The probate process
When somebody dies, their Assets must be collected in, any Liabilities paid and the Estate then distributed amongst the Beneficiaries. This is called administering the Estate.
This is a job for the Personal Representatives (PRs). The PRs may be set out in the deceased’s Will (if there is one) or, if there is no Will, depend on who is entitled to inherit under the Intestacy rules.
The PRs must write to all Asset holders to get valuations of the deceased’s Assets on the date they died. For bank accounts, this will be a statement. For property, they will need three professional valuations. For specific assets, like collections and shares, there are special valuation rules.
The PRs must also ascertain the extent of any Liabilities of the deceased.
Once the value of the Estate is known, the PRs must decide which IHT Forms and Probate Forms need to be completed to obtain the Grant of Representation.
Once the Grant of Representation has been obtained (but before the PRs can pay out anything to the Beneficiaries), the PRs must pay any Inheritance Tax (IHT) but also consider if there is any Capital Gains Tax or Income Tax to pay on the increase in value or income received since the date of death. Any tax due and Administration Costs incurred can then be deducted from the Estate before it is distributed amongst the Beneficiaries.
When a loved one dies you are left with an extensive range of responsibilities and legal obligations during an extremely emotional time, this can be overwhelming and add additional pressure. Attwells Solicitors are your local probate experts, we can support you with all the legal aspects you face.
To ease your concerns regarding the legal costs Attwells Solicitors offer fixed fee probate packages and best estimates. Below is a pricing flowchart, please answer the questions following the red and green lines. This short flowchart will highlight the right probate price for you.
Fees will be payable on producing the documents for you to sign. If you decide to withdraw instructions part way through the work we are undertaking for you, a proportionate part of the fee will be payable. This will be limited to the amount of the deposit that we will ask for upfront.
What is included in the fixed Grant only price:
- Liaising with you as to the information required to complete the Form
- Completing form IHT205
- Preparing the oath needed to swear as an executor
- Applying for the grant of probate
- Providing you with the Grant to enable you to administer the Estate
What is excluded in the fixed Grant only price:
- IHT400 if a more complex Estate
- Foreign assets or domiciled persons
- Claims against the Estate
- Disputes over the Will
- Intestate Estates (where there is no Will)
- Capacity issues
- Variations to the Will if required
- Administering the Estate
- Tax advice
- Legal advice outside of the service requested
£3 for any property title if the Estate includes property
£155 for the probate fee
50p for each copy of the Grant (subject to a minimum of £1)
We will ask you to obtain valuations for the assets of the estate. If professional valuations are needed, the professionals may make a charge for providing you with a probate valuation.
Disbursements are payable before we incur the cost.
How long will it take?
Once we have all of the information required, we will prepare the application documents for your signature within 7 days. Once they have been signed and returned, we will make the application to the Probate Registry and usually a Grant is received within two weeks.
The entire process depends on the extent of the Estate and how quickly the assets and liabilities can be ascertained. For straightforward Estates, we would expect around 6-8 weeks from instruction to Grant.
For more complex Estates it is more likely to be from 2-6 months.
If we are administering the Estate as part of the instructions we have received, the timeframe depends on how long it takes to collect in the assets and usually depends on whether a property needs to be sold or what other assets there are. This process can take anywhere between one week and around 6 months.
What should I expect?
- A questionnaire will be sent via email or in the post
- On instructing us, you be asked to pay half of the fees upfront
- We will guide you to the information we need
- Once all information has been received, we will draft the forms needed to apply for probate and send to you to sign. Our invoice will be submitted at this stage
- Once signed and the invoice paid, we will make the probate application and deliver the grant to you on receipt
- If we are administering the Estate for you, we will collect in all assets and close down the various accounts, pay IHT (if any) and distribute to the beneficiaries.
How to instruct Attwells Solicitors?
Instructing us is simple. You can either click on the instruct button below to register your interest or you can call your local office. We have offices in Ipswich, Colchester and London. When instructing us please inform us of the office you would like to use.