•Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
•Obtain the original Will and any codicils and check due execution
•Identify the legally appointed executors and beneficiaries
• Send copies of the Will to the executors and obtain addresses of all legatees
•Arrange for statutory notices to creditors and claimants in local newspaper and the London Gazette, subject to your instructions
• If not attended to by family, register the death and make arrangements for funeral or cremation with a local undertaker
• Inform companies holding assets and produce copy death certificates
• Advise that the deceased’s home and other property is secure
• Check insurance for the dwelling and other property including any motorcar
• If the dwelling is empty, we inform the insurance company. (Normal cover may be restricted to fire only)
• Consider removal of money, jewellery or any other items of particular value to a bank to hold in safe custody
• Identify the type of probate application required
• Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
•Instruct the deceased’s tax adviser to complete tax affairs to date of death
•Check details of
o Wholly owned assets
o Jointly owned assets
o Lifetime gifts
o Trust funds in which the deceased had a life interest
o Foreign assets
o Legacies and bequests to charities and surviving spouse
•Draft the HMRC account and Oath for executors
• Complete the probate application
•Have the HMRC account signed, the Oath sworn and the Will (and any codicils) marked by the executors.
• Request a letter of authority to the bank from the executors for the release of items in safe custody
•Apply for the Grant of Probate
•After Grant of Probate is obtained
o Collect and distribute all assets in the estate
o Pay debts
o Consider payment of legacies bearing in mind the expiry date of statutory notices and any possible claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
•Register the Grant of Probate with all companies, banks, building societies, insurance companies etc
•Consider how final distribution will be dealt with
•Send estate accounts to executors for approval
•Assist with administration of tax returns or instruct accountants
•On receipt of approval by all executors, send estate accounts and discharges to residuary beneficiaries with Income Tax certificates
Costs and timescales
We anticipate this will take between 8 and 12 hours work at £250.00 per hour. Total costs estimated at -£1,500 - £2,500 +VAT. (*VAT is charged at the current rate of 20%). 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.
We will handle the full process for you. This estimate is for estates where:
• There is a valid will
•There is no more than one property
•There are no more than 4 bank or building society accounts
•There are no other intangible assets
•There are 1-4 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 to be added to this fee:
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process
•Probate application fee of £155.00 + £1 per office copy.
• £7 - Swearing of the oath (per executor)
• £2 - Bankruptcy - only Land Charges Department searches
• £180 approximately - Post in The London Gazette and a Local Newspaper.
Potential additional costs
•If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there are 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 estimate once we have more information.
•Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 4-8 months. Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 8-12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2-4 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes a further 2-4 weeks.
People very often imagine that all they need do to make a will is to write down on a piece of paper what they want and to sign and date it. Nothing could be further from the truth. The formalities involved in making a will are very technical and they can, and do, frequently trip up amateur will-makers. The results of apparently simple mistakes can lead to costly litigation which can very easily be avoided when the will is originally drafted. These are by means the only formalities attending the making of a will and, indeed, the necessary formalities can vary according to the circumstances.
There are also rules about beneficiaries and spouses of beneficiaries acting as witnesses to the will. All in all, the process is by no means straightforward and it is a very foolhardy person who relies upon a homemade will. Incidentally, it is approximately only one adult in three who has a will which is a surprisingly low figure considering the benefits that a will can provide at normally very modest cost. At Shergill & Co. we have the experience to handle all that you may require.
Whether these formalities should be so technical is, of course, debatable but so long as they exist it is sensible to have any will professionally drawn up and not to attempt to do it yourself. One such formality is laid down by section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 and it will give a flavour of what is involved: "No will shall be valid unless:
it is in writing, and signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence and by his direction;
and it appears that the testator intended by his signature to give effect to the will; and
the signature is made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time; and
each witness either - (i) attests and signs the will; or (ii) acknowledges his signature, in the presence of the testator (but not necessarily in the presence of any other witness), but no form of attestation shall be necessary."
Our Services to you: Probate Cases with No Inheritance Tax liability:
In England and Wales probate is the formal process to obtain a formal document which is needed in order to deal with the estate of the deceased.
Our Private Client department is headed by Debra Evans, a qualified solicitor with over 20 years’ experience in dealing with Wills and Probate matters and she will be assisted by Hardeep Singh Nandra, a qualified solicitor since 2016.