Probate

We provide advice in relation to administration of the estate of a person who has deceased. This includes providing advice with regard to inheritance tax due (if any). Administering an estate has various stages and we work closely with the family (if no Will) or if there is a Will the executor(s)/executrix(es). We ensure that the estate is accounted for in accordance with the rules, full disclosure made to inland revenue so certificate obtained to then apply to probate registry for probate. In some circumstances probate is not even required and we are happy to provide advice about this.

Legal costs vary depending on the size and complexity of the estate / cost estimate provided after initial consultation – Terms and conditions apply.

Grant of probate
A particular type of grant of representation obtained from the court. It confirms the legal authority given to an executor of a deceased’s will, to act in the administration of a deceased’s estate.
The grant allows the executor to deal with the assets in a deceased’s estate, for example to close his bank accounts, to sell his property and pay his debts and expenses of the administration of his estate.
The grant also proves the validity of the will.

Probate
The process of proving a will by the executors. The term is also commonly used to describe the process of obtaining a grant of representation, even where there is no will (although this is not the strict definition).

Time scale

The likely time scale are made in consideration of the issues known to the caseworker at the time this client care letter is sent. We also make comparisons to other cases of similar issues.

We estimate the average time scale for probate matters all steps up to obtaining probate, dealing with the final account and to ensure the estate is administered correctly, the wishes of the person who has died, as set out in their will, are followed to take no more than 8 months.

Although we endeavour to provide realistic time scale this is an estimate and can change. If we anticipate a change we shall let you know in writing during course of your matter. There are many factors out of our control but we assure you that we will try to resolve your matter as quickly as possible.

Our Staff

Our Staff: Work on your matter may be done by a mix of Solicitor(s), Paralegal(s) and experienced conveyancing staff. Xen Andreou, solicitor since November 2003 and sole principal of this firm. Xen will have overall conduct and supervision of your matter who has had extensive experience in probate matters.

Cost Estimate

We charge £250.00 (excluding VAT) for the first initial consultation, details of which were provided to you when your appointment was made to attend our offices no advice will be provided in writing.

If we are instructed further we estimate the following costs based on the above time scale (base costs):

i. Our firm’s costs to be between £6,000.00 and £10,000.00(excluding VAT)
ii. Disbursements such as probate registry fees, expert’s fees other than Counsel’s fees to be no more than £500.00.

Work carried out on your matter by our firm’s Mr Andreou will be based on the hourly rate of the caseworker at £250.00 per hour (exc VAT), letters sent are charged at £25.00 per letter, telephone calls no more than 6 minutes are charged at £25.00 per telephone call and letters received charged at £12.50 per letter.

Work carried out on your matter by our firm’s Solicitor will be based on the hourly rate of £160.00 per hour (exc VAT), letters sent are charged at £16.00 per letter, telephone calls no more than 6 minutes are charged at £16.00 per telephone call and letters received charged at £8.00 per letter.

Work carried out on your matter by our firm’s Paralegals/Trainee solicitors based on the hourly rate of £120.00 per hour (exc VAT), letters sent are charged at £12.00 per letter, telephone calls no more than 6 minutes are charged at £12.00 per telephone call and letters received charged at £6.00 per letter.

If this firm does not complete the work or the matter becomes abortive (for any reason whatsoever) we will charge you an abortive fee based on our hourly rate. The abortive fee will be equivalent to the work carried out by us but will not exceed the estimated quotation above.

If this matter becomes unduly protracted we shall inform you of any cost changes at the appropriate time.

Our firm’s estimated costs does not include a value element which is a percentage of the value of the assets of the estate. The percentage charge is usually 0.5% on the value of the deceased’s residence and 1% on the value of the gross estate less the value of the residence.

Depending on the complexity of the matter we reserve the right to charge an uplift, and we have not taken this into account for our cost estimate and this is in addition to our basic costs and percentage charges of between 1% to 60%. Deciding on issue of complexity relates to intricate detail required, issues of fact/law and time constraints (imposed by you, 3rd party or law) which cause the firm to prioritise the matter spend additional time. Some examples of complexities include one or more of the following:

  • the deceased being a widower.
  • deceased died intestate but issue has bee raised a Will may exist.
  • the deceased may have a long term partner.
  • 50% of residue to relatives and the remaining 50% to named charities/other beneficiaries.
  • one or more of the executors/beneficiaries live outside UK.
  • more than 1 property (including residential).
  • the estate includes one or more commercial/business property.
  • the estate includes rental property with a tenant.
  • more than 2 current accounts.
  • more than 1 saving account.
  • the estate comprises of stock(s), share(s) o rother investment(s).
  • lifetime gifts made by the deceased.
  • the specific gifts and cash legacies being to 3 individuals or more.
  • inheritance tax is payable, exemptions may or may not apply.
  • full inheritance tax account to HM Revenue & Customs whether or not tax is payable.
  • the Will contains alterations.
  • the Will is not clear as to its terms.
  • there is a dispute as to whether a Will exists.
  • the Will includes a trust
  • enquiry raised by all beneficiaries and some enquiries are requested separately
  • more than 2 children of the estate and at least 1 child not included in the will.
  • guardianship clause in the Will.
  • a dispute between the long term partner and the children.
  • historical documents which require investigations
  • deceased was in public or private care.
  • minor beneficiaries.
  • a dispute arises with regard to one or more beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries.
  • a dispute arises with regard to one or more executors/administrators.
  • potential dispute arises in respect of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
  • care costs – liaise with local authority.
  • limited family members who are not beneficiaries/executors and our firm is required to take active steps to secure assets etc.
  • more than one items of chattels considered by our firm to be valuable (monetary or sentimental).
  • premium bonds.
  • claim made against the estate.
  • the estate in a dispute with a third party and litigation advice is required.
  • probate is required abroad.
  • our firm needs to liaise with foreign lawyer or foreign company.
  • the estate comprises of a limited company or other corporate entity.
  • our needs to liaise with an accountant or broker.
  • issues with the regard to the state of repair or condition of properties of the estate.

Disbursements

The following disbursements are likely to be include din probate matters. Please note that these costs can change from the time of it being uploaded on the site so we recommend you check with the case worker at the time of the fee being incurred. There are also some costs that are estimated as it depends on the administration and asset(s) involved:

  • Application fee to the court- £155.00 (Depending on the court fee at the time)
  • Postage fees- up to £50.00 (Depends on the amount of letters sent)
    HMLR – £3.00-£60.00 (depending on the amount of properties and searches required).
  • Valuation of shares – £25.00-£200.00 (depending on the size and amount of shares held).
  • Obtaining marriage certificate – £11.00 (per certificate).
  • Bank charge – £30.00 per payment
  • Experts fee – £500.00 to £10,000.00 (Depending on valuation required, item(s), value and expertise)

Costs Information

We shall keep you informed about the running costs at regular intervals of at least every 3 months.

If we are instructed on your behalf after the initial consultation, we shall require money on account generally for costs and disbursements and this can vary between £300.00 to £750.00 before we can proceed further with your matter.

Invoices

We shall render regular invoices in intervals of at least every 3 months until your final invoice. We require payment of our firm’s invoices within 14 days (or other date provided to you at the time) however usually in probate matters we agree to await payment until completion but this is to our absolute discretion.

Tax Advice

You should take separate advice in relation to Capital Gains Tax, Corporation Tax and Personal Tax. We strongly recommend you seek advice from your accountant on tax issues. Please note, Capital Gains Tax may be payable on the disposal of the deceased’s property if a gain has been made from the value at the date of death to the value at the date of sale.