Wills & Probate Services

For more information about the Wills and Probate services we offer, please scroll down to see detailed information of how we work and click the relevant option for our fees and estimated costs.

A Grant of Probate

A Grant of Probate (where there is a Will) or Letters of Administration (where there is no Will) is the authority required by the Executors to enable administration of the estate of the deceased.

Administration included selling property, closing building society and bank accounts, selling or transferring shares, paying off any debts and then distributing what is left in accordance with the Will or in accordance with the Law where there is no Will.

We can help you through this difficult process and offer different types of services which you may require:

So what will we do

We will provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate Solicitor to work on your case in either David Hall or Annamaria Stanford who have collective experience of some 40 years in Wills and Probate services.

David Hall

David is a Partner in the firm and Head of the Wills and Probate Department. David qualified as a Solicitor in 1983 and now specialises in Wills and Probate.  

Annamaria Stanford

Annamaria is Solicitor and Partner having qualified in 1997.

Both are supported by secretary Mandy Garratt.

 

 Get in Touch

For more information or to arrange an appointment, please feel free to email Annamaria Stanford. Or phone David Hall at our Nuneaton office on: 02476 641222.

Alternatively, simply use our Contact Form.

We offer different levels of service to suit you:

Option 1

We can secure the Grant only to enable you as the Executors to administer the estate. We offer a fixed fee service for a basic estate and hourly rate for a more complex estate. In either case the Executors will need to secure all of the financial information that is required to enable us to draft up the documentation to secure the Grant.

Option 2

We can secure all of the information that is required to then secure the Grant. In this event whether a basic or complex case our costs would be based on the Solicitors hourly charging rate.

In either Options 1 or 2 we offer our Standard level of service.

Option 3

Once we have obtained the Grant you may then decide that you would like us to actually administer the estate. You can combine this service with either Option 1 or 2. Our costs in administering an estate would be based on the Solicitors charging rate.

Securing the Grant

Standard level of Service

Whether you instruct this firm to secure Probate only or if you would like us to deal with that process from start to finish so to gather in all of the financial information as is required to secure Probate and then administer the estate either way this will involve and require the assistance of the Solicitor and support secretary from the outset:

We will

  • Discuss the position with you and advise on what needs to be done or is required at the outset such as securing the death certificate, securing any Identifications, preparing any necessary authorities, securing or advising on what financial information will be required to secure the Grant and arranging appointments as is necessary.
  • Advise as regard the content of the Will. If appropriate, advise on the appointment of Administrators, what the role of an Executor entails and provide you with guidance.
  • Accurately identify the type of application required dependant on the value of the estate. 
  • Confirm what financial information and documentation you will need to secure.
  • Advise the Executors on the process required in their case to secure the Grant 
  • We will advise you on the costs involved.
  • Advise you as regard any Inheritance Tax implications.
  • Complete the relevant HMRC forms.
  • Complete any other documentation such as Renunciations. 
  • Draft the Statement of Truth
  • Submit the application to the Court on your behalf and deal with any queries raised by the Court to secure the Grant.
  • Administer the estate if instructed.

Administering the Estate

This can help alleviate and minimise your distress at an already difficult time.

We will:

  • Communicate with all asset holders and secure the assets of the estate
  • Liaise with Estate Agents on the sale of any property
  • Sell or transfer shares, investments and other assets
  • Pay debts and liabilities
  • Identify beneficiaries and communicate accordingly
  • Prepare Estate Accounts to be approved by the Executors and Beneficiaries
  • Distribute the estate in accordance with the Will or the Law if there is no Will.

How to minimise the cost

In many cases the Executors can assist in minimising costs considerably by assisting with securing information, clearing property of personal items, securing electricity and gas readings, liaising with Estate Agents, obtaining information we require, insure the property. This can reduce costs substantially.

This can be of great benefit to the family and may save considerable costs and time.

Be Aware

Potential for costs to increase

There are many variables that can change cost estimates and fixed price quotes which we have provided so in both basic and complex estates such as:

  • No Will 
  • The size and the complexity of the estate and the extent of the work entailed
  • Is the matter contested
  • Are there any disputes between the Executors and the Beneficiaries
  • How many Beneficiaries are there and do we know where they all are or do we need to trace any of them
  • How many investments, shares bonds are there that need to be closed and the timing for the closure of those investments
  • How many bank or building society accounts need to be closed
  • Are there any Trusts that need to be set up
  • Sale of property and how many properties are there issues with the property itself
  • Foreign or overseas assets
  • Business assets

Cost Increase

You will be advised in respect of any increase in the cost estimates that we have provided in the event that they change or need to be reconsidered.

This may happen and can sometimes occur as a result of an unexpected asset that comes to light.

