Wills & Probate
Someone said the only certainties in life are death and taxes. We are not tax advisors, but we do help people prepare to have their wishes extend beyond the end of their own life and administer estates on behalf of families and loved ones. A well written will is important, whether your estate is complex or simple.
Some of the cheaper, web-based Will arrangements may not be suited to your particular needs. Poorly prepared Wills can be very costly especially for the beneficiaries and the loved ones who will have to deal with the consequences of a badly written Will. A professionally written Will gives you the peace of mind knowing that your last wishes will be carried out to the letters. We assist many of our clients with their Wills. If you are considering making a Will but not sure when or how to go about it, now is the time to give us a call to arrange a one-to-one meeting to discuss your particular needs. We can arrange home visit if necessary. For a professional service and peace of mind, give us a call today.
Probate is the process which involves making application to the Probate Registry for the necessary authority (Grant of Probate) which allows the executors or those acting on behalf of the executors to carry out the last wishes of the Testator/Testatrix (the person(s) who has died leaving a Will). Where a person who has died did not leave a will, they are said to have died intestate in which case, an application will be made to apply for Letters of Administration.
At Chris & Co, we recognize the importance of Probate service, and that recognition helps us to better serve our community. This is why Will writing, Lasting Power of Attorney and Probate Service plays an important part of our role in the community.
We emphasize the importance of Consultation to potential clients. It is an important part of our service delivery.
Consultation enables the exchange of information between us and the potential client thereby helping us to build a rapport which is necessary to building a lasting relationship. We will tell what documents you need to bring with you to the consultation. We charge a fee of £150 + VAT.
Qualification and experience
Our Principal Christopher Aigbokhan, solicitor, heads our Will writing, Lasting Power of Attorney applications and Probate matters. Some of the Probate cases we have successfully assisted our clients with are those in which we were instructed in the Will writing. We have a bank of skilled Paralegals, Accountants, Tax Advisors, and specialist barristers whose inputs enables the firm to deliver a rounded Probate service which meets our clients’ expectation.
What does Probate involve?
When a person has died, they may leave a Will or they may have died without making a Will, in which case, they are referred to as having died intestate. If a person died leaving a Will with an estate valued over £5,000, you will need to apply for a Grant of Probate. However, if a person died without a Will and they left an estate which is valued over £5,000 you will need to apply for Letters of Administration. In both cases, there is application form to be completed by either the executors of the Will or they may appointment a Representative who will undertake the application process on their behalf. Estate valued up to £5,000 or below will not require Probate.
Key Stages & Timescale
During consultation, we will discuss the key stages and the likely timescale. Depending on individual client’s situation, obtaining information necessary to undertake the Probate process can be complex, especially where the person who has died left a large family. Initial consultation continues to play a vital role in all the Probate cases we have successfully conducted for our clients.
On average, it could take between 4 months to 8 months to obtain the Grant of Probate (where there is a Will) or Letters of Administration (where there is no Will). The timescale may vary depending on each client’s particular circumstances
Standard Probate service include
Although it would depend on individual case, our probate service could cover:
- Where the deceased had life insurance policies, requesting the insurance policies from the executors and to liaise with the relevant insurance companies
- Gathering the assets of the Estate by contacting banks, building societies and insurance companies to confirm the deceased’s bank account details with the banks
- Determine the value of the estate for Inheritance tax purposes
- Complete the appropriate Inheritance tax forms to be lodged with HMRC
- Payment of the relevant Inheritance tax
- Approach the bank (if necessary) for a loan to pay the Inheritance Tax
- Applying for the Grant of Probate
- Provide the banks and other financial houses with a copy of the Grant of Probate to enable them to release funds belonging to the deceased (part of assets gathering)
- Collect debt owed to the Estate
- Paying the Estate’s debts
- Administration of the Estate of the deceased
If we are instructed to administer the Estate
Service will cover:
- Identify the executors and the beneficiaries
- Arrange a meeting (if necessary) to read the Will
- Proceed with the distribution of the Estate as per the Will
- Prepare Final Accounts of the Estate
Disbursement is costs or expenses which we pay on your behalf in pursuit of your case. We may require the services of an Accountant and/or Tax Advisor. We will pay the Probate Registry’s fee which is currently £273 and the fee for copies of the Grant of Probate at £1.50 per copy. We will usually discuss disbursement during consultation so that you are fully aware of all associated costs or expenses applicable to your case.
No two Probate clients are alike. Therefore, our fee will reflect the amount of work carried out and the complexity of individual client’s case.
Our fixed fee to obtain a Grant of Probate start from £1,950 plus VAT depending on the complexity of case.
Our fixed fee to administer the Estate start from £2,500 plus VAT depending on the complexity of case.
We offer the option of a Fixed Fee plus VAT, Hourly rate plus VAT and a percentage of the gross value of the estate plus VAT. We recommend an initial consultation to enable us assess case.
Feel free to contact us should you require further information concerning your Probate, Will writing or Lasting Power of Attorney.