Probate is a legal term which confirms a person has authority to administer an estate.
A Grant of Probate is a legal document, issued and sealed by the Court (the Probate Registry) confirming the appointment of a person as a Personal Representative and giving them the authority to administer and distribute an estate.
There are two types of Grants of Probate:
- Where there is a Will – this is known as a Grant of Probate;
- Where there is no Will – this is known as a Grant of Letters of Administration.
Who applies for Probate?
The persons who apply for probate are known as the Personal Representatives and will either be the Executors if there is a Will, or the Administrators if there is no Will.
What is the next step?
At Macks, we can explain probate and what it means to you either as a Personal Representative or a Beneficiary, what you need to do and what choices you have in administering the estate.
We strongly recommend a face-to-face meeting with one of our specialist Solicitors who will be able to explain things in greater detail and advise you on what to do next. The initial meeting will be free of charge and will explain the assistance we can provide to administer the estate as effectively and efficiently as possible.
The death of someone close to you can be a very difficult and distressing experience; dealing with the formalities of obtaining the correct Grant of Representation and administering the Estate is something we can help you with.
There are two main stages to dealing with the estate of a deceased person; obtaining the correct Grant and then administering the Estate itself. We can assist you with either or both of these, depending on your needs.
Applying for a Grant of Representation
Which Grant you need to apply for depends on whether the deceased has left a Will. If there is a Will, then the Executors named in the Will need to apply for a “Grant of Probate”. If there is no Will, then an application will need to be made for a “Grant of Letters of Administration” with one or more people named as Administrators.
What we will do for you
It will usually take around 6 to 8 weeks to obtain a Grant of Representation.
Administering the Estate
Once the Grant of Representation has been received from the Court, we can act for you in the administration of the estate.
What we will do for you
The timescale for administering the estate will take longer than obtaining the Grant of Representation, and will depend upon the extent of the assets which need to be collected. In some circumstances it may also be prudent for the Executors to delay the final distribution of the estate to protect themselves from any claims on the estate.
If the estate assets are relatively straightforward, and you do not think that any potential claims are likely, then the administration could be concluded within 8 to 12 weeks from receipt of the Grant of Representation. If, for example, the estate includes a property which is to be sold, then the timescale will be longer as the sale will need to be concluded before the administration can be finalised.
What the work will cost you
If you would prefer to administer the estate yourself and only require our assistance in obtaining the official Grant itself, then we can do this for you at a fixed fee.
We will charge you £600 plus VAT for our legal costs in doing this.
We will also need to make the following additional payments to others:-
If you would like us to administer the estate in addition to obtaining the Grant, then our costs will be based upon the time it takes us and the value of the estate. This is calculated on the basis of an hourly rate of £180 plus VAT and a charge of 1% of the value of the estate. We guarantee that our own fees will never be more than 3% of the value of the estate, regardless of how much time we have to spend dealing with the estate.
For a straightforward estate where the following apply:-
Our usual costs would be between £3,000 and £4,000plus VAT
For an estate where the following apply:-
Our usual costs would be between £4,000 and £8,000plus VAT
In addition, we would need to make the following additional payments to others:-
In some estates it might be appropriate to take out advertisements in the local papers and/or an official notice in the London Gazette. These would cost between £20 and £100 for an advertisement in the local paper and £62.50 plus VAT for a notice in the London Gazette.
Services not included
If there are any challenges to the validity of the Will or claims against the estate, these would not be included in the administration costs and we would normally refer you to our sister company, Watson Woodhouse, who deal with contested probate matters, and would therefore be able to assist you with contentious aspects.
The following are not included in our normal charges for administering an estate and we would need to provide you with a separate quote:-
We are also not able to provide you with business or financial advice.