Efficient & Excellent Value For Money

When a person dies their financial affairs have to be dealt with, irrespective of whether or not they left a Will.

This can be an extremely difficult and distressing time and our specialist team of Probate Lawyers have the experience, skill and understanding to take the pressure from you. We will help you understand the terms of any Will and explain what needs to happen next. We will also help you through the process of what to do if someone dies without a Will (Intestacy).

Our Expertise

Fees Information

Uncontested Probate Cases Where all Assets are Situated Within the UK

The members of our Private Client Department who carry out this type of work are:-

For further information about the members of our Team please click on the relevant link above.

Background Information

A Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration, in cases where a person dies intestate, that is without leaving a Will) is a legal document issued by the Probate Registry, a division of the Court.

A Grant is not needed in all cases. This will depend largely upon the nature and value of the assets in the Estate. A Grant will be required if the deceased owned a house or stocks and shares. In addition, banks and building societies will routinely require a Grant if the value of the accounts held by them exceeds a certain amount.

Factors to be Considered When Calculating Fees

There are a number of factors to be taken into consideration when looking at the cost of obtaining a Grant. The costs information set out in more detail below is for cases where the Will, or if a person dies without a Will the intestacy rules, are not contested and all of the deceased’s assets are situated in the UK.

We understand that this is an extremely difficult time for friends and family of the deceased and we, therefore, aim to make the administration of the deceased’s estate as straightforward as possible.

We can do as much or as little as the family require and for this reason, we offer both a fixed fee service and also a more comprehensive service where the cost is based on the time spent and the hourly rate of the fee earner dealing with the matter.

Fixed Fee

Our fixed fee service is available in cases where no inheritance tax is payable and where all the information required to prepare the papers needed to apply for the Grant is provided by the client. The fixed fee does not include realising the assets or distributing the Estate once the Grant is received or distributing the Estate.

In such cases we will:-

  • Identify the legally appointed Executors/ Administrators
  • Complete the Probate Application and relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal statement of truth for the Executor/ Administrator to sign
  • Attend upon the Executors/ Administrators when they sign the Probate papers
  • Make the application to the Probate Registry on the Executor/ Administrator’s behalf
  • Provide the Executors/ Administrators with the original Grant together with the number of additional copies requested

Our fee for this service is £850.00 plus VAT making a total of £1,020.00.

In addition to our fees, there are various additional expenses involved in obtaining the Grant and which are payable to third parties. These are known as disbursements and are as follows:-

Probate Court Fee – £300.00

Fee per extra copy of the Grant (office copy) – £1.50

No VAT is payable on any of the disbursements detailed above.

Electronic Identification Check – £12.00 (incl VAT) per person

Once you have provided us with all the information we require to prepare the Probate papers it will normally take around a week for us to prepare the Probate papers and submit them to you for approval. We would then ask you to arrange an appointment to come into the office to sign the papers. Once signed, we would submit the papers to the Probate Registry. Depending upon how busy the Probate Registry is at the time it normally takes several weeks for the Grant to be issued. We would then provide you with the original Grant and any copies you have requested within 5 working days.

Time Spent – Hourly Rate basis of fees

Our fees for providing a more comprehensive service are based upon the time spent on the matter, using the hourly rates of the fee earners who are involved in the matter.  No two cases are ever the same and our service is therefore tailored to the needs of each individual matter. The hourly rates for the fee earners in the Department are:-

Zoe Ashton – £250.00

John Ainley – £250.00

Jennifer Kitchener – £225.00

Michelle Wood – £205.00

Anna Woolard – 175.00

The hourly rates detailed above are exclusive of VAT which is charged in addition at the prevailing rate at the time.

In addition to our legal fees, various disbursements are also normally payable as follows:-

Advertisements in local press and London Gazette – a quote is obtained from the third party supplier when required

Probate Court Fee – £273.00

Fee per extra copy of the Grant (office copy) – £1.50

No VAT is payable on any of the disbursements detailed above.

Electronic Identification Check – £12.00 (incl VAT) per person

Bankruptcy search fee – per person, per search – £2-40 (incl VAT)

The stages involved in the administration of an Estate, where a Grant is required are broad as follows:-

  • Consider the terms of the Will ( Intestacy Rules if there is no Will) to determine who has the responsibility to deal with the administration of the Estate and who is entitled to benefit from the Estate
  • Obtain details of all the assets and liabilities of the deceased
  • Obtain date of death values for all the assets and liabilities
  • Place Notices (where deemed necessary) in the local press for the area in which the deceased resided and also in the London Gazette to locate any creditors/ potential beneficiaries.
  • Obtain bankruptcy searches against all beneficiaries to establish solvency
  • Consider what type of Grant is required and whether any inheritance tax is payable
  • Consider any allowances and reliefs that can be offset against any inheritance tax liability
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal statement of truth for each Executor/ Administrator to sign
  • Attend upon the Executors/ Administrators when they sign the Probate papers
  • Arrange for the payment of any inheritance tax which is due
  • Make the application to the Probate Registry on the Executor/ Administrator’s behalf
  • Write to the various financial institutions on receipt of the Grant to either realise the assets or arrange for them to be transferred into the names of the relevant beneficiaries
  • Discharge outstanding liabilities
  • Prepare the Estate Accounts for approval by the Executors/ Administrators
  • Obtain final Bankruptcy searches against beneficiaries
  • Distribute the Estate in accordance with the provisions of the Will/ Intestacy Rules

