Probate

When a family member has passed away , the Executor (the person in charge of distributing the deceased’s property) is required to start working on making sure everything goes where it’s meant to. If there is no Will in place, distributing the Estate might bring with it more complications such as who the Administrator should be.

Yet whilst anyone can be named as an Executor on a Will, many people who are given the responsibility find it confusing and stressful. On top of this, it’s usually those closest and most loved by the deceased who are named as Executors, meaning they are often still grieving while being expected to perform these duties.

Having a solicitor act for you in the distribution of someones Estate can be a way of making it easier. It will help ensure that the terms of the Will are carried out exactly as they are written, giving peace of mind and lifting the burden of dealing with the difficult task of distribution to the beneficiaries.

If you have your Will drafted with Robertsons Solicitors we will always give you the option of appointing us to act as your executors. Those who have been named as Executors on the Will can also appoint us or simply receive expert legal advice on administering the Estate.

Robertsons Solicitors have extensive experience acting in Probate matters, dealing with both large and smaller Estates for our clients. With compassion at the heart of our Probate team, we shall ensure we guide Executors and Administrators though the emotional and often difficult task of applying for Probate and carrying out the terms of the Will or considering the options if no Will is in place.

At Robertsons we are proud at the depth of experience and expertise within our Probate department.

Rhian Rees - Rhian qualified in 2007 and is Head of our Probate and Estate Planning department.  She has gained experience is a wide range of probate matters and has previously developed her own probate department in a firm in Cheltenham. Rhian has worked on hundreds of probate matters including high net worth probates in excess of £12 million.

Sarah Howard - Sarah is our Probate Executive and has worked with Rhian since 2019. She has gained extensive experience in all areas of Probate matters and is praised by clients for her efficient manner and excellent communication skills.

Dealing with probate can be a complex and difficult process.  We can help you through this process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. We will also undertake the collecting and distributing of assets. Our prices are based on property and assets in the UK.

How much does this service cost?

At Robertsons we like to meet with our clients so that we can provide them with accurate quotes having regard to all the issues. Our fees are charged on a time spent basis subject to a minimum fee of £1,500 + VAT and disbursements. For example, the hourly rate for a Senior Probate solicitor is £225 + VAT.

VAT is currently at the rate of 20%.

Example

TOTAL:  £2,000 (+ VAT)

This includes: obtaining the grant, collecting assets and distributing them.

This fee relates to a simple estate containing the following:

  • A property;
  • 2 or 3 bank accounts;
  • 1 or 2 shareholdings;
  • One/two executors and one/two beneficiaries.

Breakdown of costs:

Legal fees - £2,000

VAT on legal fees - £400

Disbursements (information below) - £600 approximately

Disbursements

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

  • Probate Registry fee of £155 plus £1.50 per copy;
  • Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department searches (£2 + VAT per beneficiary);
  • Advert in the London Gazette and a local newspaper circulating in the area the deceased resided—protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors - £250;
  • Estate Research Lost/Unclaimed Asset Search - £155 + VAT.

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 application you will require;
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application;
  • Prepare and complete the Application and the relevant HMRC forms;
  • Make the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf;
  • Obtain the Grant of Representation and send copies to you;
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate.

Timescale

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-9 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 8-12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take 4-6 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally take 3-4 weeks. Selling a property in an estate may increase the timescales dependent on how long the property takes to sell.

There are times where additional assets or liabilities can surface and we therefore reserve the right to revise our fee should there be reason to do so. Any fee adjustments will be discussed with you.

Please note the example fee does not include the following:

  • Preparing and filing tax returns for the administration period and to date of death;
  • Taxable estates or where form IHT400 needs to be completed and filed at HM Revenue and Customs;
  • Foreign assets;
  • Domicile status and complications;
  • Administering and setting up trusts;
  • Claims made by the Department of Work and Pensions;
  • Resolving conflicts between beneficiaries and/or executors;
  • Insolvent estates;
  • The preparation of Deeds of Variation;
  • Locating missing Wills/beneficiaries; and
  • Conveyancing fee in respect to the transfer or sale of the deceased’s property.

We offer a service for circumstances where the Personal Representatives/Executors of an Estate do not wish to instruct us to deal with the “entire” administration of the Estate. However, they feel that professional guidance and assistance in respect to the preparation and submission of the Grant of Representation application is required. We therefore offer a “fixed fee” price for dealing with a Grant of Representation application only.

This service relies on information provided by the Personal Representatives/Executors in connection with the assets and liabilities of the Estate. The date of death figures provided by you with enable us to prepare the documentation for the Grant of Representation application. Once the Grant of Representation is received by us, we will submit the same to you to deal with the encashment/closure of the accounts associated with the Estate, and the subsequent distribution in accordance with the terms of the Will or Rules of Intestacy. Any additional work or assistance that is required will be priced separately.

Our fixed fee price for a Grant of Representation application only is £600 + VAT plus disbursements as outlined below:

  • Probate Registry application fee - £155
  • Copies of the Grant of Representation - £1.50 per copy

Our Expert Team

Our expertise is how we maintain our strong reputation as a law firm.

Meet the Probate, Wills & Trusts Team