Probate

Losing a loved one can be an incredibly difficult event and the resulting paperwork can frequently be complex and overwhelming. For a fixed fee Easthams can shoulder that burden for you. We can deal with all aspects of the collection and distribution of the Estate on your behalf providing you with one less thing to worry about. Our sympathetic, professional team will help ensure that the estate is administered quickly and unobtrusively.

Legal Fee Information for Uncontested Probate

Introduction

Probate is the court-supervised process of gathering a
deceased person’s assets, paying debts and taxes and distributing what is left
to those who are named as beneficiaries, in the Will.

Uncontested probate is where there is no dispute over the
Will and distribution of assets.

Below we provide you with information on our Legal Fees,
disbursements and the length of time it will take to complete your matter and
who will likely be dealing with your case.

Legal Fees and Disbursements

Legal Fees are the amount you will be required to pay for
all of the work performed by us in actioning your instructions, from commencement
of your case to conclusion.

Grant Only

Our average standard legal fee for an uncontested probate
matter is between £485 – £895+VAT (£570 – £1074 Inc. VAT) for a grant of
probate. Below we detail what services are covered in our standard fee.

Estates up to £325,000 £485 plus VAT (£582 Inc. VAT)
Estate Value over £325,000 £895 plus VAT (£1,074 Inc. VAT)
*Home/hospital visit (Fylde Coast area) £50* plus VAT (£60 Inc. VAT)

Our fees include up to two meetings with a qualified
professional, either a licensed probate practitioner or a qualified solicitor;
taking detailed instructions from you; preparing the estate forms and
submitting them to HMRC; applying for a Grant. This Grant
only service does not include us gathering the asset information needed for the
application nor undertaking any part of the administration of the estate.

The Grant only service is therefore ideal for executors who
can deal with administrative matters themselves and just need help with
obtaining the Grant and the HMRC returns. All prices are subject to VAT. The
fixed fee service is only available for uncontested probate where all of the
assets are located within the UK.

Grant & Administration of Estate

Our average standard legal fee for an uncontested probate matter for a Grant & Administration of Estate is 1% of the gross value of the estate with a minimum fee of £1,000 plus VAT (£1200 Inc VAT). Below we detail what services are covered in our standard fee.

Grant & Administration of Estate 1% of the gross value of the estate with a minimum fee of £1,000 plus VAT (£1200 Inc VAT).
*Home/hospital visit (Fylde Coast area) £50* plus VAT (£60 Inc. VAT)

The fixed fee service is only available for uncontested
probate where all of the assets are located within the UK.

Our fees include up to two meetings with a qualified
professional, either a licensed probate practitioner or a qualified solicitor;
taking detailed instructions from you; collecting and distributing and dealing
with the assets; preparing the estate forms and submitting them to HMRC;
applying for a Grant. The full Grant & Administration
service is best suited for executors who are not familiar with the estate or
who simply do not have time to dedicate to the administration.

Should your instructions require us to take your matter out
of the fixed fee we will charge an hourly rate of £262.50 – £200.00 + VAT (£315.00
– £240.00 inc VAT) which will depend on the experience and qualification of the
case handler as follows: –

Partner – £262.50 + VAT (£315.00 inc VAT)

Solicitor/Licensed Probate Practitioner £200.00 + VAT (£240.00
inc VAT)

Paralegal £200.00 + VAT (£240.00 inc VAT)

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.

Our Standard Fee estimate above is for estates where: –

  • There is a valid will.
  • There is no more than one property.
  • There are no other intangible assets.
  • There are 1 – 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 are no claims made against the estate.
  • There is no tax clearance awaited for either
    inheritance or income tax.

If at any stage our fees change, we will notify you and
discuss the reason for any changes. This would typically occur if you change
your instructions or your case involves an unforeseen complexity.

Our average fees assume that:

  • The transaction is concluded in a timely manner
    and no unforeseen complication arise.
  • All parties to the transaction are co-operative
    and there is no unreasonable delay from any parties providing documentation.

Disbursements and Other Costs

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

You will be provided with a full list of disbursements in
our formal quotation. If you need to incur any further disbursements during
your case, you will be notified in advance of the reason and the amount.

Typical disbursements will include: –

  • The application fee for a Grant required by the Probate
    Registry is £155.00. This will be payable in every case and we will provide
    you with one copy of the Grant.
    • A charge of £1.50 is made by the Court for each
      additional copy of the Grant required. Normally one copy is required for each asset
      held.
    • Bankruptcy-only
      Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
    • Placing Section 27 Trustee Act Notices in The London Gazette – Protects
      against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. From £70+VAT (£84.00 Inc.
      VAT)
    • Newspaper close to where the deceased lived –
      This also helps to protect against unexpected claims. Typically from £150+VAT
      (£180.00 Inc. VAT)
    • To comply with anti-money laundering legislation
      and satisfy our regulatory commitments, we carry out online identity checks on
      all clients and, in probate matters, on each beneficiary. Our fee for this is
      £2.50 plus VAT per check (£3.00 Inc. VAT). This fee is payable on all cases and
      is in addition to the fees quoted above.
    • We will charge the sum of £30.00 + VAT (a total
      of £36*.00 Inc. VAT) for Electronic money transfers.

Additional charges will be incurred if there is a property
to transfer or dispose of. We will be happy to offer a fixed fee for any
conveyancing transaction.

Estates over £325,000 may be subject to Inheritance Tax at the prevailing
rates.

Additional disbursements may be incurred if we are required to trace assets. We
will advise you in relation to these if the need arises.

*Please note that no additional charges are made for home or
hospital visits where the visits are required to enable us to comply with our
commitments under the Equality Act 2010.

How long will this take?

Timescales are dependent on the range of assets within the
Estate but the majority of Estates can be administered within 6 – 9 months.

Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6 – 8 weeks.

Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 16 –
32 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally
takes 32 – 48 weeks.

Stages of the Process

The precise stages involved in an uncontested probate vary
according to the circumstances. We have set out the key stages of a standard
transaction: – 

  • Providing you with a dedicated and experienced
    probate solicitor to work on your matter.
  • Undertaking regulatory checks.
  • Identifying the legally appointed executors or
    administrators and beneficiaries.
  • Accurately identifying the type of Probate application
    you will require.
  • Obtaining the relevant documents required to
    make the application.
  • Completing the Probate Application and the
    relevant HMRC forms.
  • Drafting a legal statement for you to sign.
  • Making the application to the Probate Court on
    your behalf.
  • Obtaining the Probate and securely send two
    copies to you.
  • Collecting and distributing all assets in the
    estate.

Potential additional costs

Further potential costs may arise where: –

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.

Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the
estate is not included.

Fee Earners

Philip Baker is a qualified Licensed Conveyancer and Probate
Practitioner who qualified in 1999 Philip specialises in Private Client matters
including will drafting and Probate matters.

Debra Hepplestall is a qualified solicitor who qualified in
1997. Debra specialises in Property and Private Client matters including will
drafting and Probate matters and is the head of our Probate department.

Questions

Contact us for further advice or guidance, speak to our team
of qualified experts on 0800 032 14 32 or email info@easthams.co.uk