As each case differs the time required to deal with the administration of the Estate will be different. Factors that can increase the amount of time and therefore the costs include:-

  • A large number of investments with different financial institutions
  • A large number of stocks and shares
  • A large number of specific (gifts of certain items) or pecuniary (gifts of money) legacies
  • A large number of residuary beneficiaries
  • If some of the assets are comprised of business or agricultural assets the calculations of any tax reliefs can increase the time required.
  • Calculation of any exemptions or relief available on an Estate where inheritance tax is payable, for example, the Transferrable Nil Rate Band and Residence Nil Rate Band
  • If the person who has died was a surviving spouse/ civil partner, calculating any reliefs available
  • If the deceased died without a Will, tracing all beneficiaries

We can give you a more accurate indication in relation to the above factors, once we have all the relevant information.

We do not include in our fees for the administration of the Estate the costs of selling any house owned by the deceased or completing any tax returns that may be required in respect of the deceased’s income tax and/or capital gains tax liability.

The costs for administering an Estate, where a Grant is required, can vary widely. In even the most straightforward Estate the costs are unlikely to be less than £3,000 (exclusive of VAT). In the most complex of cases, costs can be substantial. The most common level of fees is in the range of £3,000 to £8,500 (exclusive of VAT and disbursements).

Similar factors apply when considering the time it will take to deal with the administration of an Estate, as to those mentioned above for costs. In a straight forward matter where there are no delays in obtaining the necessary information, there is a Will and no inheritance tax is payable then the administration can be completed in around 6 months. In the more complex cases involving the payment of inheritance tax with a number of beneficiaries, it can take substantially longer to finalise. The time factor will of course be influenced by the sale of any property in the Estate.

Testimonials

What our clients say

I first met Anna Woolard at Maggies at The Royal Oldham Hospital. Making a Will is not always easy but I felt very relaxed. I then saw Anna in her office some weeks later as I had been hospital. All my instructions were carried out. Procedures and regultions was all explained to me and in a pleasant manner. I am very happy and if I ever need a solicitor I will contact Anna Woolard. The receptionist was very kind and caring too. Thank you.

Mr N Goodman - Manchester

We certainly would have not hesitation in recommedning North Ainley to anyone, as we found Michelle always to be so considerate and patient at all times.

Mr & Mrs M Davies - Manchester

Michelle was very helpful and knowledgeable. My Will was a very easy thing to sort.

Mrs S L Green - Macclesfield

We liked Michelle's easy explanation, plus her easy attitude. A credit to North Ainley.

Mr & Mrs I Turner - Oldham

Our solicitor was Michelle Chapman and in our opinion went above and beyond. She was professional, friendly and clear when explaining to us. Would highly recommend.

Mrs J Laycock - Oldham

All staff very good. Kirsty always returned our calls. Thank you very much. I have recommended my husband to use you for his business.

Mr D Curtis & Mrs C O'Leary - Oldham

Excellent service conducted in a very amicable and efficient manner. Thank you.

Mr & Mrs A Lockwood - Manchester

I would like to say thank you for your help when I was going through a difficult and emotional time.

Mrs M M Harrison - Rochdale

Very pleasant staff, helpful and polite.

Mrs J Ward - Rochdale

Sarah, Janine & Cassie were all super helpful with a very challenging move! They make sure things were followed up and kept me in the loop at every step. Thank you.

Miss E G Kirkbride - Oldham

Excellent friendly service. I was very grateful that the amendment to my Will was completed in a very short period of time and for the professionalism and friendliness of Michelle. Thank you.

Miss R E Ramsbottom - Oldham

Jenny was excellent with us.

Mr & Mrs S J Hough - Oldham

I am very satisfied with the work done by North Ainley whilst purchasing my apartment. Everyone was extremely helpful and explained everything in plain english, instead of jargon.

Mrs K B Ravenscroft - Oldham

Fantastic service.

Mr D F Clarke - Oldham

Excellent attention throughout. No improvement possible.

Mrs J Holt - Conwy

Anna was very helpful and clear in assisting me to update my Will and reassuringly swift in getting it done. She has a lovely, pleasant, professional style.

Mrs L Bennett - Oldham

To everyone concerned with the sale of both properties I have had excellent care and will do business with you again if I need anything.

Miss K Makinson - Oldham

Reception staff are amazing and Kirsty dealt with my case. I am really happy with the service and would recommend.

Miss S Carter - Manchester

We would like to show our hearfelt thanks and gratitude for your very professional efficient service from all members of your staff. The kindness shown was really appreciated. We couldn't have asked for better service when buying our property. Thank you.

Mr & Mrs B Webb - Oldham

Thank you, very much appreciated.

Miss H Clark - Oldham

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