Probate should be seen as a process of checking the validity of the will, gathering in the deceased assets, paying any tax liabilities, then making a distribution to the beneficiaries.
The starting point for any probate process is the deceased's will. Craybeck Law will review the will to confirm it is valid and suitable to be admitted to Probate. On occasions we find wills which have small defects in them as to their validity. We will explore how best to manage these defects and rectify them as necessary.
A will usually appoints two people as Executors to manage the deceased's estate. Executors have several responsibilities in regard to the probate process. For example they are required to
There is also the validity of the will to consider. For a will to be accepted by the Probate Registry it must be valid conforming to the Wills Act 1837, subsequent legislation, and statutory instruments. On occasions, there is also a house sale to conduct or alternatively working out how the house is to pass to a particular relative who may wish to buy out other beneficiaries' interest in the property.
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By instructing Craybeck Law we will manage the Executors responsibilities. In an uncontested probate this typically consists of -
In contested probates Craybeck Law manages the dispute claim.
Our Probate team consists of our senior solicitor with over 20 years solicitor experience, eight of those working in probate and will preparation. He is supported by three members of staff all with over 5 years probate experience. One of them is an Affiliate Member for elderly client work of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
Our contentious probates are dealt with by one of our Partners who qualified as a solicitor over 15 years ago. He is also a member of Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). He is supported by other expert solicitors and barristers as required.
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Craybeck Law manages both uncontested and contested probates. Where we can we will agree a fixed probate fee with our clients. Sometimes this is not possible owing to the complexity of the probate. At the end of each probate matter we review our fees with our clients adjusting them as appropriate.
With uncontested probates we aim to assist you with gathering in the deceased assets, evaluating these, making inheritance tax payments from the estate and the distribution to the beneficiaries. Our probate fees start from £1750 plus VAT. (VAT is currently 20%). The hourly rates for our senior probate solicitor is £250 plus VAT with our support staff invoicing at £75 an hour plus VAT. Where there is a property to sell and depending upon the complexity of the estate a fixed property value may be charged between 0.5% to 2.5% of the value property plus VAT. This makes the average cost of an uncontested probate around £3,500 plus VAT.
If assistance is required with specific parts of the probate process this is usually invoiced at our senior probate solicitor's hourly rate.
When conducting a probate there are disbursements or other required fees. These include the fee to obtain the grant of probate £155 for probate professional practitioners. Statutory notice adverts London Gazette £70 with other newpapers charging between £70 to £150. Conducting a will search £114. Cost of evaluating chattels and stocks & shares. If selling a property there may also be property valuation fees between £100 to £150 plus VAT. Estate agent fees between £400 - £600 plus VAT. There is also the requirement to insure unoccupied property, insurances are around £400-£500.
We also undertake contested probate matters. This is where, for example there is a dispute as to the validity of the will, who should inherit assets under the will or claims made by someone who has been omitted from the will. It can be a little difficult to put an exact cost on a contentious probate matter. We aim to keep our clients informed every step of the probate process regarding our fees and how the matter is progressing. Contested probate fees start from £2250 plus VAT. Our contested probate solicitor hourly fees are £300 plus VAT. The average costs of a contested probate is around £7500 plus VAT.
We aim to use mediation as part of the probate dispute process. This reduces costs for clients and aims to resolve the matter without the necessity for going to court.
Our fees are based upon the complexity of an estate. Complicating factors include -
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Start your probate - Month 1
Once we have received your instructions we will carry out a detailed review to establish what is needed to apply for the grant of probate for you.
Apply for the Grant of probate - Months 3 to 6
To apply for a grant of probate we have to
Interim Beneficiaries Distributions - Months 6 to 9
A lot of conducting a probate is waiting for replies to enquiries, together with the grant of the probate from the probate registry.
It is possible in many probates to make an interim distribution to beneficiaries. Once the grant of probate has been received and no one is wishing to claim against the estate interim beneficiary distribution can be considered.
Final Beneficiary Distributions - Months 9 to 12
Before final distributions are made we have to confirm that no one is seeking a claim against the estate. There is also confirmation there are no outstanding legal issues, tax to pay or any other probate work to complete. Once we have confirmed there are no outstanding issues then we can consider making a final distribution to the beneficiaries.
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Call our dedicated probate team now on 0800 254 5262 or enter a few details below for immediate assistance.
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