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Probate & Estates Solicitors

Professional legal advice to make the probate process simple for you

We understand how painful it can be to lose someone close to you. Dealing with the administration of their estate can then be a very daunting process. Our experienced probate solicitors can help you through this difficult time, take some of the stress away and help you make the right decisions.

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Call Us: 0800 138 0458

Switalskis Probate SolicitorsWhat is probate?

If you are appointed as the executor of somebody’s will, or if you are required to act as the administrator of someone’s estate, this process is known as probate. It happens when a will is validated in court and someone is granted permission to carry out the wishes in a will. You may need help understanding the probate process and obtaining the grant, which is where our team can help.

Many people approach our probate solicitors for help because they feel daunted by the thought of dealing with banks, the courts, the Inland Revenue and other official organisations. If you are made an executor, you are personally responsible and held liable if the correct procedures are not followed, therefore it is recommended that you seek professional advice to ensure that the process runs smoothly.

What is the process?

If you are named an executor in somebody's will, or if you are appointed as an administrator, you are obligated to gather all the information on assets, debts and any formal valuations that may be required.

Once all of the assets and valuations are identified, we can then create probate papers for you. You must then apply for a Grant of Probate or Grant of Representation. These are orders which give you full powers over an estate. You will need a Grant of Probate if you are an executor or a Grant of Representation if you are an administrator. Our solicitors can help you in applying for a grant as well as:

  • Valuation of the estate
  • The sale of land or property
  • Completion of the Inland Revenue account
  • Dealing with Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax issues
  • Giving advice on changing a person’s will after their death
  • Giving advice on how to proceed if someone dies without leaving a valid will (intestate)

Our team can tailor their service to your individual case, no matter how much or how little of the probate process you need help with. This may be advice on the next steps to take, or more in-depth work to take the stress off of you and letting you focus on your family and friends.

It is possible to hire a professional executor, who will carry out the whole process for you, for a fee and proceeds of the estate. A professional executor is usually somebody such as a solicitor or a will writer.

How long does the process take?

Timescales vary from case to case depending on specific circumstances, for example if the case requires a lot of correspondence with HMRC. Cases can take around one year to complete. It is best to get in touch with our probate solicitors for a consultation and a more accurate estimate on your case.

Our Wills, Probate and Estate Specialists

Catrin Lloyd, Wills & Probate Solicitor, Switalskis

Catrin Lloyd

Associate Solicitor

Amanda Steele, Wills & Probate Solicitor, Switalskis

Amanda Steele

Solicitor

Katherine Jordan, Wills & Probate Solicitor, Switalskis

Katherine Jordan

Solicitor

Sharon Woodward - Wills & Probate Solicitor - Switalskis

Sharon Woodward

Solicitor

Linda Firth, Wills & Probate specialist, Switalskis

Linda Firth

Specialist Legal Clerk

Louise Davis, Wills & Probate Lawyer, Switalskis

Louise Davis

Specialist Legal Clerk

What fees will I pay?

The fees you pay for your Wills & Probate work will depend on your circumstances and the work we need to carry out for you. Please click on the boxes below, which most closely reflect your requirements, for a detailed explanation of the work involved and how the fees will be calculated. If you still have any queries after reading this information, you can call us on 0800 138 0458 or contact us through the website.

This work is dealt with on a fixed fee basis.

For applications for Grant of Representation where the Estate does not exceed £325,000 and we are able to submit form IHT205 (or under £1 million and exempt of inheritance tax as the Estate is passing to spouse or charity and we are able to submit form IHT205) the costs will be £650 plus VAT at 20% and disbursements being Land Registry fee of £3.00 plus VAT at 20% (£3.60) and and Probate Fee of £155 plus £1.50 for every sealed copy of the Grant required.

For applications for Grant of Representation where we are able to submit and IHT205, but we also need to complete form IHT217 to transfer a late spouse’s unused inheritance nil rate band allowance the costs will be £800 plus VAT at 20% and disbursements being Land Registry fee of £3.00 plus VAT at 20% (£3.60) and and Probate Fee of £155 plus £1.50 for every sealed copy of the Grant required.

For applications for Grant of Representation where it is necessary to complete and submit form IHT400 and the various schedules to the HMRC the costs will be £2500 plus VAT at 20% and disbursements being Land Registry fee of £3.00 plus VAT at 20% (£3.60) and Probate Fee of £155 plus £1.50 for every sealed copy of the Grant required.

The following is a summary of the work involved in applying for a Grant of Representation only:

  1. Interview with you to discuss the terms of the deceased’s Will/intestacy and to through the assets and liabilities in the estate.  You will be required to provide us with details of all assets in the estate.  We will not be contacting any of the financial institutions directly ourselves.
  2. Draft Legal Statement and Inheritance Tax forms.  Calculate if there is Inheritance Tax to pay.  Send to the client in draft form.
  3. Submit application to the Probate Registry (and HMRC if applicable)  to obtain Grant of representation
  4. Once Grant of representation is received, we will send the Grants to you for you to deal with the administration of the estate.

We calculate our costs an hourly spent basis by estimating how many hours it will take to administer the Estate, based on the assets in the Estate, the value of the Estate and the beneficiaries. The work will be dealt with by one of our solicitors Sharon Woodward, Katherine Jordan or Catrin Lloyd at a rate of £250 per hour. Once we have established how many hours we believe it may take to administer the Estate we then provide clients with a quote based in time spent and the hourly rate or a fixed fee alternative so that clients can choose which option they prefer.

