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Transparency Rules – Probate (uncontested cases with all assets in the UK)

Transparency Rules – Probate (uncontested cases with all assets in the UK)

Administering an Estate

When someone dies, the decisions to be made and the action to be taken can be confusing. Dealing with the loss of a relative or a friend can be a difficult time and most people are unsure what action to take. At Williamsons we are here to help and can handle the full process for you. This quote is for straightforward estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 2-3 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 2-3 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Costs are estimated at between £3,000 and £5,000 (+VAT), based on an hourly charging rate of £190. The exact time and cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range and the time it takes to complete the administration will be quicker. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end and the administration will take longer.

Disbursements not included in this fee are:

  • Probate application fee of £155 (with additional copies at 50p) (Please note that this may change as the fees are due to increase shortly)
  • £13 Swearing of the oath (per executor, where there is a Will)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £200 Post in The London Gazette which protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no Will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds), there are likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

We anticipate a straightforward estate will take between three to six months to obtain a Grant and a further six to twelve months to complete administration of the Estate.

If Williamsons Solicitors are appointed as Executors on a Will, an Estate will not be distributed until 10 months after the issue of the Grant.

If an Estate requires a full inheritance tax return or where it is necessary to claim the transferable nil rate band or claim the main residence nil rate band for example or where there are significant number of assets or beneficiaries, this will mean that legal fees will be more that those quoted above and the time scale to complete the process make take longer.  However, you will be given a quote once we have all of the information.

What’s Involved in Administering an Estate

Age UK have provided a very good fact sheet about what is involved in administrating an Estate. This is an independent fact sheet, it will give you a good idea if the process, what is involved and why it is often a very good idea to instruct professionals, such as Williamsons Solicitors to assist in navigating this process.

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/factsheets/fs14_dealing_with_an_estate_fcs.pdf

Why Instruct a Professional to Deal with the Administration of an Estate?

There is very good, independent advice about when it is a good idea to consult a specialist, such as Williamsons Solicitors to assist you with dealing with and application for a Grant of Probate or to deal with the administration of a friend or relative’s Estate from start to finish, this can be found on the Money Advice Service website: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/when-to-use-a-probate-specialist.

Williamsons Solicitors are happy to assist on those Estates and the simpler ones, if you simply don’t feel comfortable dealing with them, don’t have the inclination or just don’t have the time.

Will the Estate be Taxable?

To find if an Estate is taxable to give you an idea whether your friend or loved ones Estate would be a simple administration or not, why not look at the https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax.  Williamsons Solicitors are probate specialists who would be able to assist and advise you throughout this, often complex process.

Grant of Probate Only

We can help you get started with administering an estate by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. This includes completing the relevant Inheritance Tax forms for HMRC and preparing the probate papers, including the Oath. You would be responsible for providing us with the relevant figures for the valuation of the Estate. Please see: https://www.gov.uk/valuing-estate-of-someone-who-died for more information on this.  Once the Grant is extracted, you will be able to administer the estate.

Our legal fees start at £500 plus VAT for straightforward Grants. In addition, disbursements may be incurred on top of this fee, including;

  • Probate application fee of £155 (with additional copies at 50p) (Please note that this may change as the fees are due to increase shortly)
  • £13 Swearing of the oath (per executor, where there is a Will)

If the Grant is likely to be complex, such as in estates where inheritance tax is payable or a transferable nil rate band is being claimed, the costs will be higher and we will be able to give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.

A Grant of Probate can usually be obtained within 6 weeks.

You may find some of the links above useful in determining whether you wish to instruct to obtain a Grant only or whether you decide it may perhaps be worthwhile instructing a professional to carry out the full administration of your friend or relative’s Estate.

Wills

For a straightforward Will, our fees are £150 (+VAT) for a single Will and £250 (+VAT) for mirror Wills. If you require a more complex Will, such as those including a trust, we will give you a more accurate quote once we have more information about your needs.

We aim to send a draft Will out to you within two weeks of receiving your written confirmation of instructions.

