Thank you for looking at our probate services. Coping with the death of a person can bring a mixture of emotions and the legal side of dealing with a person’s death can often be overwhelming and confusing. Having compassionate, experienced legal advice can make this difficult situation much easier for you and your loved ones.
Where a Will is in existence the Executors will need to apply for the grant of probate which will give them the legal right to administer the estate. Where there is no Will in existence, or if the Will is invalid, or it does not specify an Executor, an Administrator will need to be appointed.
Where the deceased person left substantial wealth and there is property involved, the sense of burden can increase.
Why choose Bright & Sons' probate solicitors?
We have an experienced team who can assist you with every aspect of the probate process, reducing the administrative burden and advising sensitively on the key decisions which need to be made. We are aware that administering an estate comes at a time of grief and high emotion, and that most people do not know the processes and legal requirements involved.
We will give you a clear time frame of how long obtaining the grant of probate should take and we will keep you and any beneficiaries advised throughout.
Fees are generally paid out of the estate, so there is usually no need for you to fund the administration.
We are proud to hold Lexcel Accreditation. This involves the firm undergoing a rigorous audit process which ensures we maintain high levels of client care.
The fees involved in a probate matter can vary and this will depend on the individual circumstances involved.
We offer both fixed fees and an hourly rate charging rate, whereby you will be charged for the time spent dealing with the matter.
Our fees start from £1,250 plus VAT and disbursements. The fees will vary and are dependent upon individual circumstances, the number and complexity of the assets and the number of beneficiaries. We can do as little or as much as the executors want us to and agree a price which fairly reflects the amount of work we are asked to undertake.
Our most basic service involves us preparing the application for Probate and sending you the court sealed copies, once obtained, so that you can continue with the administration. This service is only available for estates which are below the nil rate band for Inheritance tax purposes (currently £325,000). As part of the fixed fee we will:
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate lawyer to work on your matter
- Identify the legally appointed executors, administrators and beneficiaries
- Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
- Give you full details of the information that is required.
- Liaise with you to then draft the relevant documents required to make the application
- Complete the Probate Application and relevant HMRC Inheritance tax return of information form
- Draft the Statement of Truth
- Lodge the application with the High Court on your behalf
- Obtain the Probate and securely send sufficient copies to you so that you can continue the administration process
Fixed Legal Fees to include the obtaining of the grant only (no inheritance tax account required)
Hourly Rate Estate Administration
If you would like us to deal with more things than our fixed fee service covers and/or where an estate is above the nil rate band for Inheritance tax purposes, the range of fees will depend on various issues. These include the nature and complexity of the assets owned by the person who has died, whether there are multiple bank accounts, stock market assets/shares and is also based on the number and value of any property in this country and maybe abroad.
We will handle the full process for you. This typically involves identifying the assets, drafting all papers required to obtain the grant including the oath/statement of truth and HMRC return. After the grant has been issued we will deal with cashing in the assets or transferring them to the beneficiaries, paying any legacies. Finally we prepare estate accounts for your approval and make final distributions.
The estimates below are average costs for estates where:
- There is a valid Will
- There is no more than one property.
- There are no more than four bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are no more than four beneficiaries
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise this will lead to an increase of costs
- There are no claims made against the estate
- There is no Agricultural Property Relief or Business Property Relief to be claimed
- There are no assets situated in another jurisdiction
Estimate Legal Fees for Estate administration – Non taxable and where executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
Costs for estates which are subject to Inheritance tax, or where a full account is required to be submitted to HMRC for any other reason, will be more.
Where an estate is subject to Inheritance tax the estimate below is an average cost:-
Estimate Legal Fees for Estate administration –
This will include the additional work of preparing a full HMRC Inheritance tax account with all supporting schedules, arranging for the payment of IHT, liaising with HMRC to obtain clearance (confirmation that no further tax is due). This estimate does not include additional work which may be required to prepare and submit a corrective account to HMRC (if more or less tax is subsequently found to be due) or to deal with ongoing instalment payments of Inheritance tax.
Disbursements in all cases
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as High Court probate fees and Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
These are average costs for the typical estate and will vary depending on the circumstances.
Office Copies for the Grant of Probate (£1.50 per copy)
Land Registry Search fee
Bankruptcy Search fee (£2 per beneficiary)
Advert in the Local Newspaper and London Gazette for creditors
There are various factors that will affect any Inheritance tax due on an estate, including the size of the estate and any measures that were put in place by the deceased to limit the estates tax liability.
We do not believe that it would be sensible to attempt to provide at this stage an estimate of any tax that may be payable. We would advise you to look on the HMRC Website to calculate Inheritance Tax which may be due, the calculators can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-tools-and-calculators#inheritance-tax-and-bereavement
In the event that there is no Will or the estate consists of any share holdings (Stocks and Bonds), or any assets situated in another jurisdiction other than England and Wales, there is likely to be an additional cost that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be handled. We will discuss this with you in detail and advise of additional fees.
The cost of selling or transferring a property is not included in this price, if you require this service, please let us know and we will provide you with a separate estimate.
Additional services that will require the assistance of a third party sometimes at additional cost include:
- Tax advice
- Valuations for property, savings, investments or other assets
- Valuation of personal chattels (belongings)
On average, probate for a typical estate will take between 3 – 12 months. Generally, the time taken to obtain the Grant of Probate will take between 3 - 6 months. This is followed by the collection in of assets and then their distribution which can take between 4 -12 months. However, sometimes problems are experienced which cannot be foreseen and will increase the time required to complete the administration. Estates which are subject to inheritance tax are likely to take longer. We will always endeavour to keep you fully informed as matters progress and if completion is likely to take longer than anticipated.