WILLS AND PROBATE

Having a properly drawn up Will relieves your relatives of the difficult burden of dealing with the problems intestacy creates. If you die intestate all your assets do not automatically go to your surviving spouse/civil partner, contrary to common belief.

However simple your asset portfolio, please consider making a Will as soon as you can whether you are young or old.

An added advantage of having a will is that small gifts to individuals or charities can be made which would otherwise not be the case.

When it is necessary, we are able to deal with disputes regarding probate and intestate succession, however complex. Claims by disappointed beneficiaries resulting from an incorrectly drawn up document are also matters in which we can assist. Contentious Probate is a complicated issue where there are strict time limits in the making of claims. If you have any doubts or need assistance with the administration of an estate then please do not hesitate to contact us.

We are also experienced in preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney, and advising the elderly generally.

Nick Wescombe (nick@dslaw.co.uk) is our specialist partner dealing in the administration of estates.

Probate: Range of Costs
Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be a lot less than if there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end. As soon as we are aware of the above we will provide a full quote. As a very rough guide costs typically come to approximately 1% of the value of the gross estate. However, in cases where the estate is small but complex the fees may be higher, but conversely when the estate is large but relatively simple, the fees may be lower. If there are unexpected complications, we would notify any fee changes to you at that time.

We will handle the full process for you. Assumptions have been made on the following basis:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no substantial bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are only close family as beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements:

  • Probate application fee of £155.00
  • £7.00 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department searches (£2.00 per beneficiary)
  • £95:00 Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • £variable Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims. 

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Potential additional costs

 

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there are likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.00 (1 per asset usually)
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included

How long will this take?
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 3-4 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-8 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4-6 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2-3 weeks. The main factor determining how long the process ak is whether it is necessary to deal directly with HMRC. If there is Inheritance Tax to pay, this can increase the administration period significantly.

As part of our fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and the 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 you copies
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate
     

 

"A massive thank you for all your help, patience and fantastic service throughout the entire process of our Mum's probate and conveyancing process. Sorry if we drove you mad and thank you for being so sympathetic and kind."
Liz, Andrew, Chris and David

Our Services

Our extensive range of legal services include everything from conveyancing to will writing, all delivered with the kind of dedication and excellence you deserve.