Probate Services – Information for clients


Introduction

As part of our professional rules, we aim to ensure that anyone wishing to use our services has the information they need to make an informed choice of legal services provider, including understanding what the costs may be. We hope the following information provides our clients with an indication of the likely costs involved and the reassurance that, at Cygnet Law, we have the experience and expertise to deliver the excellent service our clients expect.

 

Why instruct Cygnet Law?

At Cygnet Law we offer a friendly and efficient service in helping you to plan for the future. That may include advice about preparing a Will, creating a Lasting Power of Attorney, estate planning or the creation of Trusts. We are also able to assist with estate administration after a loved one has died. We understand that this is a very difficult time and our aim is to make the administration of an estate as easy for our clients as possible. We are regularly instructed by executors to administer and distribute estates or the firm itself is appointed as the executor.

Occasionally clients feel comfortable distributing the estate themselves and seek our assistance in obtaining the Grant of Probate only. We can also help in situations when someone dies without a Will or where a Will has not been located. The administration of an estate in these circumstances is often more complicated but it is our aim to make this as straightforward for you as possible.

Likewise, we are also highly experienced in dealing with Inheritance Act claims and in circumstances where the validity of a loved one’s Will is in dispute. We offer a committed service and strive to provide grounded and robust advice to ensure that you do not enter into any unnecessary proceedings.

To assist our clients, we have set out below an indication of the likely costs involved in Probate matters along with an indication of the timescales.

 

Estate Administration: Applying for grant, collecting and distributing the assets

What this service includes

We will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application and liaise with all relevant organisations
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
  • Deal with closure of accounts, collect in estate funds and pay any liabilities
  • Prepare a final estate account and distribute legacies to beneficiaries

 

Anticipated charges and expenses

We anticipate this will take between 8 and 20 hours work at £174.00 per hour. Total costs estimated at between £1392.00 – £3480.00 plus VAT.

The exact 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. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you. This above applies for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 1-9 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

 

Disbursements1 in addition to this fee include:

  • Probate application fee of £271.00
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)

 

1 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.

 

Potential Additional Costs

Please note:

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is 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.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 (1 per asset usually).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

 

How long will it take? 

It is difficult to estimate with any precision how long a Probate matter will take as it will be influenced by many factors, some of which are outside of our control. However, on average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-9 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 8-12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 3-6 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 3-5 weeks.

 

Probate (application for Grant Only)

What this service includes

We will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you

 

Anticipated charges and expenses

Our fees for dealing with purchases range from £425.00 plus VAT up to £2,250.00 plus VAT depending upon the purchase price.

We will handle the full process for you.

 

Disbursements1 in addition to this fee include:

  • Probate court fee of £271.00.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 (1 per asset usually).

 

1 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.

 

Potential Additional Costs

There will be additional costs if it is necessary to prepare a full IHT account and we can provide a more accurate quote upon receipt of further information.

 

How long will it take? 

It is difficult to estimate with any precision how long such a matter will take but, on average, such applications are dealt with and finalised within 3-5 weeks. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 3-4 weeks.

 

Our Probate Team

Gemma Brooke

Director, Associate Solicitor and Head of Probate Department

Gemma qualified as a solicitor in 2009 after studying at Teesside University and The College of Law in York.  Gemma is head of the private client department and specialises in Wills and Probate matters.

Other team members

Gemma is supported by a team of paralegals and secretarial staff within this department.