Wills Probate and Trusts

If you are looking to execute a will following bereavement, or you want to plan for the future and protect your assets, we can help. Our solicitors specialise in all matters related to wills, trusts and probate including will drafting, trusts, inheritance tax planning, through to issues such as intestacy and contested wills, trusts and probate. We are specialists in dealing with elderly clients and people who are too ill to make their own choices and decisions, dealing with matters such as Powers of Attorney, Deputyship and Court of Protection.

What our Clients say

Catherine is exceptionally helpful and good at communicating.

January 2018

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January 2018

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April 2018

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June 2018

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June 2018

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September 2018

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November 2018

All work carried out to a very high standard and to all party satisfaction.

November 2018

Can’t rate them highly enough, really were fantastic people to deal with.

January 2019

You have made our experience very easy and as smooth as we could have asked for. Clearly someone that takes pride in their work.

February 2019

How much will it cost

A Grant of Probate is a document issued by the Court authorising the deceased person’s personal representatives (known as Executors if they left a Will or Administrators if there was no Will) enabling them to deal with the estate assets eg closing Bank or Building Society Accounts or other investments, selling shares and property and land held in the deceased person’s name.

Unless the estate is small or all the assets are jointly owned in which case no Grant of Probate may be required, the administration of an estate involves applying for a Grant of Probate, collecting in the estate assets, settling any liabilities of the estate from the monies realised, and distributing the net estate to the beneficiaries named in the Will or to those entitled under the Intestacy Rules if there is no Will.

When applying for the Grant, details of the estate assets must be declared to HMRC on form IHT205, in a straightforward estate, or form IHT400 and its associated schedules in certain circumstances, or in a higher value or more complex estate.

If the estate is straightforward and you are comfortable with handling all of the administration of the estate yourself (including dealing with any taxation issues, any queries which might be raised by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), if the deceased person was in receipt of any form of means tested benefit, and the distribution of the estate) we can limit the work we do to obtaining the Grant and additional copies of it for you for a fixed fee of £600.00 plus VAT and the necessary disbursements being the Probate Court fee currently £155.00 plus £0.50p per additional copy of the Grant provided the estate does not include any business assets owned by the deceased person or involve the transfer of Inheritance Tax allowances from a predeceased spouse or require the filing of an IHT400. If the estate involves any of those matters and you want us to apply for the Grant only, we will provide a bespoke quotation based on the estate circumstances. In any case where we are applying for the Grant only, we will ask you to put us in funds to cover the Probate Court fees before they are incurred.

Please note that Probate Court fees are expected to increase in April 2019 and will then be calculated according to the value of the estate.

We anticipate this will take between 6 and 16 hours work at £185 per hour and our fees will be between £1,000.00 and £3,000.00 plus VAT and the necessary disbursements mentioned below.

The exact cost will depend on the estate circumstances and we will provide you with a “bespoke” costs’ estimate at the beginning of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, the costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property, and multiple bank accounts, the costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you. The above estimate is for estates as specified above where there:

  • is a valid Will
  • is no more than one property
  • are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts
  • are no more than 5 beneficiaries
  • are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • no claims made against the estate
  • there are no foreign assets

The likely required disbursements for such specified estates are:

  • Probate Court fee currently £155.00 plus £0.50p per extra copy Grant
  • Bankruptcy-only searches (£2.00 per beneficiary)
  • Statutory Advertisement in The London Gazette to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors currently £83.40 (inclusive of VAT).
  • Advertisement in a Local Newspaper for the same reason currently £72.00 (inclusive of VAT).

(“The basic Probate disbursements”)

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.

Additional costs and disbursements for the above estates

  • If there is no Will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there are likely to be additional costs which 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 the deceased person was a self-assessed income tax payer, Accountants’ fees may be incurred to finalise the income tax position to the date of death and we will have additional costs in dealing with this.
  • If any property whose title is already registered at the Land Registry is to be transferred into the name(s) of a beneficiary, a Land Registry fee dependant on the value of the property will be payable; additional costs and a Land Registry fee will be incurred if the title to the property is unregistered so that a Land Registry first registration of title application is required.
  • Dealing with any Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) enquiries beyond the provision of basic information as to the estate assets. (If the deceased person received any form of means tested benefits, the DWP will ask the personal representatives for details of the estate assets and compare them to those declared at the time of the benefit application and may raise further enquiries if there is any discrepancy between the two)
  • Conveyancing fees for the sale of any property in the estate are not included and we will provide a separate costs’ estimate for this.

Our additional costs will be charged in accordance with our hourly rate quoted above plus VAT and we will advise you of the amount of any additional disbursements before they are incurred.

Timescale for the above estates

The obtaining of the Grant of Probate and collecting in of non-property assets in the above estates usually takes between 3 to 6 months. Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 4 to 12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4 to 6 weeks. Once this has been done, and the sale of any property has been completed, we can prepare Estate Accounts for your approval as personal representatives, obtain the approval of any required beneficiaries, and distribute the estate, and this part of the process normally takes 2 to 4 weeks. If there is a property to sell, the conclusion of the administration of the estate must await completion of the sale but we can make appropriate interim distributions in accordance with your instructions.

Our included services in connection with the above estates

 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 required
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and the HMRC IHT205 form
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate
  • Collect in the non-property estate assets
  • Arrange for the settlement of the funeral account and other liabilities from the estate assets as required
  • Provide the DWP with basic information about the estate assets as required
  • Prepare an Estate Account dealing with monies we have received and paid out on behalf of the estate for your approval
  • Distribute the estate

(“The Probate services”)

The cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter and we will provide you with a “bespoke” costs’ estimate at the beginning of the matter. Typically, we anticipate such an estate is likely to take between 22 and 54 hours work at £185 per hour and our fees will be between £4,000.00 and £10,000.00 plus VAT, depending on the size and complexity of the estate plus the necessary disbursements.

The likely required disbursements for estates are:

  • The basic Probate disbursements listed above plus
  • Professional property valuation
  • Accountancy Fees – to deal with a date of death tax return if the deceased person was a self-assessed income tax payer and also to obtain a valuation of business assets or shares in a private company held by the deceased person
  • Professional valuations for shares, jewellery, antiques and the like

We would advise the amount of the additional disbursements when known.

Our included services in connection with these estates

Are the Probate services listed above plus we will deal with the HMRC IHT400 form and Schedules and, assuming sufficient funds are available, arrange for the payment of any Inheritance Tax due from the estate assets.

Timescale for these estates

The obtaining of the Grant of Probate and collecting in of non-property assets in the above estates can take between 6 to 12 months. The obtaining the Grant of Probate may take 3 to 6 months depending on the complexity of the estate. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 1 to 2 months. Once this has been done, and the sale of any property has been completed, we can prepare Estate Accounts for your approval as personal representatives, obtain the approval of any required beneficiaries, and distribute the estate. In a case where Inheritance Tax is payable the estate should not be distributed until HMRC has issued a clearance letter confirming no further Inheritance Tax is due which can take several months to obtain.

Who to contact

Timothy John Gabbutt LLB
Litigation & Probate Partner
Admitted as a solicitor 15/11/83

Specialist in Litigation, Employment, Probate, Trusts, Wills, Lasting Power of Attorney, Court of Protection and Elderly Clients.

Contact Mr. Gabbutt

Suzy Bhaker LLB
Assistant Solicitor
Admitted as a solicitor 2012

Specialist in Probate, Trusts, Wills, Lasting Power of Attorney, Court of Protection and Elderly Clients. Suzy is a STEP member and a member of Solicitors for the Elderly.

Contact Suzy Bhaker

Our Legal Services

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