Probate

The probate process often involves a lot of complicated legal, tax and financial work which can be broken down into five different stages.

Stage 1
Identifying all of the deceased’s assets (property, investments and possessions) and all of their liabilities (debts ranging from loans to utility bills), to determine the value of their estate. At the same time, verifying who is entitled to inherit what from the estate, either under the terms of the will, or in accordance with the rules of intestacy (which apply if there isn’t a will).

Stage 2
Calculating and paying Inheritance Tax to HM Revenue & Customs where applicable, and submitting the correct Inheritance Tax return forms, which are required even if no tax is due. Then applying to the Probate Registry for the grant of representation. This is a document confirming who has the legal authority to administer the estate.

Stage 3
After the grant of representation has been issued by the Probate Registry, the executors can start selling the deceased’s assets, settling their liabilities, paying the final estate administration expenses and accounting to HMRC for any further Inheritance Tax, Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax due to or from the estate.

Stage 4
Preparing estate accounts for all payments into and out of the estate, and showing the balance left for distribution to the beneficiaries. These are either prepared by the executors themselves, or we can do this for you, and you simply approve them.

Stage 5
Providing there are no challenges to the estate or other complicating factors that prevent distribution, the final phase will involve transferring assets to the beneficiaries (if they want to keep these) and distributing the balance of the estate in line with the terms of the will or the rules of intestacy.

Our fees
For giving advice and guidance for stage 1 and completing stage 2 above only, our pricing structure is:

Fixed fee for work undertaken £1,200 – no VAT is charged on our fees.
HM Court & Tribunal Services fee £ 300.
Additional copies of the grant (at £1.50 each – 4 recommended) £6.
Land registry searches (at £3 each – usually one per property required).
Typical total costs: £1,482 inclusive, and would usually be completed and ready for submission in two to four weeks.

For assisting with stages 3, 4 and 5, our pricing structure is based on the time taken at our hourly rates and we provide a full written quote prior to commencement. Typical fees range from £1,200 to £3,600 and no VAT is charged on our fees.

Please contact us for more information about these services.