Probate Solicitors

Probate and Estate Administration 2024-06-14T15:35:31+00:00

Dealing with the affairs of a loved one who has died can often add a laborious burden at your most challenging time.

Being a Personal Representative (“executor” or “administrator”) of a deceased’s estate brings with it several duties, often unknown to the untrained Personal Representative. Obtaining legal authority via Probate and the subsequent steps involved in Estate Management can be difficult and time-consuming without a solicitor.

Our team will guide you through this process to ensure you get it right and relieve you of the additional time and stress it can place on you. We will agree on what actions you will be responsible for and what our solicitors will be responsible for. Our solicitors have decades of combined experience in Probate and Estate Administration and will provide friendly and practical advice from the outset. We can help with everything from obtaining the Grant of Probate to administering the estate, including advising on potential tax mitigation arrangements.

Contact us today to meet with our solicitors to discuss your situation and see how we can help with our comprehensive services.

What Is Probate, and Do You Need It?

Probate is the legal process whereby the court confirms your authority to administer the deceased’s estate. You obtain the Grant of Probate from the Probate Registry, which confirms that as executor of their Will, you are allowed to deal with someone’s estate after they die. If the deceased didn’t leave a Will, authority is given by obtaining the Letters of Administration instead.

Whether you need to obtain a Grant of Probate or not will depend on the value of the estate, the assets in the estate and the value of certain assets. If the deceased owned a property or shares in their sole name, you would typically need a Grant of Probate to sell or transfer them. For bank accounts and investments, it will depend on the value held and the organisation’s rules. Banks and financial organisations can set their own requirements as to whether they will need you to obtain a Grant of Probate or not, and they will confirm what they require once being notified of the death of an account holder.

Why Choose Us as Your Probate Solicitors

Probate and Estate Administration are crucial processes, but they can also be time-consuming, complicated, and emotionally challenging. Appointing a specialist solicitor is ideal to remove the burden on yourself and ensure you complete the process correctly.

Here are some of the reasons to choose us:

  • We are highly experienced solicitors in obtaining Probate and managing estates
  • We will help you organise everything needed while reducing any stress on your part
  • We will agree on what the client does and what the solicitor does
  • We offer a range of comprehensive services designed to suit your requirements
  • We will ensure you take advantage of any tax mitigation measures
  • We are open and transparent about our fees from the outset
  • We will help you pay inheritance tax correctly and avoid incurring penalties for late or incorrect payment
  • We will keep you updated on the process every step of the way

Our Probate Services

Our experienced solicitors can either help you obtain the Grant of Probate or help you with the complete administration of the estate.

If you choose our Grant only service, we will help you obtain the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. These documents provide the legal authority to manage the deceased’s estate. We will deal with the legal formalities of submitting the application and obtaining the grant on your behalf. You will then be responsible for managing the estate, including closing bank accounts, selling assets, paying off debts and distributing assets. This service is our cheapest option and best suited if the case is straightforward without complex assets.

The full Estate Administration service is a comprehensive service involving all aspects of dealing with the deceased’s estate alongside obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. We can handle everything from start to finish, including clearing debt, dealing with tax matters and distributing assets according to the Will or intestacy rules. This service is the ideal option for complex cases or where you prefer to have professionals helping you to administer the estate.

We can also offer additional services in this area of law, including helping you contest a Will or Estate, sell/transfer the deceased’s property or providing support if the deceased didn’t leave a Will. You can also use our Wills solicitors to write or update your own Will.

Fees

For cases where you only need to obtain the Grant of Probate, we charge a fixed fee of £895 plus VAT, providing no inheritance tax forms are required, or there are no complications to the application such as missing executor(s) or a damaged/defective Will. We can offer tailored fixed fee quotes for more complex applications, provided they are not for estates that are taxable for inheritance tax purposes; our fees for taxable estates will be calculated based on the time we spend on the matter (see below).

For Estate Administration, our fees are calculated based on how long the relevant Fee Earner spends on the case. At the outset, we can agree on what aspects of the estate you want us to deal with and what you can deal with so that we are helping you most efficiently and you are not being charged for work you do not require. We will keep you updated with our fees and update you with an estimate as the matter progresses. Unlike other firms, we do not charge an additional fee based on the percentage value of the estate.

The hourly charging rates of our Fee Earners are as follows:

  • Solicitor with 10+ years of experience: £265 +VAT per hour
  • Solicitor with 5+ years of experience: £245 +VAT per hour
  • Licensed Conveyancer: £170 +VAT per hour
  • Practice Accountant: £225 +VAT per hour

Typical disbursements include:

  • Probate registry fee: £273
  • Additional copies of the Grant: £1.50 each
  • AML check per Executor: £5 +VAT
  • Official copies of the title deeds from the Land Registry: £3 +VAT
  • Bankruptcy checks: £2 +VAT each

Our fees, disbursements and estate expenses are payable from the estate’s funds. You don’t have to pay the costs if the funds are available from the outset. If the funds are unavailable and you incur fees and expenses on behalf of the estate, you can be refunded by the estate once they become available.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I want to contest the Will or Estate?

There may be situations where you want to challenge the validity of a Will or feel the deceased has not made reasonable financial provision for you. Common reasons to contest a Will include lack of capacity, undue influence and improper execution. The process can be complex and have strict time limits, so contact us today if you want to contest the Will or Estate. Visit our page on Contesting a Will and Inheritance Disputes for more information.

What if there is no Will?

If the deceased doesn’t have a Will, their money, property, and possessions will be distributed based on intestacy rules. Surviving family members, such as married or civil partners and children, will be given the deceased’s assets depending on the value of the deceased’s estate. Unmarried partners, close friends and carers are not entitled to assets under intestacy rules.

How long does the process take?

The timeframes to obtain a Grant of Probate and administer an estate can vary depending on several factors, but on average, it usually takes between 9-18 months. Factors that affect the process include whether the estate is taxable, how quickly you can receive the relevant information needed to apply for Probate, and if there is a property to sell. Making an application online or by post also affects the timeframes. We will keep you updated throughout the administration of the estate.

Do I need Probate if there is a Will?

Whether you need Probate or Letters of Administration usually depends on the type of assets in the estate and their value. For example, if you need to sell or transfer a property, you will typically need to apply for a Grant of Probate.

What are Letters of Administration?

Letters of Administration are equivalent to the Grant of Probate, but when there is no will. If the deceased didn’t make a Will, the person entitled to their assets under intestacy rules can apply for Letters of Administration to allow them to administer the estate.

Can you sell the deceased’s property?

We can also sell or transfer the deceased’s property if you would like us to deal with this. Usually, you will need to wait until you have the Grant of Probate before you can complete the sale or transfer, but typically, you can start the process beforehand. We can provide you with a quote for our fees before you are committed to selling or transferring the property with us.

Excellent service. Very professional and sensitive. Good guidance and advice given throughout.

Mr M

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Get in touch with our Probate solicitors

Do you need help with this area of law? We can arrange to meet you in our Liverpool office or at your home to discuss how we can guide you through the process. Contact Rafael Donovan by phone at 0151 236 1744 or email rdonovan@husbandforwoodmorgan.co.uk to enquire about our Probate and Estate Administration services or arrange an appointment.

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