Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person. This involves resolving any claims and distributing the deceased person’s property in accordance with a valid will. Or, if there is no will (an intestacy), in accordance with the legal rules of inheritance.
A probate practitioner is a person qualified in the law of sucession, trusts, relevant aspects of property law and the law relating to inheritance and the administration of estates.
The process of probate can be time consuming and stressful. There can be huge numbers of legal issues surrounding this – for example Inheritance Tax, Income Tax, paying debts, dealing with claims, encashing and transferring assets, identifying beneficaries correctly, dealing with under age beneficiaries, tracing missing deeds and documents, foreign investments or property and so on. We aim to take the strain of dealing with these issues.
Probate cost of service estimate (consisting of legal fees and disbursements).
Legal fees (VAT chargeable at standard rate currently 20%).
- Fee for Grant only of non-Inheritance Taxable Probate/Letters of Administration, from £1,350.
- Fee for administration of non-Inheritance Taxable estate, from £2,300.
Disbursements (these are payments to third-parties that relate to your matter, for example Probate Court fees, Advertisement fees, Search fees, Postal re-direction fees, Identity Verification fees).
Likely disbursements’ initial estimate (including Probate Court fees) not exceeding £600 (including VAT): if likely to exceed this figure, then you will be given ample notice as soon as we are aware of such issues.
Grand total of Legal fees and Disbursements – cost of service:
- for Grant only of non-Inheritance Taxable Probate/Letters of Administration, from £1,950.
- for Grant and full administration of non-Inheritance Taxable estate, from £2,900.
Note 1: The fees are based on an hourly rate of £200 (VAT chargeable).
Note 2: Fees for Inheritance Taxable estates will be agreed with you once all the issues in that respect are clarified.
Note 3: In the event the estate is actually less complicated or less extensive than a routine estate, and the legal fees will be lower as a result, you will be informed of this as early as possible.
Note 4: In the event the estate is actually more complicated or more extensive than a routine estate, and the legal fees will be higher as a result, you will be informed of this as early as possible. Matters typically exceed the quoted fees when they are particularly complicated, for example:
- Whether there is a will and if it has been located
- Identity of inquirer and if, they are not an executor, whether all executors have died or refused to act
- Estimated value of assets
- Whether there is property in the estate
- Whether any property is outside England and Wales
- Whether the grant of probate is likely to be contested
- number of actual assets/ liabilities apart from properties and value of them
- number of properties and value of them
- number of beneficiaries
- where any beneficiary does not have capacity under the Mental Health Act or a minor
- where there are continuing trusts in the Will
- is the estate liable to Inheritance Tax
- whether any gifts were made in lifetime
- any missing beneficiaries
- any forensic work needed to create family tree under intestacy
- obtaining lost share certificates
- additional legal fees for property transfer or sale
Note: This list is not intended to be exhaustive but is given as an illustration of the more frequently encountered issues.