We are operating as usual with some social-distancing measures in place and can be contacted by telephone or email - 01245 221699 or enquiries@ejcoombs.co.uk.
We are seeing an increase in demand for Wills and LPAs. Please note we have not increased our fees, and will not be. We will continue to offer our services regardless of demand.

Probate

If someone dies, there are many decisions and arrangements to make, which can be difficult in a time of grief.  Once you have registered the death, you may need guidance on how to administer the Estate (everything owned by the person).

Depending on the size of the Estate, you as the Personal Representative may have to apply for legal authority before you can act.

Whether you are an Executor named in a Will or, in the case where no Will was left, a certain family member applying to the court to be entitled to act as an Administrator, we can assist in obtaining the Grant of Representation (Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration).

As long as you have not already started to deal with the Estate, we can also assist when an Executor may not wish to, or be able to, act.   We can prepare the necessary legal documentation and discuss this in more detail with you, if necessary. Our charges to prepare the paperwork are £96 (£80 plus VAT).

How much will it cost to obtain the Grant of Representation?

We offer a fixed fee service of £834 (£695 plus VAT) in matters where no Inheritance Tax (‘IHT’) is payable and we can complete the Inland Revenue small estates form, using the information that the Personal Representative has provided to us.

Further charges may be made if any additional work is necessary, for example, preparation of an affidavit due to the plight and condition of a Will would be charged at £120 (£100 plus VAT).  We will discuss this with you before any further fees are incurred.

If we are required to prepare the Inland Revenue full Accounts due to the size of the Estate or if there is IHT payable, our charges will be calculated on the time spent dealing with your matter.  We estimate that approximately 7-8 hours of chargeable time will be required.

The current hourly rate of our Wills and Probate Solicitor, Emma Blakesley, is £180 plus VAT per hour.  You will be given notice if this fee changes.

Our services involved in obtaining the Grant of Representation consist of:

  • Identifying who is the Personal Representative of the Estate and which type of application you will require in terms of applying for the Grant of Representation;
  • Collating all the relevant information from you, to enable us to make the application;
  • Preparing the relevant paperwork to submit to the Probate Registry on your behalf;
  • Sending the original Grant of Representation plus any sealed copies to you, once it has been issued;

How long will it take to obtain the Grant of Representation?

Once we have received all the required information, we are usually able to prepare the necessary paperwork within 5 – 10 working days.  Once the documentation has been signed, we aim to lodge the application at the Probate Registry within a further 5 working days.

The Probate Registry are currently taking around 10 weeks to process applications for Grants.

Please note that if the Inland Revenue full Accounts are required, we will also need to submit an application form to HMRC. HMRC will issue a receipt to us once the form has been accepted and we will then forward the receipt on to the Probate Registry.  HMRC usually take around 3-4 weeks to process the receipt.  The Probate Registry will not register the Grant of Representation until they have received the stamped receipt from HMRC.  We will keep you updated throughout this time.

When the Grant has been received, we will forward it on to you, plus any sealed copies, so that you are able to personally deal with the administration of the Estate.

How much will it cost to deal with the full administration of an Estate?

If you would prefer for us to deal with the full administration of an Estate, our services would consist of:

  • Identifying who is the Personal Representative of the Estate and which type of application you will require in terms of applying for the Grant of Representation;
  • Obtaining the relevant information from asset and liability holders, to enable us to make the application;
  • Preparing the relevant paperwork to submit to the Probate Registry on your behalf;
  • Arranging the payment of IHT, if required;
  • Sending the original Grant of Representation to be lodged with the relevant asset holders;
  • Collecting in the sums due and settle any liabilities;
  • Placing Trustee Act Notices in the local newspaper and the London Gazette to protect Personal Representatives against any beneficiaries or unknown creditors.
  • Preparing the Estate Accounts and distributing to the beneficiaries.

Our charges will be calculated on the time spent dealing with your matter.  The time from the date of instruction to completion of the administration will vary from case to case.  As a general guide, the total time spent on administering an average Estate (upon which no IHT is payable) is usually between 10-20 hours.  On Estates which are more complex or where full Inland Revenue Accounts are required, the estimated time is likely to be between 15-35 hours.

The current hourly rate of our Wills and Probate Solicitor, Emma Blakesley, is £180 plus VAT per hour.  You will be given notice if this fee changes.

In accordance with the Law Society’s suggested guidelines, an additional percentage will be made on our final bill, based on the gross value of the assets collected or transferred; the maximum percentages that will be applicated in this case are 0.5% on the residence and 1% on the remaining assets.  VAT is added to these charges.

How long will it take to administer the whole Estate?

Again, this will vary from case to case.  Much will depend on the number and nature of the assets involved, the number of Beneficiaries and whether any problems arise, for example, regarding the interpretation of the Will, or regarding taxation matters.  If a claim is made against the Estate by a relative or some other person, this can significantly increase the time spent administering the Estate.

A simple Estate may be finalised within 6 months, whereas a complex matter with more work involved could take between 1-2 years before it is brought to a conclusion.

Disbursements payable to third parties:

Please note that there will also be certain other additional expenses which we will have to pay to other organisations on your behalf.  The main such expense is the Probate Registry application fee of £155.  Official copies of the Grant are £1.50 for each copy.

(If the net Estate is valued under £5,000, the Registry fees are exempt.)

We recommend that our Clients place Trustee Notices in the local newspaper and London Gazette.  This fee varies but is usually in the region of £200-£300.  We will obtain a quote for you before the order is made.