Wills & Probate

Making a Will can bring you peace of mind. You can choose who will benefit from your estate and how it should be distributed. Protecting your family’s wealth is of paramount importance and if you don’t make a Will, you will be leaving things to chance and be relying on others to deal with your assets at a time when they are most vulnerable.

Apart from your possessions, it’s important to make arrangements for any children. You might have strong views about who should look after them in your absence as well as how any inheritance is handled. If you have a business, you need to ensure that it is wound up as efficiently as possible or that it continues to be managed by the people you choose.

At Rowleys, we can work to ensure your wishes are followed and you can seek comfort in the knowledge that we will always seek to maximise the value of your assets and we will not claim a percentage of your estate, meaning your successors will receive the maximum benefit from any inheritance.

Even if you already have a Will, it is just as important to ensure that it is up to date and stored in a secure but accessible place.

As an introduction to our service, we can offer you a free Will review, which will allow us to highlight any potential tax issues or oversights regarding allowances or reliefs that may be available in your particular circumstances.

Traditionally, people tend to appoint family members and their solicitor as executors, but rarely consider what is involved. Dealing with someone’s estate can be very upsetting for family, friends or a surviving partner, not to mention confusing, trying to adhere to the strict legal guidelines and the time and effort required to carry out the administration.

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Our Costs for Probate

Probate Costs

Introduction

The exact cost will depend on 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.

Our pricing is based on estates where;

  • There is a valid Will
  • The Will is uncontested (not disputed by any beneficiary or third party to the Will)
  • All assets are within the UK
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no intangible assets
  • There are 1-4 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no Inheritance Tax (IHT) payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims against the Estate
  • Where IHT is payable we will treat the work as a complex estate

Probate – Full Administration

Rowleys will deal with the full administration of the estate.  We will liaise with the Executors on the day to day administration, liaise with Third parties on closing accounts, collate funds, inform creditors and distribute funds to the beneficiaries.

This is dealt with on an hourly rate basis.

Where our Probate fee earners work on an hourly rate basis, this means that they will accurately record time spent on dealing with any matter and once probate is granted we will produce a quarterly invoice for the time spent in dealing with the administration of the estate.  Once approved, these invoices will then be deducted from these estate assets meaning the executors do not pay these personally.

Although we work on an hourly rate, all Fee Earners will provide a full cost estimate for the estate.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Our range of fees

These prices assume that the estate is uncontested (not disputed) and where all assets are within the UK.

Simple Estate

IHT 205

 

£4,000 – £5,000 plus VAT

Where the value of the estate is below the £325,000 inheritance tax threshold.

And/or, where the deceased leaves everything above the £325,000 threshold to a spouse, civil partner, a charity or a community amateur sports club. If there are legacies or gifts to charity the Medium Estate fee will be charged.

Medium Estate

RNRB pushes value under IHT threshold

 

£7,500 – £9,500 plus VAT

Where RNRB (Residence Nil Rate Band/s) can be claimed and the remaining value of the estate then falls under the Inheritance Tax threshold (currently £325,000)

We would deal with the application for RNRB and deal with the Government on the exemption to inheritance tax

Complex Estate

IHT payable

 

£10,000 – £12,000 plus VAT

Although RNRB could still apply the value of the estate would still be above the Inheritance Tax threshold.Examples of estates of this nature are usually where the deceased owns up to several properties, or has business assets

 What does this cost include?

  • Make initial enquires to enable Rowleys to value the estate assets and collate liability information
  • Conduct a Certainty Search for a Will or later Will
  • Draft the paperwork required to apply for a Grant of Probate
  • Deal with the Revenue in relation to the Inheritance Tax position
  • Attending a meeting with you to sign the Probate and Tax papers
  • Advise you regarding your personal liability as an executor and take steps to mitigate your exposure to risk; implement searches/checks , as required or as instructed by you
  • Apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration
  • Collect in the Assets
  • Settle liabilities
  • Draft Estate Accounts
  • Finalise the Income Tax position up to date of death
  • Deal with any income tax arising during the administration period
  • Identify all named beneficiaries
  • Distribute the Estate according to the Will

Timescale – Full Administration

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 8-12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 3 – 6 months.  Collecting in assets then follows, which can take between 2 – 4 months.  Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2 – 4 weeks once the Estate Accounts have been approved by the Executors of the estate and we hold all identifications and clear bankruptcy searches on the beneficiaries of the estate.

Disbursements – Full Administration

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.

Listed below are the most common disbursements incurred in a probate matter. Some costs are required in all cases, other may not be applicable and other costs may vary depending on other circumstances as listed below.

Disbursements

Price

VAT

Total

Local valuers fee for Valuing Assets

 

 

 

Certainty Will search

£95.00

£19.00

£114.00

Probate application fee

£155.00

£155.00

Statutory advertisement – London Gazette only

£64.25

£12.85

£77.10

Statutory advertisement – local

£190.00

£38.00

£228.00

Bankruptcy Search

£2 per search

£0.40

£2.40

Additional copies of Grant of Probate

£1.50 per copy

£1.50

Hourly Rates

Directors

£285 (excluding VAT)

Senior Associates

£180 – £236 (excluding VAT)

Administrator

£70 (excluding VAT)

Potential additional costs

 If there is no Will or the estate consists of more than 6 properties and/or any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on 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.

 

Scope of Services

PROBATE PACKAGE

Simple Estate

 

Medium Estate

Complex Estate

Review all paperwork (including the death certificate and original will (if applicable)

X

X

X

Obtain values of the estate, assets and liabilities

X

X

X

Calculation of gross and net values of estate

X

X

X

Calculation of inheritance tax due

X

X

X

Arranging payment of IHT

 

 

X

Prepare Statement of Truth

X

X

X

Apply to Probate Registry for the Grant of Representation

X

X

X

Receive Grant of Probate

X

X

X

Place statutory notices in local newspaper & Gazette

X

X

X

Pay all known debts and liabilities of estate

 

X

X

Pay legacies

 

X

X

Finalise the estate tax

 

X

X

Distribute the residuary estate

 

X

X

Estate accounts

 

X

X