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 £750.00 plus VAT making a total of £900.00.

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 – £155.00 (an additional fee of £60.00 is payable if you apply for the Grant yourself)

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 – £6.00 (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 – £225.00

Jennifer Kitchener – £195.00

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 – £155.00 (an additional fee of £60.00 is payable if you apply for the Grant yourself)

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 – £6.00 (incl VAT) per person

Bankruptcy search fee – per person, per search – £2-40

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 £2,000 (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

Jenny was brilliant in what was a very emotional and difficult time. Thank you.

Mrs M Matthews - Oldham

We were very pleased with how we were treated and everything was explained to us in a way we could understand. It was made very easy from the beginning to the final signings. Would like to take this opportunity to thank Zoë Ashton for looking after us so well and answering all our questions which put us both at ease.

Mr & mrs J King - Radcliffe

Just to say thank you to Jennifer for her polite, helpful and kind care in dealing with me.

Mr T M Wood - Stalybridge

Keep up the good work.

Mr & Mrs M J Dobson - Chester

I was very pleased with the service I received.

Mr & Mrs H B Swailes - Oldham

Excellent service and very professional. Very nice to talk to and happy to help.

Mr N Nixon - Oldham

Everything answered promptly. Felt very well looked after by everyone we came into contact with. Superb service.

Mr & Mrs B J Bibby - Ashton Under Lyne

Excellent service from the start to completion. It was not our first time using you and it certainly will not be the last. Highly recommended. Thank you.

Mr K Pringle, Mr D Pringle & Miss K Pringle - Manchester

Excellent service. Courteous Staff. Thank you to all.

Mrs S Fleming - Marsden

We were very happy with the way in which you conducted our business.

Mr & Mrs E Mellor - West Yorkshire

Thank you to Jennifer Kitchener who has been so helpful throughout this process. From beginning to end she would not have been more supportive.

Mrs J A Rainford - Oldham

Miss Wood has been my point of contact and is a credit to North Ainley. I would highly recommend her. Thank you very much.

Mr A Taylor - Dukinfield

Thank you to Cassie, she was amazing.

Mrs V Deans - Stockport

Excellent service. Thank you all.

Mrs H Smith - Ashton Under Lyne

Excellent service. Very helpful and courteous.

Mrs J Lewis - Oldham

Really helpful and friendly. The contracts were all signed in time for us moving. Thank you so much.

Mr D Fraser & Miss G Maines - Manchester

Thank you so much for the very prompt and friendly advice and service.

Mr L Richards - Oldham

Staff very helpful and courteous to me at a very difficult time. Thank you to everyone who was involved.

Mrs B Scholes - Oldham

Thanks to all concerned with a special mention to Cassie for all her help. There isn't any improvement to be considered. Very well done.

Mr C Pickering & Mrs J Holt - Oldham

From the initial engagement with Vinesh and team, the information and communication have enabled me to understand clearly the status and next steps. A huge thank you for the team for the help and support on completing the property purchase.

Mr A J Hepplestone - Cheadle

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