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Probate Work

Applying for a grant of probate, collecting in and distributing the assets

The Work We Undertake: We will

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators, the beneficiaries, the assets of the estate and their location; ascertain the liabilities of the estate
  • Determine the type of Probate application you will require
  • Communicate with the entities holding assets and ascertain their value
  • Complete the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the relevant HMRC forms and the Probate Application
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and official copies to supply to the entities holding assets in the estate
  • Collect in all the assets, discharge the liabilities and distribute the net assets to the beneficiaries
  • Please note that the sale or transfer of any real estate which is part of the estate will be dealt with by personnel in our Property Department and they will send you an estimate for their work separately.

This work done by our Probate Team does not include dealing with Tax Returns for the Estate or the final Tax Return for the deceased, but our tax group can handle this if you so require and would let you have an estimate for their work.

Our Fees and Disbursements

We generally charge on an hourly basis for the time spent by our personnel working on the matter. Our fees ae exclusive of VAT which will be added to invoices at 20% where applicable.

Our standard hourly rates for probate work of this kind are:

Partners/Consultants: £450 – £550

Associate Solicitors: £350 – £400

Trainees/paralegals: £200

However, these hourly rates may be reduced in the case of a small Estate which is not subject to the payment of Inheritance Tax and dependent upon the number of assets that have to be dealt with.

The exact cost will depend on the position in relation to each individual estate. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no real estate, the amount of time we have to spend will be much lower than if there are multiple beneficiaries, a property, insurance or life policies and multiple bank accounts.

We can only give you an estimate of our fees once we know the details of the assets within the Estate and the liabilities but we will give you an indication of these when we meet with you at an initial meeting (free of charge) and will provide a more accurate estimate as soon as we can thereafter.

Where there is no valid will or there are assets outside the UK, or where there are disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets, or claims are made against the estate we will have to carefully consider the position with you before giving you any estimation of our fees in relation to that work.

Alternative method of charging: percentage fees based on the value of the Estate

We can usually also undertake this Probate work for you on a percentage fee basis if you prefer. The percentage differs for (a) real estate (which is at a lower rate) and (b) the other assets and the liabilities of the estate. We can advise you of these percentages after determining what are the assets and liabilities.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter which are payable to third parties, and are payable by you in addition to our fees. We will handle the payment of these disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Disbursements for which you are liable will be:

  • Probate application fee which is currently £155 when submitted by a solicitor
  • Other payments such as Bankruptcy and Land Charge searches and newspaper advertising if we deem that necessary, and of which we will advise you in advance
  • Additional official copies of the grant which will cost £1.50 each. Each entity holding an asset of the estate will usually require such a copy.

How long will this take?

We are generally in a position to apply for Probate within 2 to 3 months where there is no Inheritance tax to pay, and where there is we are generally in a position to complete the HMRC Forms within 4 to 6 months and we apply for Probate immediately after we receive the HMRC stamp. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate thereafter takes about 3 to 5 weeks.  During the Covid-19 pandemic, these time estimates are not reliable because, whilst we make every effort to move things along speedily and efficiently, all entities holding assets and the Probate Registries are taking longer to deal with matters.

Collecting in the assets then follows, and this can take between 4 to 6 weeks and then we can pay the liabilities of the estate and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries who are entitled and this is usually done very quickly..

Our team

Brian Eagles is a Consultant with the firm who has been dealing with Estates and Probate, and also Wills and Private Client matters generally, over many years.

Lydia Thorp is a Junior Partner with the firm, who also trained at Burlingtons. Lydia assists Brian Eagles on probate matters, trusts and wills. 

If you wish to discuss the above further, or wish to arrange a meeting, please contact Brian Eagles:

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