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.
Whether the deceased person left a Will or whether there is substantial wealth and property involved, the sense of burden can increase. Where a Will is in existence the Executors will 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 who can assist you with every aspect of the probate process, reducing the administrative burden and advising sensitively on key decisions which need to be made when managing an estate. 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 give you a clear time frame of how long probate should take and will keep you informed throughout.
You will have the confidence that you are our priority, with our aim being that any member of the team is available to speak with you when you need some clarity and certainty at any stage in the process. We feel this provides reassurance and gives you an outlet for any concerns that you may have. Fees are generally paid out of the estate, so there may not be a need for you to fund the administration.
We are proud that our team includes members of the Society for Trust and Estate Practitioners, who have attained the TEP’ qualification. Members undertake rigorous exams in order to qualify the required level to obtain the qualification. Further information about STEP can be found at https://www.step.org/for-the-public.
The fees involved in a probate matter can vary and this will depend on the individual circumstances involved.
We offer fixed fees, an hourly charging rate, whereby you will be charged for each hour of work undertaken and we also charge based on a percentage of the estate.
Range of Costs with Fixed Fee for Additional Work
Our legal fees will start from £1,500 plus VAT. The fees will vary and are dependent upon individual circumstances.
In relation to the administration of estates we charge our fees based on the hourly rate of the fee earner which is usually £250 - £300. In some cases to benefit the client this hourly rate will be reduced by 16.66% and a percentage such as 1% based on the gross value of the estate will be added to the cost of the time recorded to reflect the level of responsibility undertaken by us. This will exclude any residence in which the deceased resided where the rate will be a ½% of the gross value of the deceased’s interest in that residence.
Where the Partners of Hatten Wyatt assume the added responsibility as Executors then our fees are also based on a percentage of the gross value of the estate such as 1½% and ¾% respectively. However in some cases we do not charge based on the value of the estate and our fees are based on the normal hourly rate.
The fees will depend on issues such as the number of beneficiaries and whether the estate includes any property. Probate fees will also 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
- Whether or not any executors have died or refuse to act
- There is no more than one property
- There are a number of bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are a number of beneficiaries
- Whether any beneficiaries do not have capacity under the Mental Health Act or a minor
- 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 inheritance tax payable and the executors need to submit a full account to HMRC
- There are no claims made against the estate
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:
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate solicitor to work on your matter
- 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 two copies to you
Fixed Legal Fees to include the obtaining of the grant only
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.
Office Copies for the Grant of Probate
Land Registry Search fee
Bankruptcy Search fee (per beneficiary)
Post in the Local Newspaper (estimate)
Post in the London Gazette (estimate)
Grant Total Estimate
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 -12 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