Probate Solicitors

When a loved one passes away, it is often up to a family member to deal with their estate.  This can be a daunting task which can often turn into a far more complicated process than you might expect it to be – particularly if there isn’t a valid Will in place.

We know that this will already be an upsetting time for you and, as the executor or administrator of an estate, you may be unsure about what you need to do next and who you can turn to for some clarity, guidance and support. That’s where we can help.

If you are acting as the executor or administrator of a deceased person’s estate, or are next of kin, we can help you deal with everything correctly and efficiently, whether there is a Will in place or not, taking the pressure off you during this difficult time in your life.

Our specialist probate solicitors in Ossett and Wakefield, West Yorkshire, have extensive experience in all aspects of probate law, having helped many individuals and families with the swift and effective administration of a deceased person’s estate.

Estate Administration

We will be on hand, when you need us most, to guide you through every step of the estate administration process, either providing advice or acting on your behalf, taking care of everything from start to finish and lifting the burden off you. 

Our expert team of probate solicitors at Thornton Jones can help you with a full range of probate law services that can be tailored to match your particular needs and circumstances. The types of issues we can help you with include:

  • Probate
  • Grant of probate
  • Estate administration
  • Interpreting a Will
  • Challenging a Will
  • Defending a Will
  • Letters of administration
  • Tax planning including inheritance tax and capital gains tax
  • Claims under the Inheritance ( Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • Contentious probate

The Probate Process

Probate is the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate which is made up of the money, property and any possessions they had at the time of their death.

Our dedicated team of probate solicitors will be on hand to guide you seamlessly through the probate process, ensuring that all the required tasks are completed efficiently and correctly, helping you to avoid any claims being made on the estate or any potential disputes arising.

Probate Registry

Assets in an estate remain frozen until the Probate Registry gives the authority to the executor nominated in the Will with a document known as a Grant of Probate. We will help you with the process of probate which involves:

  • Applying for grant of probate
  • Collecting any money that is owed
  • Selling estate property and assets
  • Settling any debts due (including any outstanding taxes)
  • Closing bank accounts
  • Dividing the estate between the beneficiaries

Rules of Intestacy

Where there is a Will, the estate will pass to those named in the Will. Where there isn’t a Will, a suitable family member could apply to be an administrator and can, therefore, act on behalf of the estate where the Rules of Intestacy will apply.

Whatever your circumstances, our expert probate solicitors will be there to advise you at each and every stage of the probate and estate administration process, through whatever issues that might arise, and will be on ready to help you with matters such as:

  • Interpreting a Will.
  • Establishing the size of an estate for probate and inheritance tax purposes.
  • Preparing an application for the Grant of Representation or Grant of Probate.
  • Lodging the required forms with the relevant organisations to collect monies due to the estate and settle any outstanding debts.
  • Arranging the transfer or sale of shares.
  • Handling the sale of property or land.
  • Preparing interest and inheritance tax returns.
  • Preparing estate accounts.
  • Advice on post death tax planning to reduce capital gains and inheritance tax liabilitie

    Probate – Costs

Probate – Full estate administration - hourly rate with range of costs ( estate not taxable)

The exact cost for the Probate work we undertake will depend ultimately on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if the estate is not complicated and for example, there is only one beneficiary and no property and limited assets to collect, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts and other assets the costs will be at the higher end.

This information about the costs is for estates where:

  • •             There is a valid will
  • •             There is no more than one property
  • •             There are no more than 4 bank or building society accounts
  • •             There are no other 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 payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • •             There are no claims made against the estate and the estate does not include:
  • A business, farms, farmhouses or farmland,  an interest in another estate, loans or mortgages payable to the deceased, foreign assets, assets held in trust, national Heritage assets or unlisted stocks and shares and control holdings.

Legal Fees and Disbursements:

Note: 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.

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets:

This work will usually take between 10 and 12 hours work at between £150 and £220 per hour. The range of hourly rates applied will vary according to the seniority and qualifications of the people handling the probate. The fees could usually therefore be between £1500 and £2640 plus VAT

So for example, if the work takes 10 hours to complete and the hourly rate of the person, handling the matter is £150.00, the legal fee charged will be £1,500.00 plus VAT.

