Wills & Probate

Wills

It’s very easy to put off the making of a will until another day in the busyness of modern life. But take a moment to think about what this could mean for loved ones and dependants close to you.

At a time of the loss of a loved one, the last thing you would want is for your family and dependants to be left in a position of uncertainty or financial insecurity, particularly if you have children.

By making a will you can give certainty as to your intentions and appoint a Legal Guardian for your children where appropriate. Yes, you can buy a DIY pack to prepare your own will, but given the potential complexities of loosely written provisions, we believe we can work with you to produce a will that gives you and your family certainty, peace of mind and the feeling of money well spent.

Get in touch with Gill Hall to book an appointment to see Richard Holt if you wish to either make or revisit a will you have made.

Probate

There can be few more distressing times than to experience the loss of a loved one. The paperwork that follows can be confusing, daunting and for some just too much at such an emotional time.

Our qualified experts are available to you locally on a day by day basis, to assist to what capacity is required. Whether or not help is needed to obtain a Grant of Probate or to administer the estate, they are to hand to deal with any queries and are locally renowned for their empathetic approach.

Probate Disputes

Unfortunately, life does not always go as planned. Some people just never get round to making a will, perhaps not expecting to need one quite so soon. Where a person dies without making a will, instead of making their own decisions as to the distribution of their assets, the law imposes mandatory rules as to how the monies must be divided.

This can lead to some arbitrary results and to feelings of injustice and financial hardship for some. At a time of incredible stress and with conflicts sometimes between family members, it is really important to be able to receive clearheaded practical advice to seek an early resolution.

We are able to advise and represent where appropriate on court applications to either defend the estate or represent a dependant who has not been sufficiently provided for. Our team have extensive court experience in all areas of contested probate work. They endeavor to resolve what are often family disputes sensitively and with an empathetic approach reducing tensions and conflict where possible.

Fees for Will and Probate Services

In certain matters, we act on a fixed fee basis. These circumstances are as follows:

Wills                Fixed Fee (including VAT)

Single will       £191.50

Mirror will      £263.00

The above fees include registration with Certainty National Will database.

An additional £36.00 plus VAT will be charged for home visits.

Wills incl Severance of Joint Tenancy/Life Interest/Tax*                Fixed Fee (including VAT)

Single will       £480.00

Mirror will      £600.00

HMLR Office Copy Disbursement for severance of joint tenancy         £3.00

*For estates liable for inheritance tax above £325,000

The above fees include registration with Certainty National Will database.

An additional £36.00 plus VAT will be charged for home visits.

Lasting Powers of Attorney Fee (+VAT)

Single person 1 LPA             £350 + 1 Court Fee £82.00

Single person 2 LPAs           £550 + 2 Court Fees £164.00

Couple 1 LPA                         £550 each + 2 Court Fees £164.00

Couple 2 LPAs                       £750 each + 4 Court Fees £328.00

Appointment of a Deputy by application to Court of Protection       £950 (+ VAT + Court Fee £400)

Grant of Probate – Fixed Fee Service

We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf.

How much does this service cost?

Total £1058.00 which is broken down as follows: £750 (+ VAT + Court Fee £158) including 2 copies of grant.  Additional copies are chargeable by the probate registry at £1.50 each.  We reserve the right to apply an hourly rate if the matter becomes complex or contested and exceeds 4 hours of chargeable time.  We would not exceed the agreed fixed fee without seeking prior approval.

An additional £36.00 plus VAT will be charged for home visits.

This service includes:

  • Completing the Inheritance Tax forms IHT 205 or 400 and completing the Statement of Truth by the executors/administrators and all relevant documents required to make the application
  • Obtaining the grant, inclusive of the probate application fee of £158
  • Obtain the Grant and send two copies of the grant to you securely.

This service does not include:

  • Statutory Advertisements costs in the London Gazette or local paper which are advised and typically cost £250-£300 but are subject to quotation if you require. These advertisements help to protect against unexpected claims and from unknown creditors
  • We will not undertake the collecting and the distribution of the assets for the fixed fee service, this is something you will do yourself.

Potential Additional Costs

If there is no will or the estate consists of any shareholdings (stock and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate.

If you wish to convert from a Fixed Fee Service to Full Probate Service  you may do this at any time.

Full Probate Service

We will handle the full process for you, this will include obtaining the grant, collecting the assets, paying liabilities, advertising for claims and distributing.  We will provide you with a quotation for the work which will depend on the amount of expected work that will take into account:

  • If there is a valid will or whether an intestacy arises which will require the identification of those entitled
  • Whether there is more than one property
  • Whether you require us to clear the property and personal possessions
  • The number of bank accounts and assets to be collected
  • The number of beneficiaries
  • Whether there is a dispute between beneficiaries. If the dispute arises this is likely to lead to an increase in costs.
  • Whether Inheritance Tax is payable, and the potential complexity of the tax situation.

In addition to the quotation, additional out of pocket expenses will be payable as follows:

  • Probate fee currently £158
  • Bankruptcy Search fees per beneficiary £2.00 per individual
  • London Gazette Advert – protects against unknown creditors
  • Advert in Local Newspaper – This also helps protect against unexpected claims

Our work is charged on an hourly rate basis as set out below.

Our charges will be calculated mainly by reference to the time spent by solicitors and executive staff dealing with this matter.  This includes advising, attending on you and others, dealing with papers, correspondence, telephone calls, emails, travelling and waiting time.  A list of this firm’s categories of staff and our hourly charge rates and the rates for routine letters and telephone calls are as follows:-

Solicitors with over eight years post qualification experience including at least 8 years litigation experience: £255.00

Solicitors and legal executives with over four years post qualification experience including at least 4 years litigation experience: £218.00

Other solicitors and legal executives and fee earners of equivalent experience: £177.00

Trainee solicitors, paralegals and fee earners of equivalent experience: £126.00

Routine letters and emails that we write, and routine telephone calls that we make and receive will be charged as units of 1/10 of an hour. Other letters and calls will be charged on a time basis.

An additional ‘care and conduct’ uplift’ is a discretionary fixed rate percentage charge calculated with reference to the gross value of the assets in the estate, ie the house, bank accounts etc.  Please note that it is only ever charged once.  The care and conduct uplift charge and is designed to ensure the solicitors charge for his/her services fairly relates the complexity of the work involved, the degree of risk involved in managing large sums of client monies and the cost of providing the most appropriate level of Professional Indemnity Insurance to safeguard client’s interests.

General Conduct of matter Probate Application Only
If we are not acting as Executor

 

Value of residence: 0.5%

Value of gross estate less residence: 1.0%

N/A
If we are acting as sole executor or as joint executor with another person Value of residence: 0.75%

Value of gross estate less residence: 1.5%

N/A

For further information or to make an appointment get in touch with Gill Hall