will:-
- Deal with closure of accounts, collect in estate funds and pay any liabilities.
- Prepare final Estate & Distribution Accounts and distribute the estate to the beneficiaries.
This estimate is for estates where:-
- There is a valid Will;
- There is no more than one property; (the costs to deal with the sale transaction can be found in the conveyancing section)
- There are no more than four beneficiaries;
- No debts;
- No likelihood of the estate being insolvent;
- No significant lifetime gifts;
- No Trusts to be established;
- No disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs;
- No inheritance tax payable and the Executors do not need to submit a full IHT Return to HMRC;
- No requirement to transfer the Nil Rate Band or Residence Nil Rate Band;
- No other intangible assets;
- No claims against the estate;
- No agricultural business element to the estate;
- No foreign assets.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to a third party such as Court Fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Disbursements in addition to the above fees include:-
Probate Fee £273.00
Office Copies of the Grant of Probate £1.50 per copy
Bankruptcy – only Land Charges Department searches £2.00 plus 40p VAT (£2.40 including VAT per beneficiary)
Section 27 Trustee Act Notice protects the Trustees £300 – £400 (including VAT)
Land Registry Fees depending on the value of the £30.00 – £400.
Property and whether it has been registered before
Land Registry Search Fee £3.00 plus 60p VAT(£3.60 including VAT)
Copy Death Certificate and other Certificates required £11.00 per certificate
Factors that will increase the costs of your matter
- Not having all the paperwork available or having incorrect information that needs investigation and correction.
- Third parties not responding to our communications promptly.
- Dealing with unusual foreign or complex assets
Potential Additional Costs
If there is no Will or the estate consists of any shareholding (stocks and bonds) or assets with more than three different organisations there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how the assets are to be dealt with.
The above fees are in respect of a simple uncontested estate but each estate involves different circumstances and we will always provide a quotation based on the information provided before accepting instructions.
If something unexpected happens during our handling of the matter that is not included in our original quotation we will provide further information in writing with an explanation how this affects costs and why the work is necessary
How long will it take?
It is difficult to estimate with any precision how long a Probate matter will take as it will be influenced by many factors some of which are outside of our control.
However on average estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-9 months after obtaining the Grant of Probate including distribution of the assets.
Dealing with the Administration of Estate (Partner in the firm is an Executor) by collecting and distributing the assets (uncontested)
In addition to the hourly rate above account may be taken of the value of the assets of the estate in accordance with the Law Society Guidelines as follows:-
- 5% of the gross value of the estate excluding the value of the property
- 75% of the value of the property
The final figures will always be reviewed to ensure that the charges are fair and reasonable having regard to all the circumstances.