Pricing

Application for the Grant Only

Click the blocks below to expand them and see further detailed information.

OPTION 1 - BASIC ESTATE

Generally a simple estate is one that is undisputed or uncontested and no inheritance tax is payable, ie a non taxable estate.

Usually there is a Will (testate) or no Will (intestate) and the application requires the completion of a basic Inheritance Tax return form which is called an IHT 205 The IHT form sets out the financial position of the deceased at the date of death.

It may also be necessary to complete a further form called an IHT217 but you will be advised if this is applicable.

This fixed fee does not cover the circumstances where an IHT400 needs to be completed.

We offer a Fixed Fee pricing for this particular service.

TotalEstimated - £765.00
Our Legal fees for completion of the Statement of Truth and IHT205£500 plus vat (currently 20%) of £100 total £600
DisbursementsCourt fee - £155 (plus 1.50p per additional copy)
Special delivery postage - £7.50 est

Where there is a Property:
Office Copy Entries - £3.00

Potential for costs to increase

If you require our assistance in securing any financial information, or if there is anything else that we need to do to process the application for the Grant then we will advise you at your initial appointment or as soon as we are able, regarding any further costs and whether those costs will be at a fixed fee or at the Solicitors hourly rate.

What is not included in the Fixed Fee price

Power reservedOur Legal fees are £50 plus vat of £10 per document
RenunciationOur Legal fees are £50 plus vat of £10 per document
IHT 217
Our Legal fees are £100 plus vat of £20
Other necessary applications that are not standard procedure but may be required to secure Probate eg. Application to prove a copy WillWe can provide a bespoke quote if this is required

What will we do

We will provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate Solicitor to work on your matter. Following the initial meeting the Solicitor will advise you on the process and procedure once all of the financial information has been provided to enable us to proceed as set out in our Standard level of Service.

How long will this normally take?

On average this process involves 2-4 hours of time related work, includes the initial appointment, preparation of letters and preparing the IHT accounts and Statement, arranging for these to approved by the Executors at a further appointment, applying for the Grant then contacting you once the Grant has been secured.

Once we receive all of the financial information as is required, we will then draft and finalise the papers for your approval. This is normally dealt with within 1-2 weeks of having received this information.

Once the papers have been approved we will then send the application off to the Court. It can take 6 -10 weeks for the Court to then process the application.

OPTION 2 - COMPLEX ESTATE

An estate which we deem to be more complex than a basic estate is where there is a requirement to complete a different type of Inheritance Tax return form called an IHT400.

This needs to be completed in estates where perhaps Inheritance tax is payable or where it is not appropriate to complete an IHT205.
We will advise you if this is appropriate at your initial appointment as offered in our Standard level of Service.

How much does this service cost and what is covered?

We do not provide a fixed fee service in this type of case. The exact cost will be dependant on the individual circumstances of the case, the size and value of the estate, and the work involved in completing the IHT400 and any supporting schedules by way of example.

These documents take time to prepare and the work and time spent is calculated using the Solicitors hourly rates.

DAVID HALLHead of Probate Department8 Years Plus Experience£220.00 per hour plus VAT
ANNAMARIA STANFORD
Solicitor8 Years Plus Experience£200.00 per hour plus VAT
OTHER SUPPORT PARALEGAL £115.00 per hour plus VAT

So it is difficult to provide a cost estimate without knowing the full extent of the estate.

What will we do

We will provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate Solicitor to work on your matter.

We will provide you with advice and assistance as set o out in our Standard level of Service and in addition complete the IHT400 and supporting Schedules, liaise with the Inland Revenue and pay Inheritance Tax if required.

We will be able to provide you with a costs estimate once we have all of the information as is required to proceed.

Example cost estimate

EXAMPLE 1
  • There is a valid Will.
  • No more than 2 Executors and there are no disputes between the Executors.
  • There are no disputes between the Beneficiaries (no more than 2 Beneficiaries)
  • Al financial information as is required to complete the IHT accounts and Schedules secured by the Executors
  • Completion of IHT400 and 1-2 Schedules.
  • Preparation Statement of Truth
  • No Inheritance Tax is payable
  • Securing the Grant
  • No distribution of the estate.

As a rough guide estimate, our charges for complex estate involving completion of an IHT 400 start at £1200-1500 plus vat and disbursements.

This would involve 4-6 hours work.


EXAMPLE 2
  • There is a valid Will.
  • No more than 2 Executors and there are no disputes between the Executors.
  • There are no disputes between the Beneficiaries (no more than 4 Beneficiaries).
  • All information as is required to complete the documentation is provided by the Executors
  • Completion of IHT400 and 1-4 schedule, no more than 1 property and no more than 2 bank or building society accounts)
  • No other intangible assets.
  • Preparing the Statement of Truth
  • No Inheritance Tax is Payable
  • Securing the Grant
  • No distribution of the Estate.

