WHAT IS PROBATE?
Following a death it is necessary to organise the deceased’s estate, pay any liabilities and pass their assets on to those named in their Will or, if they did not leave a Will, to those entitled under the law. This process is often referred to as Probate.
The term Probate actually references a Grant of Probate; a certificate issued by the court, verifying the person who has the responsibility of organising the estate and distributing the assets – the Executor. Where the deceased did not leave a Will the certificate is called a Grant of Letters of Administration and the person named is the Personal Representative.
DO I NEED TO GET PROBATE?
The Grant of Probate is used to display to the asset holders and others whom the deceased had dealings with that the Executor is the person who has legal authority to deal with their assets. Whether it will be necessary to necessary to apply for a Grant of Probate depends mostly on the assets within the estate and how they are owned.
Although there are many other potentially deciding factors, if the deceased owned a property, held shares or had more than £30,000 in any one bank account in their sole name then then a Grant of Probate will be required.
WHY USE A SOLICITOR?
Professional advice and experience: A solicitor can advise on the process, highlight any complexities that may arise, ensure the Executor / Personal Representative understands their legal duties, liabilities and responsibilities and advise them on the protection available to them.
A solicitor can deal with the property aspects of an estate, ensure the correct amount of Tax is paid and in some circumstances even reduce tax liability.
Independence: Solicitors are independent which can help alleviate tensions between family members and beneficiaries by dealing with matters in a way which is transparent and sensitive.
Efficiency: Experience and dealing with estates on a regular basis means that solicitors are able to carry out the process in the most efficient way.
WHAT CAN HOOPER BURROWES LEGAL OFFER ME AND HOW MUCH WILL PROBATE COST?
Our team of Solicitors are a very experienced team of professionals who have vast experience and knowledge to assist with all types of Probate and Private Client matters. Georgia Davies, Stuart Rose and Kerry Wigg undertake a wide variety of probate transactions and have a vast amount of experience between them giving care and attention to every matter undertaken. You will deal with your solicitor directly for the duration of your matter. We offer the following levels of service depending on your requirements:
Obtaining the Grant of Probate only
If you would prefer to investigate the estate yourself and provide details of the assets and their values, then we are happy to make the probate application and file the Inheritance Tax return for you. Once the Grant of Probate arrives we will hand back over to you to deal with the administration of the estate. Our fees are £950 plus Vat for an estate with a short form inheritance tax return and no tax to pay or fees start from £1450 plus VAT for estates which require a full Inheritance Tax return.
Complete Administration of the Estate
We offer a comprehensive estate administration service whereby we deal with all aspects of the process and take the worry completely out of your hands. Our fees for dealing with the full estate are calculated based on the hourly rate of the solicitor which start from £195 plus VAT per hour. Overall fees for straight forward estates start from £2,500 plus VAT and the process will typically involve
for inheritance tax purposes
– Obtaining the relevant documents needed to make the application for probate (if
Factors which will increase our fee
not included in our fee)
These prices are simply a guide to usual fees and may vary to meet individual client’s specific requirements.
A quote for services is always provided at the outset of the matter and charges are confirmed in writing in a client care letter with terms of business at the outset. Any additional charges will only be incurred upon further discussion and agreement by the clients.
Our fees are reviewed regularly to ensure that we are competitively and reasonably priced offering good value to clients.
CORONAVIRUS: I AM VULNERABLE / SHIELDING. CAN I GIVE INSTRUCTIONS WITHOUT MEETING ANYONE?
We have put procedures in place to make our office as safe as possible for our staff and visiting clients. However we understand it will not be possible for some clients to meet with us or that you may not feel safe in doing so. Some of our usual procedures have been relaxed by the law society to allow us to act without meeting in person provided certain criteria are met. Provided we are satisfied that those criteria are met we will be happy to assist you and can correspond by post or email and via phone or Zoom.
HOW CAN I ENQUIRE FURTHER OR ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT?
Please contact Georgia Davies, our solicitor specialising in probate if you have any queries or would like to arrange an appointment. Georgia is available on 01743 292444 and GeorgiaD@HBLegal.co.uk