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Our wills and inheritance services

Approachable, sensitive and efficient

Probate and administration of estates

What we can help you with

  • Obtaining the Grant of Probate or the Grant of Letters of Administration
  • Administering estates
  • Advising on Intestacy Rules
  • Advice for executors
  • Post death variation of wills
  • Special grants – De Bonis Non, Ad Colligenda Bona

 

Why Thomson Hayton Winkley?

Losing a family member or other loved one is obviously an extremely emotional and difficult time. You may be feeling daunted at the task that lies before you in dealing with their affairs. You can rely on our expertise and compassion to make a very difficult time that little bit easier.  Whether you need some initial advice, or you want to instruct us to administer the estate on your behalf, we will approach this task in a sensitive, but efficient way.

If there are assets over a certain value in the sole name of the person who has died, or they owned property in their sole name or held property as a tenant-in-common, the Executor may need to formally prove their appointment – this is done by obtaining the Grant of Probate.

If the person died without making a Will the Intestacy Rules determine who can deal with the estate (called an Administrator) and who inherits the estate. If needed, the Administrator will need to apply for the Grant of Letters of Administration.

Even with relatively modest estates, there can be a lot to take into account and we will ensure that all of the formalities required by HMRC are complied with.  This might include paying the correct amount of Inheritance Tax within the prescribed timescales.

Our solicitors are also skilled at dealing with complex, high value estates where trusts arise or variations of the Will might be necessary.  Cases with multiple beneficiaries, who may have different positions, or who may be unhappy about the provision in the Will, need to be handled sensitively and fairly.

Answering your questions

What will it cost?

We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. We will also undertake the collecting and distributing of assets.

How much does this service cost?

For a simple estate we will normally quote you a fixed fee.

For example, an estate worth £200,000 with no more than 2 executors and no more than 2 beneficiaries where there is no Inheritance Tax to pay and a Grant of Probate is required, including obtaining the Grant, collecting assets and distributing them we would charge the following fixed fees:

Legal fees £2500

VAT on legal fees £500

As part of our fixed fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 3-5 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-10 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 3-6 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 3-6 weeks.

Complex Estates

For more complex estates, where we don’t feel able to give a fixed fee quote, we usually charge on an hourly rate basis of ) £340 + vat per hour (£375 + vat per hour where there is a solicitor executor). (Current 2021 rates). These rates are reviewed annually in January and usually increase in line with inflation

Disbursements (Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process):

  • Probate court fee of £155 (£273 from early 2022).
  • £7 swearing of the oath (per executor).
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary).
  • £170 advert in The London Gazette and local newspaper – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors (if appropriate).

Additional fees in certain circumstances

The following are likely to increase our fees (in which case we will quote an additional fixed fee):

  • Inheritance Tax is payable
  • A full Inheritance Tax Account (IHT400) is required
  • More than 2 executors
  • More than 2 beneficiaries
  • Foreign assets
  • Lost share certificates
  • More than 1 property
  • Business assets
  • Agricultural land
  • More than 2 certificated shareholdings
  • A trust under the will
  • Assets held under trust or in a pension
  • Intestacy
  • Missing beneficiaries
  • Trust under a predeceased spouse’s will
  • Trust that aggregates with the estate for tax purposes
  • Lifetime gifts
  • A claim or threat of a claim from a disappointed beneficiary
  • A solicitor acts as an executor
  • We are responsible for clearing the house
  • The extent or nature of assets in the estate are difficult to ascertain
  • More than 2 meetings are required
  • A large number of communications from any beneficiary or executor

Costs information is general and we will give more precise and personalised information in individual matters.

Don't take our word for it