Probate Solicitors

Probate Solicitors

Issues of Probate and the Administration of an Estate can often be complex, emotional and confusing at what is already a difficult time. Everyone’s circumstances are different. We therefore recommend that you talk to one of our solicitors who will take time to listen to you, assess your individual circumstances and discuss the options available to you. Our solicitors offer initial advice free of charge and without obligation.

Below are the answers to questions we are frequently asked about matters of Probate and the Administration of Estates. If you have a question not included here, or you require further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice. You can call us on 01642 252 828 or leave us a message and we will get back to you.

You can find a brief description of some of the legal terms you may encounter relating to matters of Probate and the Administration of Estates in our glossary of legal terms.

Probate Costs

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

• Meet with you to discuss the position and advise you in relation to

• The provisions in the deceased’s Will or what will happen if there is no Will (known as Intestacy).

• The role of the Executors or Administrators

• The assets and liabilities of the deceased and what needs to be done to identify any assets or liabilities you are unsure about

• The Inheritance Tax position in relation to the estate, transferable nil rate bands and whether there are any reliefs or allowances which may affect the inheritance tax payable.

• Preparing Inheritance Tax forms

• Preparing the Oath for Executors or Oath for Administrators, meeting with you to go through these and arranging for them to be formally sworn

• Submitting the application for the Grant to the Court.

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

• Collect the assets of the estate, including liaising with companies such as banks on your behalf

• Ascertain the deceased’s income tax position

• Ascertain and pay the liabilities and administration costs of the estate

• Deal with the Revenue in relation to the Inheritance Tax position and plan payment of any tax due.

• Correspond with beneficiaries of the estate

• Pay any legacies and/or interim distributions in accordance with your instructions

• Prepare the estate accounts and provide them for your approval

• Carry out any bankruptcy or other checks necessary

• Pay the final distribution of the estate

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 £750 plus VAT (totalling £900) for our legal costs in doing this.

We will also need to make the following additional payments to others:

• Probate Court fee – £273

• Additional copies of the Grant of Probate – £1.50 each; we recommend obtaining a copy for each asset in the estate.

• If we need to obtain HM Land Registry Office Copies fees will be £3 per copy

If you would like us to administer the estate in addition to obtaining the Grant, then our costs will be based on the time it takes us and the value of the estate.  

Example costs

For a straightforward estate where the following apply:-

• There is a valid will

• There is no more than one property

• The only other assets are bank accounts and personal possessions

• The estate is below the inheritance tax threshold (current threshold – £325,000)

• There are no more than 5 beneficiaries

• There are no disputes or claims in relation to the estate

Our cost is based on time spent, however, we estimate most estates will not exceed 3% of the value of the estate. In most cases where matters are straightforward the time element is usually between £4,000 and £8,000.

For an estate where the following apply:-

• There is a valid will

• There are no business assets

• Inheritance Tax is payable, but the total value of the estate is below £1.2 million.

• There are no disputes or claims in relation to the estate

Our cost is based on time spent, however, we estimate most estates will not exceed 3% of the value of the estate. Where estates are more complex the time element can be between £10,000 and £15,000 and sometimes more.

In addition, we would need to make the following additional payments to others:-

• Probate Court fee – £273

• Additional copies of the Grant of Probate – £1.50 each; we recommend obtaining a copy for each asset in the estate.

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.

The following are not included in our normal charges for administering an estate and we would need to provide you with a separate quote:

• The sale of any properties in the estate

• Tracing beneficiaries

• Deeds of Variation

• Trusts

• Advice in relation to assets or liabilities outside of England and Wales

• Any additional work which has not been agreed with us

We are also not able to provide you with business or financial advice.

What Our Clients Say

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Respectful, professional and personable

I was treated with utmost respect and in a most professional, yet personable, manner. Amy's explanations were clear and accessible to a lay person. In-depth knowledge and understanding around the focus of our meeting gave me the confidence to complete the process. I would certainly deal with Mack's again.

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Barbara Neil

Friendly Service

Amy Sadler was very friendly and efficient. Everything was clearly explained.

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Fantastic and professional. Couldn’t have asked for a better solicitor.

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Client Testimonials

Sam Pratt was really efficient

I used Macks Solicitors to apply for Probate after my Dad passed away. Sam Pratt made the whole process really easy. I had 2 telephone conversations with him dropped paperwork off at the office and a few weeks later probate had been finalised. He was knowledgeable, friendly and really efficient.

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Amanda Jackson

Making a stressful time so much more comfortable

From start to finish, Kerry of Macks Solicitors treated the finalising of my late Dad’s estate with real care and a professional attitude, especially during this covid situation – I can’t recommend her enough. Many thanks to her for making a stressful time so much more comfortable.

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Mr Hunter

Handled by the firm very professionally

I instructed Mack Solicitors to act on my behalf in connection with my new Will and a Power of Attorney. Both matters were handled by the firm very professionally and with dispatch which, as a retired Chartered Accountant, I appreciated greatly.

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Mr Gillespie

Five star service

A five star rating for a five star service. Knowledgeable and efficient service and advice. Our instructions were carried out to the letter in a very quick time.

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Mrs Kennedy

I would recommend

David was extremely helpful, keeping us informed and making the process of selling our parents house as painless as possible. I would recommend Macks Solicitors without hesitation.

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Mr Blackburn

Let's Get Started

Call us on 0808 175 1901 or request a callback for further information, or start a claim and one of our specialist Probate Solicitors lawyers will be in touch.

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