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Applying for the Grant of Probate, Collecting and Distributing the Assets

We understand it is a difficult and upsetting time when it comes to dealing with the estate of a loved one who has died.

We are happy to help you through that process by obtaining a grant of probate and dealing with collecting and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries.

We will take the time to listen to your needs and provide a high-level professional service to make this difficult period as straightforward and as possible.

Pricing

Fixed Fee Probate: Our “Grant Only” Service

We understand at times our clients would benefit from a more streamlined service which is why we offer our Grant Only service. This is where we will prepare the necessary paperwork to obtain a Grant of Probate based on the information you provide to us. Given the nature of our instructions in this matter, we can offer our clients the certainty of a fixed fee as part of this service. This fee starts at £1,495 plus VAT.

If you would like more information about this service, please contact our Private Client Team using our email address privateclient@lewisdenley.com or by calling 01403 456430.

Our Full Administration Probate Service

As probate professionals, we appreciate no two estates are the same, and as such, we will offer a tailored service to each client to ensure individual needs are met. The time taken to complete the administration process will depend on the work required to deal with the estate at hand. For example, it would take less time to deal with an estate with a property, a bank account and one beneficiary than it would to deal with an estate comprising of multiple assets, a property and a number of beneficiaries.

Our hourly rates within our Private Client Team range from £175 at Paralegal level/Trainee Solicitor level, £285 at Senior Associate level and £300 at Partner level. VAT is added to the hourly rates and this is currently set at 20%. We will always ensure work it carried out at the most efficient level so that we are administering the estate in a cost-effective manner. That said, your matter will always be supervised by a senior member of our Team.

Our fee for completing Forms IHT205 (report an excepted estate for inheritance tax) and IHT217 (claims to transfer a nil rate band) starts at £2,195 plus VAT.

Our fee for completing Form IHT400 (inheritance tax account) on a non-taxable estate starts at £2,950 plus VAT and for a taxable estate starts at £3,950 plus VAT.

If you would like us to manage the full administration of an estate on your behalf, we would anticipate this to be charged on the above basis based on the following circumstances being met:

  • The person who had died was domiciled in the UK.
  • There is a valid Will appointing an Executor who is domiciled and resident in the UK and is willing to act as Executor.
  • There is no more than one property which is registered with the Land Registry.
  • There are no more than three bank or building society accounts.
  • There are no intangible assets, such as trademarks, copyrights, AI asset and Bitcoin).
  • There are no foreign assets.
  • There are no more than two beneficiaries, all of whom are domiciled and resident in the UK and absolutely entitled to inherit under the Will (i.e. no Trust arrangement).
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries about the division of assets.
  • There are no claims made against the estate or any content.
  • There is no Inheritance Tax payable, and Executor does not need to submit a full account (Form IHT400) to HM Revenue & Customs.

If any of the above do not apply, our costs will reflect this. For example, if there is no Will or if there are numerous beneficiaries, or the estate includes shareholdings or investments. In addition, if a full Inheritance Tax account is required, our costs will increase to ensure an appropriate disclosure is made to HM Revenue & Customs. If any such circumstances apply to the estate, we are happy to provide you with a more accurate fee estimate once we have more information from you.

There will be additional costs incurred if the type of work to be carried out is particularly complex or urgent for any reason, or the nature of your instructions to us require work to be completed outside normal office hours. If this happens, we will notify you in advance and agree an appropriate rate for the time spent and the work carried out. Again, we can provide you with a more accurate fee estimate once we have more information from you

Disbursements

We will incur disbursement in your behalf, which are not included in our pricing above. Disbursements are costs related to the matter which are payable to third parties. In a matter of this kind, we would typically expect the following:

  • Probate Registry Court fee                   £273 (no VAT is payable)
  • Office Copy Grants                                £1.50 per office copy
  • Bankruptcy fees                                     £2.00 plus VAT per Search
  • Land Charges search                            £3.00 plus VAT per Title
  • Legal Notices in London Gazette       From £120 plus VAT and a local newspaper
  • Certainty Will Search                           From £38 plus VAT
  • Estate Asset & Liability search           From £155 plus VAT

How long will this take?

On average a straightforward estate with no property and where there is no Inheritance Tax payable would usually be dealt with within 6 to 9 months. This timescale is heavily affected by the Probate Registry who are currently taking 20 weeks to process straightforward applications and up to 6-months in applications where is there is no Will. Collecting the assets can take a further 6 weeks, with shareholdings and investments taking longer due to the robust process involved. Once assets have been collected, we would expect to prepare Estate Accounts for your approval after which the estate can be distributed which normally takes 6 to 8 weeks to finalise.

If the estate is taxable, the timeframe is extended, because we cannot apply for the Grant of Probate until Inheritance tax has been paid and HM Revenue & Customs have issued a receipt to the Probate Registry. This process can add up to a further 6 weeks or longer depending on the volume of application HM Revenue & Customs are dealing with.

We will always keep you advised of progress of the matter at regular intervals.

Further Information

If you should have any questions or would like assistance, please contact us.

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    Lewis Denley dealt with our sale of an unusual property on behalf of my family. The sale was not particularly straightforward, but Heather Gaffney was diligent, logical and attentive. She dealt with all the hiccups along the way swiftly and efficiently.

    We were impressed from the start of our dealings with her, and their pricing is very fair.

    We think they are the best solicitors we have ever used.Without any hesitation, we highly recommend Lewis Denley. Five stars.

    Melanie Barren

    Lewis Denley dealt with our sale of an unusual property on behalf of my family. The sale was not particularly straightforward, but Heather Gaffney was diligent, logical and attentive. She dealt with all the hiccups along the way swiftly and efficiently.

    We were impressed from the start of our dealings with her, and their pricing is very fair.

    We think they are the best solicitors we have ever used.Without any hesitation, we highly recommend Lewis Denley. Five stars.

    Melanie Barren

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