Our Probate Service

We can advise on all aspects of Probate.  All the work is done personally by Susan Malthouse a Solicitor who has been in practice for many years and is very experienced.

These include

  • Advising on the terms of the Will / nature of the estate and consideration of the precise steps required as applicable to the individual estate.
  • Verifying the identities of the Executors, the Beneficiaries; identifying the assets comprised in the estates and the value of such assets at the date of death in accordance with HMRC’s requirements together with determining the extent of liabilities of the estate, testamentary and funeral costs.
  • Assisting the Executor with compliance with regulatory and legislative obligations placed upon the Executor.
  • Corresponding with HM Revenues and Customs regarding the income tax liability of the Deceased to the date of Death.
  • Drafting the appropriate Inheritance Tax Returns including claiming any appropriate exemptions and advising on and arranging the payment.
  • Preparing and making the application for probate.
  • Collecting in the assets of the estate and discharging the liabilities.
  • Finalising the Inheritance Tax Liability.
  • Registering the Estate with HMRC for Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax if it qualifies as a complex estate.
  • Completing the Estate Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax returns as necessary
  • Preparation of Estate Accounts.
  • Distributing the assets in accordance with the terms of the Will (or if applicable in accordance with the laws of intestacy).

Our fees

All estates are different, so it is difficult to give an accurate estimate of our costs involved and the timescale without an initial face to face or telephone meeting to obtain detailed information from you. There are a number of factors which affect both the cost and the timescale- these are the most typical.

  • Whether or not inheritance tax is payable.
  • The nature and number of assets comprised in the estate.
  • The number of beneficiaries.
  • Whether beneficiaries are easy to trace.  
  • If there are one or more properties in the estate and the time it takes to sell them.
  • Whether there are shareholdings held in certificate form.
  • Whether there are charitable beneficiaries.
  • Whether a Deed of Variation is required.
  • Whether there are disputes.

In addition to our professional fees which are subject to VAT at 20% there are disbursements payable as follows

  • Court fees for obtaining a Grant of Probate – £155 (additional copies of the Grant are £0.50p per copy).
  • Obtaining a view of the registered title of land – £3 per title obtained.
  • Bankruptcy searches on Executors and on beneficiaries – £2 per name searched and per search.
  • Where an Oath is required to be sworn the swear fee is £5 per individual and an additional £2 per document being exhibited.
  • Where Statutory Notices to protect Executors from unknown liabilities are appropriate the average costs for placement in the London Gazette and the local newspaper are typically in the region of between £165-£200.

After our initial discussion we would offer an estimate  for the work we expect to be necessary so that you don’t have to be concerned about an hourly rate

We find that our estimates for average estates are around 2% of the value of the estate but for larger estates they are less.  

It is difficult to estimate timescales especially at the moment when the new Government Probate Service has a considerable delay because it is a new system which has suffered teething problems with the addition of the Covid delays which are affecting most organisations.  

In normal times we would suggest a period of 6 months to the Grant being issued, possibly a lot less for smaller estates and a bit longer for larger ones especially if Inheritance Tax is payable.  The collection of assets and payment of liabilities depends on the nature of the assets and whether for example it involves selling a property or shares.  Typically, it might take up to six months so we would hope the whole process would be completed within a year.