We anticipate this would take between 6 and 8 hours work at £200 per hour

Total costs estimated at £1600 to £2000 plus vat.

Not Included in estimates

If required:

Probate Disbursements (and any costs as agreed in respect of further applications that are necessary)Court fee - £155 plus
£1.50p per additional Grant copy
Postage ChargesVaries (estimated at £15.00
Inheritance TaxWe will pay the amount as provided by you.

We would advise that you consider the online HMRC tax calculator that will provide a good estimate of the tax payable, that is if required.
Advertisements in the London Gazette (to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors)£190.00
Advertisements in Local Paper (protect against claims)£50.00 to £100.00 estimated
Land Registry Costs - Office Copy Entries£3.00 per property
Bankruptcy Searches£2.00 per beneficiary
Property/Other Valuations£100.00 to £250.00 estimated
Any Costs to Third PartiesOther Solicitors, Oaths

If there is any other process required to secure the Grant then we will advise you regarding those costs and whether those costs can be fixed or will be at the Solicitors hourly rate.

How long will this normally take?

Estimated 3-4 months

There are many reasons and factors that dictate the time scales for securing the Grant and this can depend on how long it takes to receive all of the financial information that is required to complete the papers.

We can also be at the hands of third parties so it can be difficult to provide a more accurate time estimate until the full extent of the estate is known.

We may need to lodge an advert in the Gazette by way of example.

There may be Inheritance Tax to pay which adds further time.

Once we are in a position to send the application to the Court for processing then the Court can take a further 8-10 weeks for the Court to process the application.

OPTION 3 - ADMINISTRATION OF THE ESTATE

We can administer the estate on behalf of the Executors once we have secured the Grant for either a basic estate or complex estate, this is a complete service.

The cost to administer an estate again will depend upon various factors such as whether the estate is basic or complex as the fee could be fixed up to the one stage or on an hourly rate if complex.

It will then depend on what needs to be done to administer the estate, the complexity of the Will etc:

  • Does property need to be sold, if so how many properties.
  • Are there investments or bonds, shares.
  • Do Beneficiaries need to be traced.
  • How many Beneficiaries are there and are their whereabouts known or do they have to be traced.
  • Are there potential disputes on administration.

What will we do

Having secured the Grant we will then:

  • Inform the Executors and advise on the process.
  • Contact all of the asset holders to secure withdrawal and closure forms, then close accounts.
  • Sell property.
  • Contact/locate Beneficiaries, carry out bankruptcy searches and secure ID.
  • Pay off any debts of the estate once in receipt of funds.
  • Prepare estate or interim Estate Accounts.
  • Seek approval to the Estate Accounts by Executors and Beneficiaries.

The cost will be dependant on the individual circumstances of the case, and the size of the estate and the work entailed.

The Costs incurred will be dependent on the work and time spent on the file and this will be calculated using the Solicitors hourly charging rates.

DAVID HALLHead of Probate Department8 Years Plus Experience£220.00 per hour plus VAT
ANNAMARIA STANFORD
Solicitor8 Years Plus Experience£200.00 per hour plus VAT
OTHER SUPPORT PARALEGAL £115.00 per hour plus VAT

Cost estimate

EXAMPLE 1
  • One property
  • 3-5 bank and building society accounts to close and or other investments
  • 1-3 debts to discharge
  • There are no disputes between the Beneficiaries on the division of assets and no potential claims to be made against the estate. 
  • 3-5 Beneficiaries (known whereabouts)
  • Draft estate account as approved.  
  • Distribution of the estate.

As a rough guide estimate, our charges for administering the estate as detailed involving 4-8 hours work at £1000-2000 plus vat and disbursements.

Not Included in estimates

Our Legal fees in selling property, land businesses etc.A separate quote will be provided by our conveyancing dept.
DisbursementsAny costs dealing with sale of assets, to include shares, lost policy fees, indemnities.
TaxAny Tax payments or added interest.

How long will this normally take?

In straightforward cases normally a simple family Will with few Beneficiaries and simple assets such as a property and a few bank accounts then we would refer to the times estimates provided in securing Probate and them maybe 2-3 months to then gather in the assets to administer the estate. In more complex cases the process can take several months.

If property has to be sold then this can extend that time estimate.

Administration would not take place until after 6 months of the Grant.

 Get in Touch

For more information or to arrange an appointment, please feel free to email Annamaria Stanford. Or phone David Hall at our Nuneaton office on: 02476 641222.

Alternatively, simply use our Contact Form.