We can advise and assist you in the preparation of a Will for you to avoid your estate passing on death under the Intestacy Rules which may not be in accordance with your wishes.

Providing local legal services for nearly 170 years – Since 1849

Wills & Estate Administration including tax planning, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection Deputyship applications.

We can provide advice and guidance in relation to all of the above matters. Home visits can be arranged where necessary.

The Team consists of Stephen Boden and Ken McRae both of whom are Solicitors. Please see their profiles on the website.

In respect of Trusts, Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection Deputyship applications we can supply a costs estimate at the outset.

Stephen Boden

01782 599992
email steveboden@chesworths.co.uk

Probate matters

We are now required to provide information about the services we provide in relation to estate administration including costs information.

To discuss Trusts and taxation, Wills or estate administration please contact either Stephen Boden or Ken McRae on 01782 599992 or by email – steveboden@chesworths.co.uk and kmcrae@chesworths.co.uk

To discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney or Court of Protection deputyship applications please contact Ken McRae by telephone or email.

1. Probate only service

Some Executors (where there is a Will) or Administrators (where there is no Will) prefer to deal with the administration of the estate themselves but ask us to obtain for them any necessary Grant of Probate (where there is a Will) or Letters of Administration (where there is no Will).

For non-taxable estates and where we are not otherwise required to complete a full Inland Revenue account, we can offer a Probate only service for £500.00 plus VAT. That is on the basis that we would prepare the Probate papers on the basis of information to be supplied by the Executors or Administrators and without independently verifying that information.

Payments out would include a Probate Court fee of £155.00 and 0.50p for each sealed copy of the Grant as may be required. There would also be an Executor’s Oath fee of £7.00 per Executor or an Administrator’s Oath fee of £5.00 per Administrator.

We can also offer a Probate only service in respect of larger estates which are either taxable or where we do need to complete a full Inland Revenue account. The exact cost here would depend on the individual circumstances of the matter and we would only be able to give you a more accurate estimate subject to obtaining additional information from you.

The likelihood is that we would charge for additional work on the basis of hourly rates. Our hourly rate is currently £150.00 plus VAT.

2. A full estate administration service

This would include not only for obtaining the necessary Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration but also collecting in the assets, discharging the known liabilities, paying any tax payable and then distributing the estate. Here we would charge partly be reference to value and partly by reference to time.

The value element would not exceed 1% of the gross estate. The time element would be calculated by reference to the hourly charging rate referred to above. VAT would be added to both the value element and time element at the current rate.

All of the above assumes that there would be no disputes between the beneficiaries in relation to the division of assets. If disputes arise, this would be likely to lead to an increase in costs. Similarly, the above also assumes that no claims are made against the estate which can also lead to an increase in costs.

Again, the exact costs would depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. We would only be able to give a more accurate estimate once we have all the information which we need.

In addition to the time element and the hourly charging rate, typically we would charge for letters or emails out at £15.00 per letter plus VAT, for letters in and telephone calls made and received at £7.50 plus VAT and for other time spent either in attendances or in preparation at the hourly rate of £150.00 plus VAT.

By way of example, if we were instructed to deal with the administration of an estate the gross value of which was £200,000 the value element could be up to £2,000 plus VAT. If we spent 10 hours in dealing with the matter then the time element would be £1,500 plus VAT. If on the other hand, we spent 20 hours in dealing with the matter then the time element would be £3,000 plus VAT. Whether we charge at the lower end or higher end would depend on the number of assets which need to be dealt with, the number of beneficiaries who we have to deal with and the extent to which we are involved with HMRC in respect of any taxes payable.

Payments out would include not only the payments out identified above in relation to our Probate only service but also the following additional fees:-

  • Bankruptcy and any Land Charges Searches (£2.00 per beneficiary).
  • Statutory Trustee Act Notice in the London Gazette. This protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors and is currently a little over £100.00.
  • Statutory Trustee Act Notice in the local newspaper. This would also be necessary where the deceased owned freehold or leasehold property to protect against unexpected claims. This can be as much as £200.00.

3. Potential additional costs:-

  • It may be necessary to obtain Probate valuations of some of the estate assets, e.g. stocks and shares, personal chattels (including antiques) and freehold and leasehold properties. These would be third party expenses payable from the estate.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any freehold or leasehold property in the estate is not included. Please see the section on our website concerning residential conveyancing. We can supply an estimate on request in respect of any sale of non-residential properties or transfers of the same.

4. How long will this take?

Executors and Administrators notionally have a year from the death within which to administer the estate. Most estates can be dealt with within that period although this will depend on the complexity of the matter and other factors.

If instructed on a Probate only basis in respect of a non-taxable estate where a full Inland Revenue account is not necessary, we can normally prepare the Probate papers within two weeks of instruction and the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration would normally be available within four weeks of our applying for the Grant.

Chesworths Solicitors is the trading name of Chesworths Legal Limited.
Company Registration No 9327128. Registered in England and Wales.
Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA Registration Number 621457.
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