Probate, Wills & Trusts / Pricing

Looking after members of your family and making sure that your wishes are met is essential. Our will writing service provides you with peace of mind, knowing that your wishes will be properly executed to maximise the assets available to those you wish to benefit.

We deal with the administration of the estates of deceased persons and provide a caring and supportive service at what can be a difficult and distressing time.

We also deal with the preparation and administration of trusts, powers of attorney and applications to the Court of Protection to ensure a comprehensive service covering all private and personal matters.

Andrew Blair

Andrew was born and raised in the Teesside area and graduated in law at Leicester University before completing the Certificate of Legal Practice at The College of Law, Chester. He joined Smith & Graham and qualified as a solicitor in 1999 and is now a Partner at the firm.

Andrew specialises in the administration of Estates and Trusts, Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and applications to the Court of Protection. 

 

Pricing

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

Our charges are based on an hourly rate of £170.00, plus 0.5% of the value of any real property and 1% of the personal estate and charges are subject to VAT. We anticipate this will take between 6 and 35 hours work at £170 per hour. Costs will typically fall between £2,000-£3,000 and the percentage elements referred to above 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, multiple bank accounts, shareholdings, bonds, life policies and less usual items of personal possessions which require specialist advice costs may be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you. This estimate is for estates where:

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

Disbursements not included in this fee:

  • Probate application fee of £155.00
  • £7.00 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £50-100 Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • £50-100 Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. If appointed as executors we will handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf and in all other instances will reimburse any disbursements paid as soon as funds are available following the realisation of the assets of the estate.

 

Potential additional costs

  • 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 £0.50 (1 per asset usually).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
  • Dealing with tax affairs up to the date of death, although this is something with which we are happy to assist.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-12 months, although this can largely depend on how long it may take for any property to sell if marketed for sale. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 3-6 weeks.  It is advisable not to distribute an estate until at least 6 months after the date on which Probate is granted, this being the time limit to bring certain types of claim against an estate. It is usually also sensible not to distribute an estate until the expiry of any Trustee Act Notice to be completely satisfied that there are no unknown creditors to which we need to have regard.

Grant of Probate Only

If you choose to deal with the administration of an estate yourself but need some assistance in applying for  grant of Probate we can help you through this difficult process by making the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf for a fixed fee of £425 plus VAT and this will generally take 4-6 weeks. Whilst his would enable you to deal with the administration of the estate yourself if you wish, although we are happy to assist with other matters associated with the administration of an estate and can prepare a bespoke quote for any additional work you would like us to carry out

Disbursements:

  • Probate court fee of £155-160.
  • £7.00 Swearing of the oath (per executor).

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees.

As part of our fixed fee 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 copies to you

 

 

Established 1886

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