Questions about wills and probate? We can help.
Our experienced Probate Solicitors will deal with your matters compassionately, quickly and professionally.
If you are the executor of someone’s Will, or a personal representative (administrator) of a person who has died without a Will, our team of legal probate experts can help you manage property, money, and possessions, as well as help with the application for a Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration where there is no Will) if required, as well as advising on any Inheritance Tax liabilities.
We understand that the administration of a person’s estate can be a complex, time consuming and often emotional time. That’s why our compassionate and professional, Probate Solicitors work with you to ease the strain and make the process as straightforward as possible.
Every estate is different, so we offer a range of services to make sure you choose the service you need at a price that suits. For small estates, we offer fixed fees, and we will do as much or as little of the administration as you need. Where matters are more complex or contentious, then our specialist Probate Solicitors will provide comprehensive advice, deal with all Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax matters, prepare full estate accounts and correspond with all beneficiaries.
Seb Jackson – Solicitor
Seb heads the private client department which specialises in Wills, Trusts, Probate and Estate planning, Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection applications.
Why choose Sinclair Law?
The Probate Team at Sinclair Law has numerous years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to Wills and Estate Administration. The team has members with particular expertise in high value estates and inheritance tax matters.
- We are experts in probate, providing specialist advice giving you confidence and peace of mind.
- Personal and professional service with a sensitive and compassionate approach when you need it most. We understand the distress and difficulty that bereavement can cause.
- Jargon free advice and clear explanations about the probate process.
- Flexible services and easy access to your solicitor. Get a FREE 30-minute face-to-face visit with one of our expert solicitors, either in our offices or via an online video call, where we will discuss your needs in full and then provide a clear outline of costs and the service that is right for you.
- Clear pricing and no upfront costs. Our costs will not change unless the original information we are given is shown to be incorrect or circumstances change.
What do our clients say about us?
Sinclair Law were very professional, quick and knowledgeable when they dealt with our very complicated probate case. It was an upsetting time after an unexpected loss and their kindness and patience was much appreciated. I would certainly use them again and will definitely recommend them to anyone in need of probate services.David P, July 2021
I arranged for a Will and Power of Attorney for my Father-in-law very impressed with the service from the very beginning and their understanding during a difficult and upsetting time was impeccable. Thank you.Philippa and Ali, 2020
What is probate?
It is the process of ‘proving’ the Will which involves identifying and valuing all of the assets of someone who has died and then distributing the assets or the proceeds of sale of those assets to pay liabilities including tax and then transferring or paying whatever is left to beneficiaries.
‘Proving’ the Will involves making a formal application to the Court for a Grant of Probate. An Executor cannot administer the estate in accordance with the Will without having this seal of approval from the Court.
If the person who has died leaves no Will (this is known as dying intestate) the closest relatives of the deceased person will have to apply to the Court for a Grant of Letters of Administration. It involves the same process as applying for a Grant of Probate. The persons applying for a Grant of Letters of Administration are called Administrators.
What is the process and cost of probate?
We can help you with the probate process. We offer a range of services which includes applying for the Grant only, to assisting with the full administration of the estate.
We offer a fixed fee for a ‘Grant’ only application.
Our fees for a ‘full administration of the estate’ service will be determined by the amount of time we spend doing that and the seniority of the fee earner in our firm whom you appoint.
The following is a summary of our fees:
1. Applying for a Grant only
Our fees :
- £1,200 plus VAT at 20% = £1,500.
Additional charges you are required to pay to third parties:
- Court fee of £155.00 plus £1.00 for two certified copies.
- £5.00 Swearing of the oath (per executor) plus £2.00 for each exhibit
- £83.40 to enter a Trustee Act Notice in the London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
- Approximately £300.00 to place a Trustee Act Notice in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims against the estate
There may also be Inheritance tax to pay which you will be responsible for paying.
Our fixed fee includes:
- Providing you with a dedicated and experienced probate practitioner to work on your matter;
- Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
- Accurately identify the type of application you will require
- Obtaining the relevant documents required to make the application
- Completing the Application and the relevant HMRC forms
- Drafting a legal oath for you to swear
- Making the application to the Court on your behalf
- Obtaining the Grant and providing you with two copies
How long will this take?
On average it will take 16 – 20 weeks to obtain the Grant from the Court from the date the application is submitted.
2. Applying for the Grant, collecting and distributing the assets
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 following estimate is for estates where:
- There is either no Will or a valid Will
- There is no more than one property
- There are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are between 1 and 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
In that type of scenario, our fee will be between £3,000 and £5,000. On top of that VAT calculated @ 20% will be added.
Additional charges you are required to pay to 3rd parties – see summary above under 1 ‘Additional Charges’. The same additional charges apply here. There may also be Inheritance Tax to pay which you will be responsible for paying.
We would handle the payments to 3rd parties on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Potential additional costs
- If there is no Will or the estate includes share holdings (stocks and bonds) there are likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the complexity of identifying the beneficiaries or the complexities of identifying or valuing the assets in the estate. We can give you a more accurate estimate once we have all relevant information from you
- Considering and calculating Inheritance Tax
- If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1 per copy (usually we gauge this by obtaining 1 copy per asset)
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included;
- Preparing returns to HMRC for income tax and/or CGT.
How long will the probate process take?
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 16-20 weeks from the date the application is made to the Court. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 15-20 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4–12 weeks.