Probate | Wills, trusts and probate solicitors

When somebody close to us dies it can be a very stressful and confusing time. When faced with dealing with an estate you are likely to come across lots of unfamiliar terminologies and you will no doubt have many questions. There may also be many issues that you haven’t yet considered.

If you decided to take on the responsibility of dealing with somebody’s estate there are many issues that you will need to consider. Hopefully, the following guide will help to answer some of your questions.

| How we can help you

| Pricing

We are aware that every estate is unique. That’s why we aim to tailor our probate services to suit your needs. We also try to provide a fixed price from the outset if possible.

There are different levels of service to choose from:

This option is suitable for clients who are happy to do the majority of the estate administration themselves. We will only be involved in preparing the probate application papers for you, submitting the application to the Probate Registry and dealing with any general enquiries the Probate Registry make.

What is included in this service:

  • An initial face to face consultation with a specialist probate solicitor
  • Drafting the Oath for you to swear
  • Preparation of the Inheritance Tax Return IHT205
  • Obtaining the Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) from the Probate Registry
  • Subscription to our newsletter
  • VAT

What is not included in this service*:

  • Preparation of Inheritance Tax Return IHT400 (required where an IHT205 cannot be used)
  • Preparation of Inheritance Tax form IHT217 where it is necessary to transfer a nil rate band
  • Preparing renunciations or powers of attorney relating to the estate
  • Advice relating to the actual administration of the estate
  • Contacting any third parties, such as banks, government departments or beneficiaries
  • Collecting in or distributing the estate
  • The transfer or sale of property
  • Applications where a Registrars order is required (e.g. where the will is lost or where there is a minority interest)
  • Any expenses, such as the Probate Registry fee and oath swearing fee

If you would like to add any of the services that are not included, let us know and we will do our best to provide a fixed fee quote that suits your requirements.

We would expect to be able to finalise this service within 3 to 5 weeks of instruction, subject to any unforeseen delays that are beyond our control.

This service is suitable for most estates where the full Inheritance Tax Return (IHT400) is not required.

What is included in this service:

  • All the services included in our grant only service PLUS:
  • Contacting the various organisations to notify them of the death and request the necessary information (e.g. banks, building societies, pension companies, insurance companies, share registrars, HMRC, DWP, utility companies etc) up to a maximum of 15 organisations**
  • Obtain copies of documents from the Land Registry to check ownership
  • Preparing renunciations and powers of attorney relating to the estate
  • Preparation of Inheritance Tax form IHT217 where it is necessary to transfer a nil rate band
  • Arranging payment of the funeral
  • Contacting the estate beneficiaries (maximum of 8)
  • Gathering in the estate assets
  • Finalising the tax affairs up to the date of death, unless a self-assessment is required
  • Finalising the tax affairs for the administration period (from date of death until the estate is finalised) unless a full self-assessment is required
  • Preparation of final estate accounts
  • Distribution of specific monetary gifts (maximum of 6 beneficiaries)
  • Distribution of the remaining estate (maximum of 6 beneficiaries)
  • VAT

What is not included in this service*:

  • Preparation of Inheritance Tax Return IHT400 (required where an IHT205 cannot be used)
  • Obtaining valuations of assets
  • Arranging insurance of assets
  • The transfer or sale of property
  • Dealing with any personal possessions
  • Financial advice relating to sale or transfer of any investments
  • Dealing with any disputes that may arise
  • Variation of the estate
  • Dealing with any business interests
  • Placing notices for unknown creditors
  • Checking the identity of beneficiaries and carrying out bankruptcy searches
  • Tracing missing beneficiaries
  • A search of the Unclaimed Assets Register
  • Locating missing wills
  • Any expenses, such as the Probate Registry fee, oath swear fee, Land Registry fees

If you would like to add any services that are not included, let us know and we will do our best to provide a fixed fee quote that suits your requirements.

It’s difficult to give an estimate of timescales for this service as it will very much depend on your individual circumstances and many factors that will be beyond our control. We will let you know how long we estimate the service will take as soon as we have more details about the estate.

The following provides a guide to typical timescales involved to reach the key stages of the service:

  • Obtaining the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration – Approximately 2 to 3 months from date of instruction
  • Gathering in funds from financial institutions such as banks – Approximately 3 to 4 months from date of instruction
  • Distribution of specific monetary gifts and interim payments to residuary beneficiaries – Approximately 4 to 5 months from date of instruction
  • Finalising the estate – 6 to 12 months depending on the sale of assets and what matters must be finalised. Having to finalise matters with HMRC or The Pension Service can delay the process significantly

This service is suitable for most estates where a full Inheritance Tax Return (IHT400) is required and for estates that may require more work, for example, due to a large number of assets or beneficiaries.

