Private Client

Private Client

Our wills, probate, trusts and estate planning team is on hand to offer you legal advice whatever your circumstances including drafting wills, assisting with probate, tax planning, powers of attorney, tax-efficient wills, estate planning and declarations of trust.

We deliver a cost-effective and timely service which can help you and your family save thousands of pounds and if required we can offer home visits.

Dealing with wills and inheritance can be stressful. It’s our job to make things simpler – and your life easier. Our expert team focuses on providing advice that’s practical, cost-effective and easy-to-understand. They’ll sit down with you to explain the process, look at your options, and find the right solution for you and your family. We’ve done things this way for decades. It’s how we’ve built relationships with generations of families, across the region and beyond. Clients welcome our practical yet sensitive approach to their private financial affairs. Our aim is to provide you and your family with the best advice possible and believe in a no-nonsense, no jargon approach. As a result, most of our clients come to us from recommendation by the family and friends of existing clients.

As your financial standing is certain to change over time, you should review your affairs regularly, and certainly before any major events such as:

  • Getting married
  • Buying a home
  • Having children
  • Retiring
  • Other life-changing events, like divorce or bereavement, should also trigger a review of your assets.

Please contact us to make an appointment and we will send you questionnaires to complete prior to your visit.

Probate

For estates where a full Inheritance Tax return is not required and it is an uncontested estate administration, we anticipate the time that we will spend in dealing with this for you this will vary and we will keep you updated with time estimates.
The rates charged by our probate solicitors vary on experience however the average fees are £320 per hour plus VAT and by our probate executives £175 per hour plus VAT.

VAT is currently charged at the rate applicable at 20%.

Disbursements

In addition to our charges, certain costs will be payable to third parties, which are called ‘disbursements’. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Examples of the common disbursements payable in connection with obtaining a Grant of Probate are:

  • Probate application fee of between £155 – £165
  • Swearing of the oath – £7 (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy searches (£3 per beneficiary)
  • Statutory Notices – £180 – £360 Post in The London Gazette and in a local newspaper – This helps to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors

The total costs (including disbursements and VAT at 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 are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this will lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executor
    • 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

Potential additional costs

  • If there are assets that require specialist valuation, then this will incur additional cost;
  • If there are overseas assets;
  • If the estate involves complex tax issues then specialist tax advice will be required and additional costs will be incurred;
  • If there are Trusts to administer in the Will; and
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 3-5 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-8 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 3-4 weeks, (excluding dealing with the sale of any property). Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4-8 weeks. Although in some circumstances we advise (in order to protect the executors against third party claims) that the estate assets are not distributed earlier than 10 months from the date of Grant of Probate.

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets if a Full Inheritance Tax Return is Required

Our Charges

If a full Inheritance Tax Return is required then our costs will be higher. We anticipate the time we will spend will be between 15 and 30 hours. Our charges (at the rates mentioned above)

Disbursements
In addition to our charges, certain costs will be payable to third parties, which are called ‘disbursements’. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Examples of the common disbursements payable in connection with obtaining a Grant of Probate are:

  • Probate application fee of between £155 – £165
  • Swearing of the oath – £7 (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy searches (£3 per beneficiary)
  • Statutory Notices – £180 – £360 Post in The London Gazette and in a local newspaper – This helps to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors

We will

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Advise you on your duties as an Executor and on all matters which will need to be completed to fully deal with the administration of the estate
  • Obtain details and valuations of all assets and liabilities in the estate
  • Collect in the assets of the estate
  • Settle any debts and liabilities of the estate
  • Prepare estate accounts
  • 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

Potential additional costs

  • If there are assets that require a specialist valuation, then this will incur additional cost;
  • If there are overseas assets;
  • If the estate involves complex tax issues then specialist tax advice will be required and additional costs will be incurred;
  • If there are Trusts to administer in the Will; and
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-18 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-8 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 3-4 weeks, (excluding dealing with the sale of any property). Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4-8 weeks. Although in some circumstances we advise (in order to protect the executors against third party claims) that the estate assets are not distributed earlier than 10 months from the date of Grant of Probate.

Contentious Probate

We can help resolve disputes around Wills and legacies.

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