Why it is important to have a Will

For information about the difference having a Will makes see our fact sheet here and who inherits where this is no Will,  https://www.gov.uk/inherits-someone-dies-without-will

Lasting Powers of Attorney

We charge a fixed fee as follows:

  • One Lasting Power of Attorney is £442, e.g. a single Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
  • Two Lasting Powers of Attorney are £764 e.g. one person wanting Lasting Powers of Attorney for both Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare issues or a couple both wanting Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
  • Three Lasting Powers of Attorney are £1,086.
  • Four Lasting Powers of Attorney are £1,288. g. a couple wanting Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare issues

All fees included preparation and registration costs, VAT and the Court fee required to register the documents.

Lasting Powers of Attorney matters can take six months or more to be completed as they have to be registered with the Office of The Public Guardian, which can take up to three months.

Why it is important to have a Lasting Powers of Attorney

For information about why it is important to make a Lasting Power of Attorney please see our fact sheet here and to find out what happens if you don’t have a lasting Power of Attorney, you’ve lost capacity, and someone needs to deal with your affairs.

USEFUL INFORMATION

Choice Legal Providers

It is important that you are aware of the choice of legal providers that are available and looking at the Legal Choices website will assist you in making decisions about the services available to you and importantly which of those, such as Williamsons Solicitors, that are regulated  https://www.legalchoices.org.uk/ and the potential lack of protection offered to you in having an unregulated person or company carry out these services for you, for example a Will Writer preparing a Will for you.  In England and Wales, the law lets anyone write Wills, meaning that some of these Will Writers not being regulated they may not even have any legal qualifications!

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Mr and Mrs Preston

Williamson’s provide an excellent service at a reasonable price. Very easy to deal with and excellent communication was provided all the way through the transaction. Just what you need in a solicitor.

LJM B

I would highly recommend Williamsons Solicitors, Gordon represented me for my case and was excellent. Always on the end of the phone when I need him. overall top job thankyou. Mr Lloyd Milner

Mr & M

Very friendly and efficient service always replying to any queries and emails on the same day. If solicitor not in still dealt with by other staff. Would definitely recommend and will use again

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Mr Deeley

Very good service from everyone I dealt with at Williamson's. They were very quick and responsive and gave that extra push to get me completed before the Christmas holiday! A very nice Christmas present for me!

Mr E A

Very good service.

John B

Friendly service straight to the point no messing around ... from start to finish less then 4 month Yana had every thing in hand many thanks

Mr and Mrs Rollinson

Excellent service from start to finish Alison Craven explained everything in detail making sure we understood

Broadley H

Excellent service from Williamsons throughout a very protracted property transaction. Carey was patient and helpful at all times and we would highly recommend Williamsons based upon our experience. Thank you :)

Paul B

Hi, Thankyou for helping me with the sale of my late mothers house. You kept me informed and processed the transaction very quickly. Regards...Paul

Mr William E

Williamsons Bridlington office conducted the conveyancing of my house recently. The customer service was exceptional and very professional. The regular communications were very helpful and i was kept up to date throughout the process. Many thanks to Suzanne, Beth and all the staff at the Bridlington office.

Anonymous

Friendly supportive service. Explained everything and responded to queries promptly

Anonymous

Its always difficult when you are selling a house but even more so when it is a probate sale. Williamsons have handled my sale with sensitivity and efficiency and have supported me throughout the process.

Mr & M

Very efficient, prompt replies to queries, show good team work and a very reasonable bill at the end.

Mr D A

I was given an efficient, friendly and courteous appointment.

Mr and Mrs Lang

Thorough and commendable.

Mr & M

Professional,helpful and friendly staff we use Williamson's for all legal matters.

Mrs Yvonne K

Suzanne Spooner was excellent. She kept me informed of progress and the whole stressful process of selling one’s house went as smoothly as possible.

Miss L

We were very impressed by Theresa's thorough approach. We are very confident that our conveyancing was carried out to perfection.

Sarah B

Fantastic service from Susan and her team dealing with the sale of the house. Easily contactable for any queries and would definitely recommend them.

Andrew H

Very thorough, helpful throughout and ensured no undue delays.