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Wills Trusts & Probate

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Wills Trusts & Probate

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Wills Trusts & Probate

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Wills Trusts & Probate

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Cost and Services

Applying for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration

Excepted estate (valued at under £325,000) - £1000 plus VAT

1.  Applying for grant of probate (or letters of administration if there is no will) where the estate is worth less than £325,000 and the estate is an excepted estate (this will be ascertained during first meeting/conversation and will be based on questions such as did the deceased make gifts totalling more than £150,000 in the 7 years before they died or have assets worth more than £100,000 outside the UK)

The quote will include initial meeting with STEP qualified solicitor or executive with over 10 years’ experience to discuss and advise process and procedure; explaining what information is required for the application and how to obtain it; preparing the IHT205 and oath for swearing; meeting with clients to go through drafted documents; arranging to swear oath at local solicitor when they attend upon solicitor/executive (or if local solicitor unavailable arranging for client to attend a solicitor local to him/herself); submitting documents to Probate Registry with court fee; dealing with any queries raised by Probate Registry; sending original grant and sealed copies to client once received

Our aim is to take instructions and draft your documents within a 10-day period before submitting to the Court.  The Court usually takes upto 4 weeks to issue the grant.

2. Excepted estate (valued at under £325,000) - £1000-£2000 plus VAT (based on hourly rate of £215 plus VAT

As 1 above but we will make contact with financial institutions/estate agents/surveyors etc to obtain date of death valuations for all the assets and liabilities of the estate before preparing a schedule of assets based on which the IHT205 and oath will be prepared

Our aim is to write to all organisations within a week of our initial meeting – responses usually arrive within 2-3 weeks.  Once all responses have arrived, we prepare the application for you to approve (usually the same week) and send to the court

3. Excepted estate (valued at under £650,000 but has benefit of transferrable nil rate band or residence nil rate band) - £1500-£2000 plus VAT (based on hourly rate of 215 plus VAT)

As 1 above but to include advising clients on availability of percentage tax exemption available based on estate of first spouse to have died and to include preparing and submitting the relevant IHT forms to probate registry

Our aim is to take instructions and draft your documents within a 10-day period before submitting to the Court.  The Court usually takes up to 4 weeks to issue the grant.

4. Estate worth under £1 million but no tax to pay due to spouse/charity exemption – approximately £2000-3000 plus VAT

As 1 above but based on hourly rate of £215 plus VAT and will depend on size of estate and amount of work/time spent by us making contact with third parties

Our aim is to take instructions and draft your documents within a 10-day period before submitting to the Court.  The Court usually takes up to 4 weeks to issue the grant.

5. Taxable estate with or without exemptions

Fees start at £3,500 plus VAT and increase based on actual time spent on matter based on hourly rate of £215 plus VAT per hour

Fees will include as 1 above but include detailed verbal and written advice as to process and procedure; making contact with financial institutions including creditors; preparing schedule of assets and liabilities; the preparation of detailed inheritance tax form and ancillary documents; obtaining inheritance reference from HMRC; settling tax due whether from deceased’s own accounts or obtaining external loan for executors ; submitting tax forms to revenue and obtaining stamped IHT421; submitting probate forms to Probate Registry with stamped IHT421 and court fee;

Inheritance must be paid by the end of the sixth month after the person has died else the estate will be liable to penalties and interest. We aim to get the application to HMRC and the court well within this timescale, but it all depends on third party responses and speed at which clients respond to queries.  The Court will not issue the grant until they have evidence from the Revenue that tax has been paid.

If any of the above fixed fee applications require extra time spent on extra issues such as retirement of executor/power reserved/attorney grants our fee will increase based on an hourly rate of £215 plus VAT per hour.  They may also include a document settling fee of £10 per document settled

6. Specialist grants

Based on hourly rate of £215 plus VAT per hour (price depends on size of estate and complexity/nature of application);

All the above also include the following disbursements: -

  • Probate Court fee - £155 plus £0.50 per sealed copy probate
  • Swear fee of £5 plus £2 per document attached to oath
  • Bankruptcy search fees at £2 per person (for the personal representatives)

Our first invoice is submitted when the probate application is sent to the court.

On receipt of the grant if clients want the firm to administer the estate on their behalf we charge an hourly rate of £215 plus VAT and time spent will vary according to the number of assets, liabilities, beneficiaries with whom we need to make contact.

For example, if an estate consists of 2 bank accounts, one property, one shareholding which is to be sold (and we have the correct share certificate) and there are 4 beneficiaries time spent once probate is received (if no other complications) will be between 5-9 hours.  This will include preparing estate accounts for approval, preparing income tax calculation for the administration period and making distributions to beneficiaries (possibly interim as well as final).

We always aim to finalise the administration of an estate within the “executor’s year” however external factors affect this timescale.  For example, if a property has not sold, the revenue has not given clearance for inheritance or income tax or the DWP has made a claim against the estate.  In those circumstances we cannot finalise and distribute the estate but we will always keep you updated as to progress.

Subject to approval by the personal representatives, other disbursements may include:

  • Statutory notices (optional) approximately £90-£230
  • Unknown assets search £25

If there is a property in the estate which needs to be sold or transferred there will be conveyancing costs and land registry fees.  If there is a trust in the Will in relation to the property, the trustees’ details will need to be included on deeds and this will also incur conveyancing and land registry fees (based on value of the property and whether the property is registered or unregistered).

If there are shares in the estate which are to be sold the registrars or stockbrokers will charge a commission for this service.  If original share certificates cannot be located an indemnity will have to be purchased from the registrars and a fee paid (approximately £100) before the personal representatives can proceed with the sale or transfer of the shares.

If the deceased was receiving means tested benefits during his/her lifetime the DWP usually request a list of assets and liabilities as of date of death to compare with the information they hold on file.  If there are discrepancies, they will open an investigation and we will be unable to distribute the estate until final clearance is received from the DWP. On average the DWP take 8-12 months to finalise their investigations and any payment due to them takes priority to beneficiaries.

To see who is on our experienced team, visit our dedicated wills trusts and probate page.

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