Probate

Guide to our costs for providing Probate services

We work with our clients to provide the best service for them to suit their individual needs.

In some cases we can provide a fixed fee service for the work in particular where we are providing the Grant only service.

Full estate service

We can offer a full estate service where we will handle the full process for you.  This is known as assisting you with the administration of the estate.

This includes the following:

  • Establishing the value of and dealing with assets such as building society accounts, bank accounts, investment portfolios and shares
  • Establishing the value and dealing with liabilities
  • Completing the relevant tax documentation
  • Preparing the oath and associated documents for the application for the Grant
  • Assisting you with dealing with valuing the property, please note a separate conveyancing fee will be provided for the sale of a property
  • Communicating with the beneficiaries
  • Paying legacies
  • Managing risk for the Personal Representatives by dealing with Trustee Act Notices and bankruptcy searches
  • Ensuring inheritance is paid if due and all other taxes are cleared
  • Making interim payments
  • Preparing draft and final estate accounts

In respect of full estate administration we work on an hourly basis of £225 plus VAT.  We believe this is more straightforward for our clients as this means that you pay for the work actually done.  By way of guidance a small estate without any property and a single bank account can cost between £1,500 and £2,950 plus VAT.  After our initial meeting we will provide you with a cost estimate and keep you updated as the matter progresses.  Please note that larger more complex estate can cost between £5,000 - £20,000 depending upon the complexity.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Disbursements in addition to the hourly rate:

  • Probate application fee of £155.00 plus 50p per copy
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor with Will of £5 without)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £100 (estimate) Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • £100 (estimate) Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.

 

Potential additional costs

  • If a disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • If there are claims made against the estate this is likely to lead to additional costs.
  • If there are additional statements required for the Probate court such as affidavit of due execution
  • The cost of the conveyancing for dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

How long will this take?

It is difficult to predict how long estates can take to deal with as they are subject to various factors.  For example a house sale, taxation clearance. On average estates can take between 12 months and 48 months.

Grant only service

We are more than happy to discuss a fixed fee option with our clients in relation to obtaining the Grant only.  This is based upon the information provided by the client and depends on such matters as to whether there is tax to pay, transferable nil rate band available, the number and type of assets to be declared.  The fixed fee can range from £500 - £3,000 and is agreed in advance of clients deciding to instruct.

This service includes completion of the relevant tax documentation and the oath and other documents required to obtain the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Disbursements in addition to the hourly rate:

  • Probate application fee of £155.00 plus 50p per copy
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor with Will of £5 without)

How long will this take?

For estates where there is an IHT205 small estate completion we aim to obtain the Grant within 4 weeks of the clients providing full instructions.  For estates where the full IHT400 account is necessary we aim to obtain the Grant within 8 weeks.  However please note this is subject to payment of IHT and any delays created by a backlog at HMRC or the Probate court.

 

Our Team

 

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Philippa Wright, Head of Wills and Probate

Philippa is a Solicitor and a full member of the Society for Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). She has extensive probate experience dealing with small and large estates both for cases of intestacy and on behalf of Executors.  One of the most complex matters involved dealing with an intestate estate which resulted in 35 beneficiaries.

 

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John Nattrass, Solicitor

John qualified as a solicitor in 1981 having graduated with an honours degree in law from the University of Durham and after completing his law finals at the College of Law in Chester. Following his training at a firm of solicitors in Manchester, John moved to Altrincham where he has specialised in property law, wills, probate, powers of attorney and Court of Protection applications.  He has more than 35 years experience in the Private Client area.

 

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Helen Green, Solicitor

Helen graduated from The University of Sheffield in 2012 with a degree in European, International and Comparative Law. During her degree she enjoyed being able to spend time studying at the University of Helsinki in Finland as well as the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

After completing her post graduate qualifications at the University of Law in Manchester and her training contract with another local firm Helen joined McHale and Co as a newly qualified Solicitor in June 2017.

Helen now specialises in private client matters including Wills, Probate, Powers of Attorney’s, Court of Protection and advising the elderly. She is currently a student STEP member and hopes to become fully accredited soon.  She works across all our offices and regularly visits clients in their home and in care.

 

Philip Hartley, Solicitor

Philip graduated from Staffordshire University with an LLB honours degree and LPC in 2006.  He qualified as a solicitor after completing his training contract with a firm of solicitors in Staffordshire two years later.

Philip specialises in the administration of estates and also advises in relation to the preparation of wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection matters.

Prior to qualifying as a solicitor, Philip enjoyed a successful career working as a software developer working on IBM mid-range computer systems.  He had an ambition to enter the legal profession and completed all of his legal qualifications on a part time evening basis.  He left his IT career when offered a training contract to qualify as a solicitor.