Probate and Estates Administration | Howells Solicitors
Probate

Probate and Estates Administration

Probate and Estates Administration

The death of someone close to you is traumatic.  The task of dealing with potentially large amounts of documents, ascertaining the assets and liabilities included in the estate, ensuring that any tax issues are resolved correctly and all tax is paid, applying for a grant of probate in addition to being under pressure from beneficiaries may feel like too much at a time when grieving is all consuming.

It is a lot to deal with at a time when you probably can’t face it, but that is what is required of you if you are the Personal Representative or Executor.  At Howells we have a flexible approach and are able to offer as much or as little help as you require.

Obtaining a Grant only in an estate that does not have any Inheritance Tax to pay

The fee for this service is £500.00 + VAT + court fee of £155.00 plus 50p per additional copy of the grant you request.

What does the fee include?

  • Meeting with you to discuss your requirements;
  • Advising you regarding the terms of the Will or the estate distribution on Intestacy (where the deceased did not have a Will).
  • Providing advice and information to you regarding your responsibilities as a Personal Representative;
  • Drafting the Inheritance Tax form and witness statement and sending it to you to sign;
  • Sending the documents to the probate registry to apply for a grant; and
  • Sending you the original grant and any additional copies you have ordered.

What is not included in the fee?

  • Administering the estate;
  • Dealing with any disputes between the Beneficiaries;
  • Responding to any challenges brought against the estate;
  • Our costs for selling any property;
  • Obtaining the date of death values of the assets and liabilities;
  • Tracing any unknown assets;
  • Tracing any missing Beneficiaries;
  • DWP enquiries; and
  • Resolving any trust issues that may arise

Obtaining a Grant only in an estate where there is Inheritance Tax to pay

The fee for this service is £950.00 + VAT + court fee of £155.00 plus 50p per additional copy of the grant you request.

What does the fee include?

  • Meeting with you to discuss your requirements;
  • Advising you regarding the terms of the Will or the estate distribution on Intestacy (where the deceased did not have a Will).
  • Providing advice and information to you regarding your responsibilities as a Personal Representative;
  • Drafting the Inheritance Tax form and witness statement and sending it to you to sign or meeting with you to explain the contents;
  • Submitting the IHT forms to HMRC;
  • Sending the documents to the probate registry to apply for a grant; and
  • Sending you the original grant and any additional copies you have ordered.

What is not included in the fee?

  • Administering the estate;
  • Dealing with any disputes between the Beneficiaries;
  • Responding to any challenges brought against the estate;
  • Our costs for selling any property;
  • Obtaining the date of death values of the assets and liabilities;
  • Tracing any unknown assets;
  • Tracing any missing Beneficiaries;
  • DWP enquiries; and
  • Resolving any trust issues that may arise.

Administration of an estate

Please find our free advice guide on Estate Administration below:

Administration of Estates Advice Brochure

There are a number of different permutations in the administration of an estate.  For example, there could be a Will but no executors or no Will but where there is Inheritance Tax to pay, for instance.

We will look at the facts of each case to be able to decide what is the most appropriate funding arrangement and agree this with you at the start of the matter.  Our fees could be one of the following:

  • Fixed – we sometimes agree a fixed fee with you if it is clear at the outset what work is involved and that there is unlikely to be any hidden complications. Our fixed fees usually start from £1,000 + VAT.  This is in addition to our fees for applying for a grant or probate or letters of administration detailed above;
  • Time costed – this means that we charge an hourly rate for the total amount of time it has taken us to administer the estate. This will include time spent meeting with you and others, time spent travelling and waiting, considering, drafting and working on documents and correspondence, and making and receiving telephone calls.  The hourly rates in the WTP team range from £110.00 to £201.00 + VAT.
  • Value element – this is a charge to reflect the complexity of the file and ultimately, the responsibility placed on us. The value element of our charges varies between 1% to 2% of the gross value of the estate and is subject to a reduction concerning the valuation of the deceased’s property.

In addition, there will be disbursements to pay which usually include the probate registry fee of £155.00 plus 50p per additional copy of the grant you require; bankruptcy searches, Section 27 Trustee Act notices to protect the personal representatives against any unexpected claims from creditors (between £250-£350) and Land Registry fees etc.

A disbursement is a cost related to the file but which is paid to a third party.  We arrange for those costs to be paid to make it easier to progress the file.

What is included?

  • Meeting with you to discuss your requirements;
  • Advising you regarding the terms of the Will or the estate distribution on Intestacy (where the deceased did not have a Will).
  • Providing advice and information to you regarding your responsibilities as a Personal Representative;
  • Obtaining valuations of the assets and liabilities in the estate;
  • Drafting the Inheritance Tax form and witness statement and sending it to you to sign or meeting with you to explain the contents;
  • Submitting the IHT forms to HMRC;
  • Dealing with any income tax that is payable or eligible for a refund;
  • Sending the documents to the probate registry to apply for a grant;
  • Encashing the assets and paying any liabilities out of estate funds;
  • Preparing estate accounts;
  • Contacting all beneficiaries to advise about their inheritance and carry out bankruptcy searches;
  • Distribute the estate; and
  • Sending you the original grant and any additional copies you have ordered.

What is not included?

  • Dealing with any disputes between the Beneficiaries;
  • Responding to any challenges brought against the estate;
  • Our costs for selling any property;
  • Tracing any unknown assets;
  • Tracing any missing Beneficiaries;
  • DWP enquiries; and
  • Resolving any trust issues that may arise; and
  • Dealing with any property that was owned outside of England and Wales.

Time scales

Estates can be complex files to deal with which can include unexpected problems, disputes between beneficiaries and personal representatives, tax issues, and business interests, for example.

Estates which are relatively simple to deal with e.g. there is a valid Will, there is no more than one property and 5 bank accounts, no more than 5 beneficiaries who are identifiable and living in England and Wales, no dispute between the beneficiaries, there is no inheritance tax to pay and no claims against the estate, then we would ordinarily expect the case to last between 3 and 6 months.

In cases where there are complicating factors and inheritance tax to pay some cases can last up to 12 months.  When we meet with you and have obtained the information we require, we will be able to provide you with more information as to the likely timescale it will take to complete your file.

2 steps to contacting Howells:

Step 1

Call our New Enquiry Team on 0114 249 66 66 or email [email protected]owellsllp.com for an initial chat about your situation.

Step 2

We’ll listen carefully to you, clarify what you’re trying to achieve, and then explain if and how we can help you. We will take some initial information and liaise with a legal professional regarding your case. If it looks like we can help, we will book you in for a consultation with a legal professional.

The Team

Our team are highly knowledgeable and experienced in all areas of Wills and Probate. They are passionate about helping people take control of their affairs and ensuring rights and wishes are upheld. The team will put you at your ease immediately – while their professionalism and eye for detail will have you leaving relaxed and reassured.

We can meet with you personally in the comfort of our offices in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley. If you are physically unable to attend any of our offices, a home visit can be arranged.

Stephanie Chung
Solicitor
0114 249 6766
Millie Nicholson
Paralegal
0114 249 6638
Lindsey Rawson
Partner
0114 249 6672
Louise Tissington
Paralegal
0114 2496692