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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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Anonymous

Absolutely first class service from start to finish. Open, transparent with costs and all work carried out in a fast timely manner. Highly recommend the use of Williamson’s conveyance services.

Miss S

Very good company. I will always use Williamson's for any legal matter. Efficient,friendly and helpful.

Anonymous

Would just like to mention your Bridlington branch is so highly recommended. We have had the most efficient & fast legal work done by one of your brilliant Solicitors called Lauren. Can I add no stress what's so ever. Thankyou Williamsons Solicitors & thankyou Lauren.

Anonymous

Have used this firm for both buying and selling properties and would use them again. They've always been fair and reasonable in what they charged and done their best to keep me informed on developments in above transactions.

Philip P

Williamson's Solicitors provide first class advice, efficiency and are very obliging. We would highly recommend their services.

Mr and Mrs Emmerson

After a long haul with our house sale, we where pleased with the professionalism shown at all times, with friendly approachable staff at Bridlington.

Mr & M

Excellent professional service throughout, couldn't fault anything. We found them to be very thorough and looked out for our best interests at all times! We are intending to purchase another rental property and will definitely be using Williamsons in Beverley. Thank-you again Amanda for all your help and expertise!

Mrs Gamble

I was very pleased with the service i received from williamsons solicitors every person i dealt with were friendly understanding and very professional and especially mr tim slow who helped me with everything i would highly recommend williamsons solicitors

Mr & M

Very good from Carey Robinson, but haven't received the mortgage money in our account that was promised today. Please advise Cheers Rose Horspool

Peter S

Courteous, polite, prompt and efficient service. Very pleased I hired you.

Mr Lancaster

After using your company for the 1st time i found Gordon Sewell and his secretary very helpful and understanding and his advice was excellent. I will definitely recommend this company to my friends and family and i will certainly use this company again if needed . Many Thanks Gordon for a first class service Regards Richard Lancaster

Peter I

Nice people, easy to talk to and got straight to the problems I had with a few issues with my employer. Very happy with the service I received.

Mr & M

We have used Williamsons Solicitors for buying 2 houses and selling one excellent quick and efficient service. We have just used Williiamsons again to make our wills with Rebecca Bisby who again maintained the high standards we have come to recognise from Williamsons. We would highly recommend them quick efficient and very professional. We not only visited Williamsons in persons but but emailed and by telephone all of which quickly answered.

Mrs Stacey

gordon sewell was emphatic.made me feel at ease and was very approachable through a tough time.,along with maisie who was so helpful too..thankyou

Megan C

Brilliant solicitors highly recommend

Mr Smith a

Carey has been really good throughout the process. Always responds quickly on emails and is always on the end of the phone if I needed her. I would highly recommend this firm and Carey.

Mrs Kathleen A

Excellent relationship management, clear and concise advice including option analysis. Very happy with all aspects of the service provided and the outcomes achieved. Friendly professional service.

Mr & M

Carey Robinson acted as our Solicitor on a recent commercial purchase and she was brilliant. Carey was super efficient and we were kept up to date on every aspect of the purchase. From start to finish our "Property Auction" purchase only took 7 working days to complete. We will definitely be using Carey again and can highly recommend her 5 star service.

Anonymous

Friendly, fast and efficient. Sale of property went very well.

Anonymous

I have nothing but praise for Gordon Sewell at the Hull office. He conducted my unusual and difficult civil case with great care and understanding. Gordon also injected the right amount of sympathy for my plight without being unprofessional. I would recommend him to anyone needing a clued up civil litigation lawyer.

Richard K

very helpful and efficient. thanks to all