Thank you for looking at our probate services.
At LCF Law we aim to make the complexities of dealing with the legal side simple. We are aware a person’s death can often be overwhelming and confusing but our compassionate and highly experienced legal team can take the burden from you enabling you to get on with the important things.
Where a Will is in existence the Executors will need to apply for the grant of probate which will give them the legal right to administer the estate. Where there is no Will in existence, the Will is invalid, or it does not specify Executor, an Administrator will need to be appointed. We can help with the Probate or Administration.
We offer fixed fees so there are no surprises.
Everyone in our team works full time in our personal law department and do not practice in any other areas of law, additionally any work we undertake for you is supervised by our personal law department partners.
Our expert team have years of experience, so have almost certainly dealt with similar situations to the one you are facing many times. We will explore all the options available to you, helping you determine a course of action that fits your circumstances and personal priorities.
We have an experienced team who can assist you with every aspect of the Probate process, reducing the administrative burden and advising sensitively on key decisions which need to be made when managing an estate. We are aware that administering an estate comes at a time of grief and high emotion, and that most people do not know the processes and legal requirements involved.
We will give you a clear time frame of how long probate should take and will keep you and any beneficiaries advised throughout.
You will have the confidence that you are our priority, with our aim being that any member of the team is available to speak with you when you need some clarity and certainty at any stage in the process. We feel this provides reassurance and gives you an outlet for any concerns that you may have. Fees are generally paid out of the estate so there may not be a need for you to fund the administration.
We are proud to hold Lexcel Accreditations, issued by the Law Society. This involves the firm undergoing a rigorous audit process which ensures we maintain high levels of client care.
Several members of the team hold specialist qualification with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (“STEP”) and Solicitors for the Elderly (“SFE”).
The fees involved in a probate matter can vary and this will depend on the individual circumstances of every estate.
We offer both fixed fees and an hourly rate charging rate. On an hourly rate you will be charged for each hour of work undertaken.
We are able to offer a fixed fee to enable you to obtain a Grant of Probate (or if there is no Will a Grant of Letters of Administration). This is known as our “Grant Only” option. This enables the Executors or Administrators to deal with the administration after we have obtained the Grant of Probate.
Our fixed fee is £1000 plus VAT, i.e. £1200
In addition there will be:-
- Probate Court fees of £155
- Copy Probate fees of £1.50 per copy
- There is a valid Will and it is not disputed
- If there is no Will then all those entitled to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration are in agreement
- Those entitled to apply for a Grant all have Mental Capacity
- No claims are made against the estate
- All information required to make the application is provided without delay when requested.
- You will provide us with the Probate Grant Application fee when requested.
- No Inheritance Tax is payable
- The simplified Return of Estate Information Form can be used
What we will do :
As part of our fixed fee we will:
- Provide you with a dedicated probate lawyer and support staff to work on your matter
- Identify the Executors or Administrators
- Complete the relevant Probate Application and HMRC forms
- Make the application
- Obtain Probate and send you an agreed number of copies.
- That those entitled to apply for a Grant will promptly attend to the signing of documentation
How long will it take?
On average 6 to 8 months to obtain the Grant once you have provided all the financial information and other information required.
At LCF we offer fixed fees for Probate Administration cases. We review the estate including the number of assets and beneficiaries. We agree the work to be done with the Executors of the Will or (if there is no Will) the Administrators and provide a fixed cost for that work.
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property the costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries a property and multiple bank accounts the costs will be at the lighter end.
The price range for this work assumes:
- There is a valid Will and there is full agreement between the Executors
- If there is no Will there is full agreement between all those entitled to deal with the estate
- There is only one freehold property and no mortgage
- That the Executors or administrators provide all the details to prepare the Application and and Return of Estate Information Form.
- There are no more than 10 bank or building society accounts and no other assets on a prompt basis
- There are no more than 4 beneficiaries
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the distribution of the estate. Disputes will increase the costs.
- There is no Inheritance Tax payable.
- There are no claims against the estate
- That all the Executors or Administrators and beneficiaries have capacity to act under the Mental Capacity Act.
- There are no Trusts
- There are no missing Beneficiaries
- There is no requirement to complete a full Inheritance Tax Account
Potential Additional costs:
- If the estate consists of other assets, e.g. stocks and shares or overseas assets there are likely to be additional costs.
- We can give a more accurate estimate when we have more details.
- The costs of dealing with a property are not included
We anticipate our fees will be in the range of £2,300 plus VAT, i.e. a total of £2,760 and £4,000 plus VAT, i.e. a total of £4,800
In addition the following payments may need to be made. This depends on the nature of the assets and number of beneficiaries.
|Probate Court fee||£155|
|Copies of Probate or Administration||£1.50 per copy|
|Land Charges Bankruptcy Search||£2 plus VAT ie £2.40 per beneficiary|
|Land Registry search fee||£3 plus VAT|
|Statutory Adverts in London Gazette and local press|
|£150 to £200|
How long will it take?
It usually takes 4 to 7 months to complete the administration. Typically obtaining the grant will take 2 to 4 months collecting in the assets will take a further 1 to 2 months and preparing Estate Accounts and distributing the assets 3 to 4 weeks after the Grant is obtained.
What we will do
- Provide a dedicated and experience Probate Lawyer to work on your matter with approximate support
- Identify those who need to apply for the Grant and the beneficiaries of the estate
- Identify the Probate Application you require
- Complete the Probate Application and Return of Estate Information Form for you to sign
- Obtain Probate and an agreed number of copies
- Collect in and distribute all the assets in the estate
The cost of selling or transferring a property is not included in this price. If you require this service please let us know and we will provide you with an estimate in that regard.
Our fees are fixed and include items, detailed above, however there may be factors which would typically increase the cost of the fees involved. Where there is likely to be any additional cost, we will make sure you are informed of this at the earliest opportunity and a clear estimate of those extra costs will be provided.
Additional services that will require the assistance of a third party at additional cost include:
- Tax advice
- Valuations for property, savings, investments or other assets
With every transaction there are key milestones, which may vary according to individual circumstances. They may be as follows:-
- Applying for Grant of Probate
- Obtaining Grant of Probate
- Settling Liabilities
- Collecting funds ready for distribution
- Distributing funds
- Producing estate accounts
The complexity of these estates varies considerably as does the Inheritance Tax payable.
At LCF we will provide you with a fixed fee quotation for dealing with obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (where there is no Will). This will be provided once we have received the estate details including the terms of the Will, the assets in the estate, the number of beneficiaries and the amount of tax payment.
With regard to Inheritance Tax we can advise on the likely tax payable. There are various factors that will affect any tax due in the estate. This will include the size of the estate and any measures put in place to limit the tax payable. We do not believe it is appropriate to provide an estimate of any tax that may be payable in view of the number of factors that affect the tax payable. Contact us and we can assist you in this process, alternatively the HMRC has produced guidance on how to work out the value an estate, it can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/valuing-estate-of-someone-who-died
We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
If you have a complaint about our delivery of probate services our complaints policy will assist you with who to contact and enable you to understand the procedure that will be followed.
Other Services -
Obtaining grant of Probate, Assisting in the administration of an estate following death, Assessing an estate for inheritance tax, Distributing an estate in accordance with the Will or the rules of intestacy (if no Will)