The Law Society have today published an article confirming what we have seen here at Fishers in the past few years, in that the number of inheritance disputes heard in the High Court has increased dramatically. It is suspected that the rise is due to...
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.
Where a Will is in existence the Executors often 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 and we can provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate Lawyer to work on your matter. 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 agree with you in advance the level of service you need and explain to you at the outset an overall timescale and the different stages in relation to your matter. We will review your file/matter regularly to prevent long periods of inactivity.
A member of the Probate department will be available to speak with you, whether it is the fee earner themselves or a member of their team, when you need some clarity or wish to raise any queries at any stage in the process. We feel this provides reassurance and gives you an outlet for any concerns that you may have. Our fees are generally paid out of the estate before administration, so there may not be a need for you to fund the administration.
We are proud to hold Lexcel and WIQS Accreditations, issued by the Law Society. This involves the firm undergoing a rigorous audit process which ensures we maintain high levels of client care.
The fees involved in a probate matter can vary and this will depend on the individual circumstances involved. Please note all our prices are net of VAT unless otherwise specified and the current rate of VAT is 20%. Therefore to prevent overcharging, cost estimates are given at the initial appointment once we have the required information.
We offer both fixed fees and an hourly rate charging rate, whereby you will be charged for each hour of work undertaken. Our hourly rate currently is £200.00 - £260.00 plus VAT.
Range of Costs With Fixed Fee For Additional Work
Our fees legal fees will range between £2,000 – £4,000 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 the amount of assets in the estate. Probate fees will 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. If there is no valid Will then this will lead to an increase of costs.
- If the Executors have predeceased or are unable or unwilling to act
- There is no more than one property
- There are multiple bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are no more than 6 beneficiaries
- All beneficiaries have capacity and are not minors
- 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
- There are no claims made against the estate
Legal Fees for grant of administration only starting from
Legal Fees for Estate administration (Estimate to be given at initial appointment)
Usually (2,000 - £4,000)
Where applicable Fixed Fees to be assessed on individual basis. We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. We will also undertake the collecting and distribution of assets and as part of the fixed fee we will:
- Identify the legally appointed executors, administrators and beneficiaries
- Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
- Obtain relevant documents required to make the application
- Complete the Probate Application and relevant HMRC Forms
- Draft a Legal Oath for you to swear
- Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
- Obtain the Probate and securely send the requested amount of sealed office copies to you
Fixed Legal Fees to include submitting the Inheritance Tax account, if necessary and obtaining the grant - Starting from
Disbursements (For Both Options)
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.
Item (VAT NOT APPLICABLE)
Office Copies for the Grant of Probate
£0.50 per copy
Commissioners fees for Swearing Oath of probate
£5.00 per Executor and £2.00 per exhibit
Land Registry Search fee
Bankruptcy Search fee (per beneficiary)
Post in the Local Newspaper
Per Legal Notice fees
Post in the London Gazette
Per Legal Notice fees
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.
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.
Our fees are fixed and include items detailed above, however 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
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 -8 months. The range takes into account handling everything from straightforward estate through to more complex estates.
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
- Distributing funds
- Producing Estate accounts