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SOLICITORS NOTTINGHAM

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The Probate process

We would be very happy to assist you with all aspects of the administration of an estate.

Our fees

Unlike many solicitors, we do not charge “fixed” fees for probate work that we carry out.  Nor do we use the value of the estate as the primary means of calculating costs.  Instead we work out how much work we believe will need to be carried out and calculate our charges based on this.

As we are sure you will appreciate, an estate with only a small number of different assets, no Inheritance Tax to be paid and only a small number of beneficiaries will require considerably less work than one with a large number of different assets, many beneficiaries and the payment of Inheritance Tax.

To give you an idea of likely costs, we would say that in connection with uncontested estates, whether or not the deceased left a valid Will:

  • For the administration of an estate with less than 5 different assets and beneficiaries and no Inheritance Tax liability, costs should be in the region of between £750.00 and £1,000.00 plus V.A.T.
  • For the administration of an estate where there are more assets and beneficiaries but still no Inheritance Tax liability, costs should be in the region of between £1,200.00 and £2,000.00 plus V.A.T.
  • For the administration of an estate where Inheritance Tax is payable, costs should be in the region of between £2,500.00 and £4,000.00 plus V.A.T.

Additional costs

In addition to our costs, you will usually have the following extra charges (disbursements) which are payable to third parties: (no V.A.T.).

  • Probate Court fee of £155.00
  • Charge for copies of the Grant - £1.50 per copy (1 copy required for each asset)
  • Bankruptcy search - £2.00 per beneficiary
  • Office copy entry fee – to confirm ownership of the property - £3.00
  • Certainty will search fee – this checks the National Will Register and also performs a regional search of law firms in the area local to where the deceased lived to ensure that they did not make a more recent Will than the one you are holding – approx. £114.00 (inclusive vat)

If there is no Will, it may also be necessary to employ the genealogical company to research the family tree to ensure that all beneficiaries are located.  Costs for this would be advised to you at the relevant time.

The process

The process is usually as follows:

  • We will have an initial meeting with you to take details of the assets, go through the terms of the Will and explain to you the process involved.
  • We will follow up our meeting with a letter confirming what we have discussed and detailing anticipated costs and disbursements.
  • If you are happy to proceed, we will then ascertain the monies in the estate by writing to the financial institutions where assets are held. This part of the process usually takes between 6 and 8 weeks.
  • This information enables us to prepare the Statement of Truth (a document confirming the value of the Estate), which we will send to you for approval and signing.
  • At the same time, the relevant H M Revenue & Customs forms are prepared and any Inheritance Tax that is due will be calculated – taking into account the allowances that are available. These forms will also be sent to you for checking and signing.
  • If Inheritance Tax is due, then this needs to be paid prior to sending the Statement of Truth to the Probate Registry (an official part of the court system). We can usually take the amount due from the deceased’s bank accounts.
  • The Statement is then sent to the Probate Registry, with the Probate Court fee, for the issuing of the Grant of Probate/Grant of Letters of Administration (the document of proof of the Executors’/Administrators’ right to deal with and administer the Estate) which usually takes between 3 and 4 weeks.
  • Once the Grant is received, we will collect in the assets and one they are all collected, prepare an estate account for your approval – we allow approximately 6 to 8 weeks for this to be done.
  • Once you have returned the draft estate account approved, we will arrange for the monies due to be sent to the beneficiaries. This part of the process usually takes approximately one week.
  • Our standard method of payment is by 3-day bank transfer. If any beneficiary wishes to have the money sent by cheque or by 1-day bank transfer, we would be happy to arrange this.
  • We would advise that at this stage that we do reserve the right to retain the sum of £500.00 in account to deal with any tax or other matters which may arise following distribution of the Estate. This would be held for twelve months.  A final account would be sent to you following this period.  We would advise you that we do reserve the right to charge for any extra work carried out.  Usually, this is more of an administrative charge
  • Before any monies can be distributed, we are legally obliged to carry out a bankruptcy search on all beneficiaries.

Therefore, on the basis of the above, and assuming there are no unforeseen complications, the matter should usually be completed within six months, if no Inheritance Tax is payable.  If Inheritance Tax does need to be paid, the above timescales will need to be extended as we cannot apply for the Grant of Probate until HMRC has acknowledged receipt of the tax paid and this can take up to 6 weeks.

All work is carried out by our solicitor, Julia Betts, who has over 40 years’ experience in this type of work, assisted by support staff.  Julia’s hourly fee is currently £215.00 plus V.A.T.

Additional costs may be involved if the:-

  • assets include a large number of shareholdings
  • residuary beneficiaries include charities
  • beneficiaries are in dispute about any aspect of the administration of the Estate

but, if this proved to be the case, we would discuss this with you and agree costs.

Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included in the above prices.

Should you wish to deal with most of the administration of the Estate yourself and just wish us to deal with obtaining the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration for you, we would be very happy to do this as well.

Our costs for doing this will usually be approximately £500.00 + V.A.T. if there is no Inheritance Tax payable.

If we are also required to prepare an HMRC Inheritance Tax Account and liaise with HMRC over payment of the tax due, costs will be in the region of £850.00 - £1,200.00 + V.A.T.

Our service for obtaining a Grant of Probate only is as follows:

  • We will have an initial meeting with you to go through the terms of the Will and explain to you the process involved.
  • We will follow up our meeting with a letter confirming what we have discussed and detailing anticipated costs and disbursements.
  • We will then ascertain the monies in the Estate by writing to the financial institutions where assets are held. This part of the process usually takes between 6 and 8 weeks.
  • This information enables us to prepare the Statement of Truth which we will send to you for approval and signing.
  • At the same time the relevant H M Revenue & Customs forms are prepared and any Inheritance Tax that is due will be calculated – taking into account the allowances that are available. These forms will also be sent to you for checking and signing.
  • If Inheritance Tax is due, then this needs to be paid prior to sending the Statement of Truth to the Probate Registry. We can usually take the amount due from the deceased’s bank accounts.
  • The Statement is then sent to the Probate Registry, with the probate court fee, for the issuing of the Grant of Probate which usually takes between 3 and 4 weeks.

As above, this work would be carried out by our Solicitor, Julia Betts, assisted by support staff.

Contact us:

Telephone:
01623 499 080

Email:
reception@ravensheadlaw.com

Address:
5 Milton Court, Ravenshead, Nottingham, NG15 9BD

SRA Number:
Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - 47071 (www.sra.org.uk)

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