The following is a summary of all work when we deal with a full administration of an estate:

  1. Interview with you to advise on the terms of the deceased’s Will/intestacy provisions and discuss the duties of the executors.
  2. Register the death, arrange the funeral.  Check the property is secured, deal with personal belongings and clearance of the property if applicable.
  3. Go through the assets and liabilities and write the initial letters to banks, building societies, utilities (including council tax) and insurance.
  4. Submit statutory notices if applicable.
  5. Draft Legal Statement and Inheritance Tax forms.  Calculate if there is Inheritance Tax to pay.  Send to the client in draft form.
  6. Submit application to the Probate Registry (and HMRC if applicable) to obtain Grant of Representation.
  7. Once Grant of Representation is received, collect in the assets and pay outstanding liabilities.
  8. Pay any liabilities, any legacies or interim distributions to the residuary beneficiaries.
  9. Submit bankruptcy checks.
  10. Prepare Estate Accounts for approval by the executors.
  11. Finalise the income tax position of the deceased.
  12. Pay out balance to residuary beneficiaries.

VAT is charged at a rate of 20% on our costs.

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

We anticipate this will take between 8 and 10 hours work at a rate of £250 per hour plus VAT. Total costs estimated at £2,500 (+VAT at 20%) and disbursements.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 2 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 2 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There is no capital gains tax or income tax
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements included in this fee:

  • Probate application fee of £155 plus £1.50 for every sealed copy
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary plus VAT at 20%)
  • £200 Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
  • £150 Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims
  • Land Registry search fee of £3.00 plus VAT at 20%

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Services not included in the cost

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there are likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 (1 per asset usually)
  • Estate Agents may need to be instructed to provide a valuation for the property
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 8 months, depending on when the Property is sold. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 12 weeks from the date on which we receive our Client Care Letter back duly signed and approved. Collecting cash assets then follows after the Grant is obtained, which can take between 3-6 weeks. Once this has been done, we can then depending on circumstances make an interim distribution, which normally takes 2 weeks.  

Once the Property is sold we will then be able to finalise the administration of the estate.

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

We anticipate this will take between 18- 20 hours work at £250 per hour. Total costs estimated at £5,000 (+VAT and disbursements) = £6,512

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are no more than 5 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable but a claim needs to be made to claim a deceased’s spouse’s unused Nil Rate Band and the executors need to submit a full account to HMRC in order to claim the Residence Nil Rate Band and unused Residence Nil Rate Band from deceased spouse’s estate
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements included in this fee:

  • Probate application fee of £155 plus £1.50 for every sealed copy
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary plus VAT at 20%)
  • £200 Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
  • £150 Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims
  • Land Registry search fee of £3.00 plus VAT at 20%

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Services not included in the costs:

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 (1 per asset usually)
  • Estate Agents may need to be instructed to provide a valuation for the property
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included
  • Dealing with a Tax Return on behalf of the estate.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 8-12 months, depending on when the Property is sold. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 3-4 months from the date on which we receive our Client Care Letter back duly signed and approved. Collecting cash assets then follows after the Grant is obtained, which can take between 3-6 weeks. Once this has been done, we can then depending on circumstances make an interim distribution, which normally takes 2 weeks.

Once the Property is sold we will then be able to finalise the administration of the estate.

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

We anticipate this will take between 45-48 hours work at £250 plus VAT per hour. Total costs estimated at £12,000 (+VAT) and disbursements £14,912.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 8 bank or building society accounts
  • There are other intangible assets
  • There are no more than 10 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is inheritance tax payable and the executors need to submit a full account to HMRC and we are required to calculate the inheritance tax due
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements included in this fee:

  • Probate application fee of £155 plus £1.50 for every sealed copy
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary plus VAT at 20%)
  • £200 Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
  • £150 Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims
  • Land Registry search fee of £3.00 plus VAT at 20%

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Services not included in the costs

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £0.50 (1 per asset usually)
  • Estate Agents may need to be instructed to provide a valuation for the property
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 12 months, depending on when the Property is sold. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6 months from the date on which we receive our Client Care Letter back duly signed and approved. Collecting cash assets then follows once the Grant is obtained, which can take between 6 weeks. Once this has been done, we can then depending on circumstances make an interim distribution, which normally takes 2 weeks.

Once the Property is sold we will then be able to finalise the administration of the estate.

 

Call us now on 0800 138 0458 to talk to our wills and probate team, or contact us through our website.

How can Switalskis help me?

Our Probate Solicitors are accredited members of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners. They are trained to carry out the administration of estates in a methodical and meticulous way, so that all the details are taken care of, taking the stress out of the process.

Contact us today on 0800 138 0458 to arrange your free consultation, where we can assess what the best options are for your case. You can also send us a message through our website and we will be in touch with you.

 

What our clients say

"Excellent quality service and advice provided. Linda was very professional in her approach and explained everything clearly."

'JH' - Wills & Probate Client

Thank you for all your help with Mum’s LPA and will.  You certainly made what was an initially daunting process very smooth and stress free. We really appreciated your professional yet friendly and caring approach.

Wills & Probate Client

"Catrin Lloyd handled our case with compassion and respect."

Wills & Probate Client

"We were very pleased with the service."

Wills & Probate Client

"Thank you for a speedy and efficient service."

Wills & Probate Client

"Amanda was extremely helpful and took time to explain everything. Lovely, friendly approach at a difficult time. Thank you."

'TC' - Wills & Probate Client

"The whole experience was very positive. I was listened to and advised accordingly."

'JB' - Wills & Probate Client