Probate is the legal process for dealing with a deceased person’s estate. To be able to do this, the Executors of the Will or Administrators (if no will exists) need an official court form for the probate registry. If a Will exists, the court form is called a Grant of Probate while if no will exists it is called a Grant of Letters of Administration.

If you are dealing with probate and intestacy issues, our team understands you need someone who can handle your situation as quickly and cost-effectively as possible in order to protect your interests.

Why Choose Us?

We are experts

Our solicitors have extensive experience handling probate and intestacy cases. You can be sure your case is in safe hands.

We care

We are passionate about achieving the best result in your case. Whether you are an Executor, Administrator, Representative or Trustee, we will help you with your responsibilities and seek to resolve your issues as efficiently and smoothly as possible.

We help you avoid disputes

If a disappointed family member or other appropriate person chooses to challenge a Will or the actions of the Executor, we can use our experience to bring those claims or defend claims against the estate.

Applying for Probate

If you need to apply for probate following a loved one’s death, our specialist solicitors have years of experience helping clients deal with estates.

We are adept at helping our clients deal with their loved one’s Probate matters efficiently and sympathetically, acknowledging that they are invariably going through a time of loss and grief.

Key Probate Facts

It always helps to understand a few basics in relation to Probate and what your solicitor might need, before seeking their expert legal advice. The key facts about probate include:

It always helps to understand a few basics in relation to Probate and what your solicitor might need, before seeking their expert legal advice. The key facts about probate include:

Applying for Probate means applying for a Grant of Probate which is a court document formally confirming your legal authority to access the deceased's accounts, and deal with their property and other assets.

Where assets are owned jointly, for instance, a property is co-owned with a spouse, we will advise you how this will be dealt with. We may still need to see documents in relation to jointly owned assets.

If there is no will (intestacy), we can apply for a court document called Letters of Administration which gives the legal power to deal with the deceased's assets.

We will also need the deceased's financial details relating to tax and national insurance and utility bills - particularly if he or she was living on their own.

In some instances, you will only need to show the original (or a certified copy) of the death certificate to access the deceased funds. We can give you more information on this.

If you are able to calculate an estimate of how much the deceased's estate is worth by deducting the total amount of debts from the total value of property and assets, this can speed up the process of applying for probate. The court will need to know how much the estate is estimated to be worth when you apply for Probate and needs to be done early on. We can do this with you, but we will need the information outlined above.

You have a year from the date of the deceased's death to 'call in' the assets in the estate, and deal with any debts before distributing the net estate between the beneficiaries.

Any Inheritance Tax due, or at least part of it, will need to be paid before the court sends the Probate document.

You need to collect together all paperwork relating to both the assets, and the debts and liabilities of the deceased to enable us to call in the assets, pay off any debts and distribute the balance between the beneficiaries.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is Intestacy?

Intestacy is dying without leaving a Will. We have the experience and skills necessary to work through procedures and properly administer your deceased family member’s estate and follow the rules of intestacy.

We can even help you if you are outside of the country. We assist people from around the world, including USA, Canada, Europe, India, the Middle East, the West Indies and Africa in submitting applications to have assets and funds released.

What is Inheritance Tax (IHT)

IHT is usually paid on an estate when somebody dies. It’s also sometimes payable on Trusts or Gifts made during someone’s lifetime. Most estates don’t have to pay inheritance tax because they’re valued at less than the threshold (The IHT nil rate band is currently £325,000, anything above of which will be taxed at 40% IHT charge).

What is the increased Inheritance Tax (IHT) ‘threshold’ for married couples and civil partners?

Married couples and registered civil partners can effectively increase the threshold on their estate when the second partner dies to as much as £650,000. Their Executors or Personal Representatives must transfer the first spouse or civil partner’s unused IHT threshold or “nil-rate band” to the second spouse or civil partner when he or she dies.

Who is responsible for paying Inheritance Tax (IHT)?

IHT is payable by different people in different circumstances. Typically, the Executor or Personal Representative pays it using funds from the deceased’s estate. The Trustees are usually responsible for paying IHT on assets in, or transferred into, a trust. Sometimes people who have received gifts, or who inherit from the deceased, have to pay inheritance tax, but this is not common.

Fees for Probate

Our fees are based on our hourly rate of £300 plus VAT.

Average time spent will be dependent on size and complexity of estate: usually between 5 to 50 hours so range of between £1,500 – £15,000 plus VAT

The exact number of hours required to deal with a matter will depend on the individual circumstances of that matter.

We also have an additional charge of one half per cent of the gross value of the estate plus VAT known as a value element charge and this will be added to the above costs.

Disbursement expenses which may be incurred:

Bank Charge
£200
Bankruptcy Searches (in UK) – per name
£2
Chattels Valuation (average cost)
£200 - £500
Probate Court application fee
£155 plus 50p for each sealed copy
Oath Fees (per Executor/Administrator) (average cost)
£7 - £11
Probate property valuation
£540 - £660

Our Fees Include

  • Reviewing information provided by you in relation to all the assets and all the debts or liabilities of the deceased.
  • Estimate the value of the deceased’s estate by writing to banks, building societies etc we are aware of to ascertain the market value of any accounts, holdings and assets as at the date of the death
  • Ascertain the proper beneficiaries of the estate
  • Arrange completion and submission of the appropriate HM Revenue & Customs Inheritance Tax Forms on your behalf
  • Prepare an executor’s Oath for swearing by executors/PRs
  • Provide you with draft Inheritance Tax forms and executors Oath for review. Once approved we will arrange for you to swear the Oath
  • Submit the Will, Oath and Inheritance Tax Form(s) to Probate Registry for a Grant of Probate/Grant of Letters of Administration
  • Deal with any enquiries raised by HMRC in relation to the Inheritance Tax return
  • Once the Grant has been obtained, deal with the collection of all the assets and discharge all liabilities of the deceased
  • Ascertain the balance of the estate and distribute it or hold it in trust under the terms of the Will or the rules of intestacy
  • Prepare Estate Accounts setting out full details of the administration
  • Time spent will include meetings with you, considering and preparing and working on papers; routine letters, emails and telephone calls made and received.

Our Fees Do Not Include

  • The sale of any property
  • If further assets are discovered after the submission of the appropriate HM Revenue & Customs Forms, this information must be reported to HM Revenue & Customs, Inheritance Tax BX9 1HT. This is your responsibility. If this occurs after the completion of the administration of the estate, we can assist you and a separate client care letter will be sent to you.
  • Negotiations with HM Revenue & Customs as to the valuation of any assets
  • The Deceased’s Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax affairs prior to death
  • The Estate’s Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax affairs
  • Claims made against the estate
  • Legal disputes between beneficiaries, for example on the division of assets
  • Disclaimers and Deeds of Variation
  • Anything else not specifically identified under Work Included above
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No win No fee

I just wanted to thank you for all your help both in relation to the Court of Protection application and the Probate. Your advice in relation to the Court of Protection application was invaluable to me as it saved me from a sticky family situation at a time when there was enough stress going on with my mother being so ill. So I am very grateful. The Probate went through very smoothly and quickly and that too was a big relief. So again thanks very much. Kind Regards