Probate

A sympathetic approach.

Probate covers the area of law when someone has died, whether they have left a will or not, and how their assets are distributed.

 

We recognise that this is a particularly difficult time for clients and offer a sympathetic approach, as well as dealing with matters as efficiently and swiftly as possible.

We have a large probate caseload and have encountered various issues with estates in the past. We are able to rely on our experience to deliver the efficient service which we believe this sensitive area of law requires.

When you instruct to assist you in administering an estate, we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter

  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries

  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require

  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application and liaise with all relevant organisations

  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms

  • Draft a legal oath for you to swear

  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf

  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you

  • Deal with closure of accounts, collect in estate funds and pay any liabilities

  • Prepare a final estate account and distribute legacies to beneficiaries

Anticipated charges and expenses.

We anticipate this will take between 3 and 20 hours work at £200.00 plus VAT per hour. Total costs estimated at between £600.00 and £4,000.00 plus VAT. This is an estimate only and on occasion our fees may be more or less than this.


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. We will handle the full process for you. This above applies for estates where:

  • There is a valid will

  • There is no more than one property

  • There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts

  • There are no other intangible assets

  • There are 1-9 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

Disbursements 1 in addition to this fee include:

  • Probate application fee of £155.00

  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)

  • Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.

  • Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.

1 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.

Potential additional costs:

Please note:
 

  • 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.

  • 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 £1.50 (1 per asset usually).

  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

Timescales

How long the matter will take again depends on several factors.  If a full inheritance tax account (IHT400 form) must be submitted, then this will take some while longer than if this is not required as we must receive confirmation from HMRC that we may proceed.  Where a short form IHT205 is required, we would expect to receive the Grant of Probate within a couple of months. 

 

Where the full IHT400 is required, this may take around six months.  The amount and nature of the assets held in the estate will also have an effect on timescales.

To discuss how Cooper Stott can help you in dealing with probate, contact James Cooper on 0191 384 7210.

Contact Us

Call: 0191 384 7210

Fax: 0191 384 4882

Address:
Aykley Vale Chambers

Durham Road, Aykley Heads, Durham, DH1 5NE

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Cooper Stott Solicitors is a trading name of Cooper Stott Solicitors Ltd, which is a private company limited by shares registered in England and Wales (company number 08939300). We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) reference number 615314. A list of our Directors, all of whom are solicitors, is available for inspection at our registered office.

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