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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 £175 (+VAT) for a single Will and £300 (+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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216 Reviews

Mr Leech

I have dealt with williamsons solicitors before and would recommend them unreservedly to anyone ,they are friendly ,efficient, very professional and they get the job done ,all the staff are courteous and nothing is too much trouble . I also really like the fact that hard copies of documents I required where posted to me rather than being emailed once again thank you for a first class service in these difficult times

Lily

Thank you so much Karen for all you did for my family and keeping me and my daughter together. Like also thank you for all your support, understanding and patience. I could get anyone better and experienced than you. Thank you so much.

Eleni N

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Mrs A E

used Williamsons to do a house purchase and a will. they are not the cheapest but did a good job and got the sale through when they said they would. Would recommend.

Benjamin B

Absolutely amazing team! Great help from start to finish and the result was better than expected. Highly recommended.

Linda J

I found Williamsons kept us informed all the way through our claim . I could always speak to someone regarding any queries . The result of the claim was handled efficiently and was very successful .

Judith H

I am very impressed with Williamsons Solicitors. After initial set backs with a Barrister who was not willing to proceed (in his estimation our case did not have enough of a chance of winning) Williamsons did not give up and advised they had approached another Barrister who agreed that our case was good and should be pursued. Williamsons gathered information and evidence very diligently and to good effect - we won our case. If Williamsons had not persisted our case would have fallen at the first hurdle - we are glad we took their advice.

Julie T

I have received an excellent service from Yana Byelova who has been dealing with my claim. Even though these difficult times she has kept us informed every step of the way.

Anonymous

Excellent service, friendly, knowledgeable and professional staff.

Mr Psaras

Friendly, efficient and exceptional service. I will use another of their services soon. Highly recommended.

K S

During a worldwide pandemic Williamsons were superb, i was kept up to date with proceedings, costs, future expectations etc. Using all forms of communiction including Email, telephone, face to face, video chat the knowledge and expertise is second to none and i wouldn't hesitate to use again should i require. I would highly recommend Williamsons for any legal matters their professionalism and helpfulness made my case much smoother, together with the ability to pay stage by stage i cannot stress how great the service was, needless to say my case was resolved to my expectations. I would urge anyone to use Williamsons for legal advice an easy 5 stars with special mention to Paul, Karen and Claire for the service i received from them.

Ms L

I chose Theresa and Toni at Williamsons again for this property purchase because of the care, attention to detail and professionalism they demonstrated last year when I bought another property. I have received a marvellous service again and I feel confident that they will have carefully looked at every detail of the necessary documentation involved in the buying process. Geographically, Williamsons is a long way from the property I have just bought but firms like Williamsons are a rarity and worth seeking out. I thoroughly recommend this company.

Mr & M

Wet happy with the comprehensive and personal service Thank you

Mr and Mrs Betts

Excellent client service- professional and courteous. Thank you to Madeleine.

Anonymous

I chose Williamsons to act as my conveyancers and I have been super impressed with their professionalism and ethics to act on behalf of their client. My process was a long one, due to no fault on Williamsons part, but they never dropped the ball and continued to chase the other party until we got the answers we needed. I would choose them again in a heart beat and recommend their services.

Mr T W

Fantastic service from Williamsons Solicitors especially Rachael Scott who handled everything brilliantly from start to finish. Thank you

Mr Beevers

Happy with the work done on my behalf

Mrs T D

Hello, I had a lovely experience at Williamsons. Alison and Katie made everything really easy for me and were really helpful 2really nice people.

Anonymous

Brilliant service from Williamsons. Very efficient and quick responses to any questions or queries I had. Would highly recommend.

Anonymous

Excellent 5* service. We tragically lost our daughter and we found Williamsons Solicitors who guided us through all the claim process. They are extremely knowledgeable and professional with a personal style that made the journey more manageable. There communication is always prompt. Thoroughly recommend Wayne Walker.

A G

I can well recommend, I have received professional and honest service which lead to positive closure of the case. Always responded with care and fully involvement which gave me more confidence to continue. All advices during the progressing of the case was competent and mirrored current situation.