What is included in this service:

  • All the services included in our small estates service PLUS:
  • Contacting the various organisations to notify them of the death and request the required information (e.g. banks, building societies, pension companies, insurance companies, share registrars, HMRC, DWP, utility companies etc) up to a maximum of 30 organisations
  • Contacting the estate beneficiaries (maximum of 16)
  • Checking the identity of beneficiaries and carrying out bankruptcy searches
  • Preparation of Inheritance Tax Return IHT400 (provided there are no foreign assets, business assets, agricultural property or lifetime gifts that must be accounted for)
  • Settlement of Inheritance Tax either by direct payment from the deceased person’s bank(s) or from your own funds
  • The transfer of one property (without mortgage) to beneficiaries
  • Placing notices for unknown creditors
  • A search of the Unclaimed Assets Register
  • Arranging insurance for a single property
  • VAT

 What is not included in this service*:

  • Arranging payment of Inheritance Tax by instalments
  • Obtaining valuations of assets
  • The sale of property
  • Dealing with any personal possessions
  • Financial advice relating to sale or transfer of any investments
  • Dealing with any disputes that may arise
  • Variation of the estate
  • Dealing with any business interests
  • Tracing missing beneficiaries
  • Locating missing wills
  • Any expenses, such as the Probate Registry fee, oath swearing fee, Land Registry fees

If you would like to add any of the services that are not included, let us know and we will do our best to provide a fixed fee quote that suits your requirements.

It’s difficult to give an estimate of timescales for this service as it will very much depend on your individual circumstances and many factors that will be beyond our control. We will let you know how long we estimate the service will take as soon as we have more details about the estate.

The following provides a guide to typical timescales involved to reach the key stages of the service:

  • Obtaining the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration – Approximately 2 to 3 months from date of instruction
  • Gathering in funds from financial institutions such as banks – Approximately 3 to 4 months from date of instruction
  • Distribution of specific monetary gifts and interim payments to residuary beneficiaries – Approximately 4 to 5 months from date of instruction
  • Finalising the estate – 6 to 12 months depending on the sale of assets and what matters must be finalised. Having to finalise matters with HMRC or The Pension Service can delay the process significantly

Some estates won’t fit into any of the options above, either because they are more complicated or because it’s not possible to estimate how much work will be required at the outset. If that’s the case, you still have options.

  • Option A –Bespoke fixed fee

 Let us have as much information as you can about the estate and we will do our best to give you a bespoke fixed fee quote at the outset.

  • Option B – hourly rates

If it’s not possible to agree a bespoke fixed fee at the outset you can use our hourly rate service. Andrew Milburn’s hourly rate is £270 inclusive of VAT. If you choose the hourly rate service and it later becomes clearer how much work is likely to be involved, we can always discuss the possibility of a fixed fee once the estate administration is under way.

It’s difficult to give an estimate of timescales for this service as it will very much depend on your individual circumstances and many factors that will be beyond our control. We will let you know how long we estimate the service will take as soon as we have more details about the estate.

The following provides a guide to typical timescales involved to reach the key stages of the service:

  • Obtaining the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration – Approximately 2 to 3 months from date of instruction
  • Gathering in funds from financial institutions such as banks – Approximately 3 to 4 months from date of instruction
  • Distribution of specific monetary gifts and interim payments to residuary beneficiaries – Approximately 4 to 5 months from date of instruction
  • Finalising the estate – 6 to 12 months depending on the sale of assets and what matters must be finalised. Having to finalise matters with HMRC or The Pension Service can delay the process significantly

*The lists of services not included in our fixed fee services are intended to highlight the most common services that will not be included. They are not an exhaustive list. Any services not specifically included will not be included as part of that fixed fee service.

**If there are multiple shareholdings held with the same share registrar, each individual shareholding will be treated as a separate organisation

  • FIXED FEES
  • TRANSPARENT PRICING
  • No Hidden Surprises
  • Services tailored to your needs
  • What you see is what you pay

For a full breakdown of our Probate prices please click here

Expert Advice

Andrew Milburn

PARTNER


T. 0113 297 3181
E. amilburn@levisolicitors.co.uk

Andrew is a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly, a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), and is a Dementia Friend.

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With offices in Leeds (central and north), WakefieldBradfordManchester and London, we can bring our experience and knowledge to your case, no matter where you are.