• Norwich

  • Diss

  • London

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Standard Probate Service

Our Standard Probate Service is a full administration service suitable for straight-forward estates, where there is:

  • a valid Will or straight-forward intestacy i.e spouse and/or adult children inherit under the intestacy rules;
  • up to 4 pecuniary or specific legacies;
  • up to 6 adult residuary beneficiaries;
  • no assets outside England and Wales;
  • only one property, which is the deceased’s main home;
  • accounts with up to 8 separate banks, building societies or National Savings;
  • no shareholdings, insurance policies, investment bonds or other investments;
  • liabilities which do not cause legacies to abate;
  • no disputes or claims against the estate;
  • no requirement to complete formal income tax returns;
  • no requirement for an Inheritance Tax Account (IHT400);
  • an executor who can deal with house clearance, compliance with insurer’s unoccupancy provisions and liaise with agents as to sale of property.

We will:

  • Advise you as to the procedure involved to obtain the Grant and administer the estate;
  • Arrange the valuations and obtain the information necessary to apply for the Grant;
  • Notify beneficiaries and legatees;
  • Prepare the Oath and Return of Estate Information Form and send to you with an explanatory letter for your approval;
  • Arrange any Deed of Renunciation and Affidavits and obtain copies of any death and marriage certificates in support of the Probate application;
  • Arrange for you to swear the Oath at our offices, with an independent commissioner, or send it to you to make your own arrangements;
  • Submit the Grant application;
  • Arrange marketing of property – our real estate team can also deal with the conveyancing on sale (additional fees apply);
  • Encash assets and receive the proceeds into our client account;
  • Pay liabilities;
  • If required, place Trustee Act Notices notifying creditors of the timescale for claims;
  • Settle income tax for the period up to date of death informally with HMRC (formal tax returns excluded);
  • Calculate and pay income tax for the administration period;
  • If required, hold the estate until the period for claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 has expired;
  • Prepare estate accounts showing all receipts and payments and the distribution of the estate;
  • Distribute the estate in accordance with the Will.

Fees for the above are likely to be in the range set out below; 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.

Additional work, eg. if there is no executor able to deal with the property clearance, insurance compliance and sale; or for work listed under the Bespoke Probate Service, can be carried out but additional fees will apply.  If you do not require us to carry out all of the work listed, this will be reflected in our costs.  Fee estimates are based on the time we would expect to spend, at the hourly charging rates of the practitioners working on your matter, which range between £175 and £225 per hour plus VAT.

Estimated range of fees  £4,000 – £7,000
VAT on our fees  £   800 – £1,400

Disbursements (payments we make on your behalf)

Probate Registry fee  £  157*
Commissioners fee  £      7**
LC bankruptcy Searches £      2 per name (UK only; foreign bankruptcy searches tbc)
Trustee Act Notices (est.) £  250
Landmark Asset search £ 162 (if required)

In addition there may be valuers and other professional fees charged by third parties instructed during the estate which will be agreed with you in advance.

*  includes 4 copies of the Grant; add 50p for each additional copy required – please note the Government has proposed increasing the Probate Registry fees from April 2019.
** for each executor, with Will and no codicil– add £2 per executor for each codicil

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-12 months.  Typically, obtaining the Grant takes 3 months.  Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 1-2 months (if a property needs to be sold this can obviously take much longer).  Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2-4 weeks. If you instruct us to delay distribution of the estate until expiry of the period for claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 the estate administration will usually be completed within 12 months from receipt of signed Client Care documents.

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