Wills & Probate

Will Writing

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.

Applying for the grant of probate, collecting and distributing the assets

Christopher Aigbokhan who is the Director of the Firm is an experienced Probate Practitioner. With over 15 years post qualification experience, he has successfully assisted clients with Will writing, Lasting Power of Attorney and he is actively involved in probate work.

We offer an initial consultation at a fee of £150 plus VAT at 20% to discuss your case. The consultation will involve a fact-find. The consultation will also provide the client the opportunity to meet the solicitor who will act on the case. The solicitor will have the opportunity to obtain as much information about the case.

During the consultation, we provide details of the payment options available. Depending on the complexity of a case, we offer Hourly rate of £267 plus VAT at 20%, Fixed fee of £2,500 – £4,500 plus disbursements and VAT at 20% or a percentage of the gross value of the estate of between 2% and 5% which includes disbursement and VAT at 20%.

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 2-4 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
    Disbursements included in this fee (no VAT is payable)
  • Probate application fee of £273 (no VAT is payable)
  • Land Registry searches £3 (no VAT is payable)
  • Swearing of the oath (per executor) £7 (plus VAT @ 20%)
  • Bankruptcy – only Land Charges Department searches (£7 per beneficiary – no VATis payable)
  • At least £150 post notice in The London Gazette to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors (plus VAT at 20%)
  • £200 Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims (plus VAT at 20%).

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees and Notice in the London Gazette and Local Newspapers. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to minimise delay.

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 (no VAT is payable).
    Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

How long will it take?

On average, estates that falls within this range are dealt with within 3 – 5 months. The length of time it takes would depend on the circumstances of individual matter. We will always update you as to the progress of your case.

Grant only Service

We can assist clients who only require our assistance to obtain the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. Cases that usually fall under this category are those where the total value of the estate is below £325,000 where no inheritance is payable.

How much does this service cost?

TOTAL: fixed fee of £1440 (includes VAT at 20%).
This includes obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.

Breakdown of costs:
– Legal fees £1440 (includes VAT at 20%)
– Disbursements – £273 Grant of Probate fee (no VAT is payable)
– Additional certified copy of the Grant of Probate – £1.50 (no VAT is payable)

Process of full probate service

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate
  • Prepare Estate Accounts and deliver to the Executor/Executrix

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 8-18 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes from 16-20 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 3-6 months depending on the size of the estate. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes between 6-8 weeks.

What is the alternative if a fixed fee cannot be quoted?

Each matter is different and, the circumstances of a particular case would determine which payment option is suitable.
In cases where we cannot quote a fixed fee due to the complexity of the case, we would agree a fixed percentage of between 2% and 5% of the gross value of the estate plus disbursements and VAT at 20%. Where a fixed fee is preferred, an hourly rate of £267 plus VAT @ 20% plus disbursement, would be agreed.

Contested Probate

Contested probate is a dispute between parties with an interest in the estate of a deceased person about how that estate is distributed. Contested probate may occur where a beneficiary believes that the will is invalid due to improper conduct or undue influence or lack of mental capacity. Common situation giving rise to contested probate is where the beneficiary believes the executor improperly, acting outside their powers including mis-using the assets of the estate to the detriment of the beneficiary. We can assist in such cases. We offer a no win no fee damages-based agreement which enable you to successfully bring a claim against the estate/executor. Upon completing the fact-find process and it is agreed that you do have a valid claim, a no win no fee damages-based agreement will be signed. The advantage of this agreement is that you will pay our costs out of any damages recovered from the Estate/Executor. We offer a percentage of between 25 – 35% plus VAT at 20%.

You pay disbursements such as out of pocket expenses, private investigator’s fee, forensic expert plus VAT at 20%, and the issue fee which can be between £340 to £450 (there is no VAT payable).

Get in touch for more information about how we can help.