When you instruct us we will send a letter to you setting out the basis upon which we will charge our fees.

Possible Disbursements:

  • Probate application fee of £155
  • Bankruptcy - only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • Land registry office copy entries and plan £6+ Vat per property
  • Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors - £69+Vat
  • Post in a Local Newspaper – This price will varies depending on location and the exact amount will be confirmed to you. This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.

What services does this fee include?

  • The following steps are included:

    •             Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries and establish the extent of the estate by identifying the various assets and liabilities

    •             Prepare the application for the Grant of Probate and submit this to the appropriate Probate Registry together with the Will, if there is one

    •             Once the Grant is received from the Probate Registry it is submitted to the various organisations with whom assets are held in order to start the process of transferring the assets into the beneficiaries’ names;

    •             All estate liabilities have to be paid before the estate can be distributed among the beneficiaries;

    •             Confirming that tax is paid up to date and there are no outstanding HMRC claims;

    •             Preparation of the Estate accounts and distribution of the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will.

    Potential additional costs include:

    •             If there is no will or the estate consists of 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. If it is necessary to make an application for the transferrable Nil Rate Band or the Residential Nil Rate Band is needed then additional costs will apply. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.

    •             If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £0.50p per copy (1 per asset usually).

    •             Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included, we can assist with this and costs can be provided where necessary.

    Grant only application – Fixed fee ( estate not taxable)

    We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf based on a fixed legal fee.This information about the costs is for estates where:
  • •             There is a valid will
  • •             There is no more than one property
  • •             There are no more than 4 bank or building society accounts
  • •             There are no other 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 payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • •             There are no claims made against the estate and the estate does not include:

A business, farms, farmhouses or farmland,  an interest in another estate, loans or mortgages payable to the deceased, foreign assets, assets held in trust, national Heritage assets or unlisted stocks and shares and control holdings.

In order for us to prepare the application for the Grant you will need to provide us with all information regarding the estate such as the date of death balances on all accounts held and a probate valuation for any property. We will let you know at the time what other information is required. The fixed fee quoted is based on us being provided with all requested information to enable the application to be prepared and does not include the gathering in of any assets nor the distribution of the estate or preparation of estate accounts.

 

Legal Fees and Disbursements:

Note: 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.

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets:

This work will can be undertaken on the basis of a fixed fee. The range of fixed fees we charge fall between £500 (plus. VAT) and £650 (plus VAT).

When you instruct us we will send a letter to you setting out the basis upon which we will charge our fees.

Possible Disbursements:

  • Probate application fee of £155 plus 50p per copy required.

What services does this fee include?

The following steps are included:

  • Prepare the application for the Grant of Probate and submitted to the appropriate Probate Registry together with the Will, if there is one
  • We will then provide you with the Grant of Probate for you to deal with the administration and distribution of the esta

Potential additional costs include:

  • If there is no will or if it is necessary to make an application for the transferrable Nil Rate Band or the Residential Nil Rate Band is needed then additional costs will apply. 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, we can assist with this and costs can be provided where necessary.

 

The experience of the people who may carry out the work for you:

Our Private Client Team consists of :

Elizabeth Fyfe  - (Partner) Solicitor of Trusts and Estates Practitioner  - https://www.thorntonjones.co.uk/site/people/profile/liz

Amanda Gait – Solicitor - https://www.thorntonjones.co.uk/site/people/profile/amanda

Jessica Orme – Paralegal - https://www.thorntonjones.co.uk/site/people/profile/jess

 

The typical timescales and key stages of the transaction

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6 weeks from receipt of all documentation required to us to prepare the Grant of probate application.

Get in touch with our probate lawyers in West Yorkshire

Speak to our probate law solicitors in Ossett, Wakefield or Garforth, West Yorkshire today by calling 01924 290 029 or ask a question using our online enquiry form.