The term ‘probate’ refers to the process of the administration of an estate following the owner’s death. It can often be time-consuming and complicated, but unless the estate is worth less than £5,000 it is necessary. Finding yourself in the position of responsibility following the death of a loved one can be daunting and you may not have the time, knowledge or energy to complete the process yourself. If this is the case, we recommend seeking advice from professionals to find out how they can help. Here our Wills & Probate Solicitor, Mike Cattermole, has given an overview of the probate services we offer to our clients at Punch Robson.
If the person applying for the Grant of Probate is named in the Will of the deceased, they are known as the ‘executor’. Otherwise, they are an ‘administrator’. Both forms of personal representative will need to think about which steps of the process, if any, they would like to complete independently and where they will require professional assistance.
We provide two probate services to our clients:
- Full administration
- Grant of probate
Our full administration service covers every step of the process, so you can take a step back knowing you are in safe, experienced hands and everything will be done properly. We will apply for the grant, gather in the estate and distribute to the beneficiaries. We will carry out the entire process to give you the confidence that everything has been properly handled.
For this service we charge an hourly rate which varies according to the experience of the solicitor dealing with your case. This means that we will only charge for the work that we carry out for you, which helps keep our cost low. Our solicitors are able to provide you with an estimation of how much time we expect your case to take before we begin the process. The time frame will depend on the complexity of the estate, but on average these cases are said to take 6 – 9 months in the UK and approximately 80 working hours.
Some of our clients choose to do part of the process independently, where they may have previous experience and/or an understanding of how the process works. In such cases, the client will give us the valuations of the estate and our specialist team will process the inheritance tax forms and apply for the grant of probate. Our grant of probate service is charged at a fixed fee of £500 (+ VAT and disbursements). We charge a fixed fee so our clients know the costs upfront and can be confident that there will be no nasty surprises.
Our Wills & Probate team are specialists in dealing with all probate matters and we are always fair and upfront with our costs. The way that probate specialists set their fees varies, so it is important that you understand which pricing system is right for you before beginning the process.
Wherever possible our solicitors will arrange a face-to-face meeting with you to discuss your case before starting the process. For this initial meeting, we will usually ask you to bring the following documents;
Original will (if applicable)
ID and proof of address for the executors
Details of assets and liabilities
Funeral invoice (if the funeral has already taken place)
National Insurance number of deceased