The following services are included in the fees for Probate work. If anything isn’t 100% clear, or if you have any questions at all, please do get in touch. We’d be very happy to hear from you.
• Meeting with you to ascertain the likely extent of the estate and identifying any possible complexities.
• Checking the terms of the Will, if there is one.
• Identifying next of kin, where possible, if there is no Will and instructing an external expert to compile a family tree, if little or no information on this is available. Expert’s fee payable from the Estate.
• Obtaining information on asset values and liabilities as at the date of death, where not already provided.
• Arranging for a valuation of any property in the Estate. Valuation fee payable from the Estate.
• Preparing the application for the Grant, including any accompanying IHT forms and Schedules.
• Arranging for payment of any IHT which is due, if required.
• Submitting IHT papers to HMRC and submitting application for the Grant to the Probate Registry.
• Providing you with the Grant and office copies.
• Arranging for Notices to Creditors, if required. Fee payable from the Estate.
• Registering the Grant with asset institutions and encashing assets.
• Paying outstanding debts and liabilities.
• Writing to and checking identity of legatees and residuary beneficiaries to notify them of their entitlement from the Estate.
• Paying any further IHT which is due.
• Arranging for Bankruptcy Searches against beneficiaries. Fees payable from the Estate.
• Paying legacies and making interim distributions to the residuary beneficiaries, if required.
• Arranging for estate accounts to be prepared and the estate’s tax liabilities to date of death and during the administration to be agreed and settled via an external Accountant, if required. Fees payable from the Estate
• Preparing a Deed of Variation, if required. Separate fees apply.
• Preparing an Appropriation of Assets, if required. Separate fees apply.
• Instructing external experts to trace any missing beneficiaries and deal with any ongoing disputes. Fees payable by the Estate.
• Issuing estate accounts for approval to the Personal Representative and making the final distributions to the residuary beneficiaries.
Typically it will take around 4 to 6 weeks to apply for the Grant of Representation from the point at which we are first formally instructed in a simple estate with no IHT issues. Typically the Probate Registry will issue a Grant of Representation around two weeks thereafter.
It can take anything from six months to a year to complete the administration of an estate, during what is known as “the Executors’ year”. We will keep you informed as to progress and likely continuing timescales at regular intervals.
In a more complex estate where there are IHT issues, typically it can take between 3 to 6 months to agree and fund the IHT which is payable on application and to apply for the Grant, from the point at which we are formally instructed. Again, the Probate Registry will typically issue a Grant within two weeks of receipt of the application. Delays can occur with HMRC checking IHT forms and issuing receipts for IHT. These delays can be as much as six to eight weeks from submission of IHT papers to HMRC.
Once the Grant has been issued, typically the estate administration period can take between six to 18 months to complete and sometimes longer than this, if the IHT issues are complex, or there are any other unforeseen circumstances, such as tracing and liquidating assets, tracing beneficiaries or dealing with third party disputes.
Mary has nearly forty years post qualification experience in dealing with Wills, LPAs, Probates and Inheritance Tax. She is a qualified Solicitor regulated by the SRA and is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the Private Client Section of the Law Society and Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).
• Cases involving Inheritance Tax
• Lifetime gifts and Trusts and the impact on Inheritance Tax.
• Appropriation of Assets during the administration.
• Deeds of Variation.
• Application for Attorney Grants.
Wills - 50% Probates - 40% LPAs - 10%