We can act for you without a meeting and you can instruct us wherever you are. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org “I would like to discuss a new case without a meeting”, provide your contact number and we will contact you. Alternatively you can call any of our offices and ask to speak to our solicitors.
Please contact our Director Matthew Winder or Justine Church a solicitor for a caring and professional approach at this difficult time. They can offer you guidance on the process which is commonly known as Probate.
If you have lost a loved one then we appreciate this is a difficult enough time emotionally without also having the burden of unravelling their financial affairs.
We have the expertise at Clarkson Hirst to assist you in obtaining Probate or letters of administration. If unfortunately there is a family dispute concerning the Estate of the deceased, then we have specialists who can support and guide you through the process.
Compassion and understanding is a hallmark of our Probate and Administration service.
After a death the role of dealing with all the necessary legal and financial formalities normally falls to whomever has been named as an Executor in the deceased’s Will. If the deceased did not make a Will the role of dealing with the necessary legal and financial paperwork is determined in accordance with certain inheritance rules and it is usually the spouse or child(ren) of the deceased. The individual who is then required to deal with the deceased’s estate becomes known as an administrator or executor.
Who will deal with the case?
Your case will be dealt with by a qualified solicitor. Our experienced administration team will support the work undertaken by our solicitors. Information about the experience and qualifications of our solicitors can be found here. – Our probate and administration team.
How much does it cost?
We charge an hourly rate of £220 per hour. VAT is applied to the charges at 20%. The legal fees range from £2,200 plus VAT of £440 for straightforward estates to £15,000 plus VAT of £3,000 for more complex estates.
A simple and straightforward estate would be where the deceased has two bank accounts but due to the amount in the bank accounts probate is required.
A more complex estate would be a deceased who has died leaving a number of different properties including their residence, Buy to Let properties and they have stocks and shares and other investments. More complex cases can include where beneficiaries need to be traced.
Please note the price above does not include the price of conveyancing fees connected to the sale of any property within the estate. These will be charged separately in accordance with our published conveyancing prices, please see our section on residential conveyancing fees. Incidental disbursements in a probate case will include the payment of a fee to the court, known as a probate fee. You will also need to pay for a valuation fee of any assets that need to be valued as part of the administration.
In larger estates it may be necessary to make an inheritance tax return as part of the probate process. For completing that return we charge by the hour, the fees will be charged to you within the probate fees as referred to above. We may need to report income on the estate and pay income tax on that income and again we will charge for this on the hourly rate stated above.
Factors that will affect the cost
The exact cost in probate cases will depend upon 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. If there is an inheritance tax due to be paid on the estate, then that will increase the costs. We will handle the full process for you.
The estimate of costs in estates can increase, for example, if there is a dispute between the beneficiaries on the division of the assets. It would also increase if there is a claim against the estate.
Disbursements are not included in our fees and are charged in addition.
Disbursements are payments to third parties payable in addition to our charges and these are as follows :-
- Probate application fee £273.
- Bankruptcy Searches £2.00 per beneficiary
- £360 to place an advertisement in the London Gazette and a local newspaper that protects against unexpected claim from unknown creditors.
Potential additional costs
If there is no Will or the estate consists of any shareholding, stocks and bonds, there is likely to be additional costs that could raise significantly depending upon 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.
How long this will take
On average, estates that fall within the lower range of our prices are concluded within 12 months. More complex cases take between 12 months and 24 months.
Inheritance tax is a tax on the estate (the property, money and possessions) of someone who has died. There is normally no inheritance tax to pay if either :-
- The value of your estate is below £325,000.
- You leave everything above £325,000 to your spouse, civil partner, a charity or a community amateur sports club.
- If the deceased gave their home to their children, the inheritance tax threshold can increase to £500,000.
Inheritance Tax Rates
The standard inheritance tax rate is 40%. It is only charged on the part of the estate that is above threshold.
Example:- Your estate is worth is £500,000 and your tax free threshold is £325,000. The inheritance tax charge will be 40% of £175,000.
There are some reliefs and exemptions from inheritance tax, and we can give you specialist advice on this. The Government have published an inheritance tax calculator which can be found here:- Inheritance Tax Calculator.
Other taxes that could be payable
If the estate increases in value during the administration, for example, the deceased had shares which have increased in value, then capital gains tax could be payable on the asset increase. If the estate received income during the administration period, tax would be due on the administration. We can assist in most cases in undertaking the tax return within the prices stated above.
A tailored price
We can provide a price tailored to your specific case at the beginning of the case. We offer a free half hour consultation to assess your case and we will then be able to give you a tailored price following this assessment.