Probate and Administration of Estates

What is Probate

Probate or administration of estate is a term commonly used to refer to the manner in which the people responsible for dealing with the deceased's estate carry out their duties.

A Grant (otherwise known as a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration) is a legal document granted by the Probate Registry, which confirms that the personal representatives have authority to deal with the assets in the deceased's estate. All of the deceased's assets and liabilities have to be ascertained and valued. If the deceased left a valid Will, then the executors appointed are the only people entitled to deal with the estate.

If there is no Will, then the estate will be administered in accordance with the Intestacy Rules and the deceased's spouse or nearest blood relatives, known as administrators, will need to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration. They will have no access to the deceased's estate until they have obtained the Grant. If the value of the estate is over £5,000 and the deceased left a valid Will, it may be necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate. Where there is no Will then a Grant of Letters of Administration must be obtained. Where the estate is £5,000 or less, it may be dealt with under the Small Estates Procedure.

Do you need a grant to deal with the estate?

A Grant is usually required where the deceased's estate includes:
  • Stocks or shares

  • Some insurance policies

  • Property or land held in their sole name or as tenants in common.

  • Savings and investments

Dealing with the administration of an estate requires skill and experience. The responsibilities and duties of the personal representatives are numerous. They will be personally liable to the beneficiaries if they fail to administer the estate properly

Deed of variation

A Deed of Variation may be used to alter the deceased's Will after death. Any variation must be done within two years of the date of death. The beneficiaries of an estate may vary the provisions of a deceased's Will so that:

  • It's more tax efficient

  • To preserve assets

  • To alter the entitlement to the estate.

The service we provide

We are Probate specialists. Our Private Client department covers a wide variety of work which include the following:
Probate - Administration of the deceased's Estate
  • Ascertaining the assets and liabilities in the estate.
  • Preparation of the inheritance tax papers
  • Arranging payment of the Inheritance Tax
  • Applying for and obtaining the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration.
  • Collecting the assets in the estate.
  • Placing of statutory advertisements.
  • Dealing with payment of the debts and distribution of the estate.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of the deceased’s property.
Other services we provide
  • Preparing Deeds of Variation to vary the deceased’s Will.
  • Contesting Wills and claims against the deceased’s estates.
  • Elderly client advice including Asset Protection
  • Advising on mental capacity issues including Deputyship applications.
  • Preparing and registering Lasting Powers of Attorneys.
  • Registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney.

Why use our Probate service?

People use Y Bacchus & Co Solicitors probate service because we:
  • Take the stress out of dealing with the probate.

  • Provide a highly competitive fixed fee probate.

  • Provide a professional, personal and friendly service.
  • Provide a comprehensive and specialist probate service.

  • Mitigate inheritance tax and asset preservation through Deeds of Variation.

  • Are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Fees for Probate

We can help you with as much or as little as you wish.
Probate work can be charged on a fixed fee basis but it depends on how much work needs to be done. Our fees are calculated according to the complexity of the matter, the number of staff required to assist and the length of time it will take to finalise your matter.
Fees start from £1,250.00 plus VAT by arrangement for a small estate.
For all other estates, we charge an hourly rate of £195.00 plus VAT unless a fixed fee has been agreed. Disbursements, such as Probate Registry fees, are charged separately.
For guidance as to our pricing, please see examples of our packages below:

Option A - £1,250.00 Plus VAT @20% and Plus Disbursements For:

  • Brief Advice on the Probate.
  • Preparation of the Basic Probate Papers And Statement based on information provided by you.
  • Obtaining The Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration

Timescale - 2 to 3 Months

Option B - £2,350.00 Plus VAT @20% and Plus Disbursements For:

  • Advice on the Probate
  • Ascertaining the Assets And Liabilities in the Estate.
  • Preparation of the Basic Probate Papers and Statement.
  • Obtaining the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration.
  • Collecting The Money from the Financial Institutions.

Timescale - 3 to 4 Months

Option C - £6,950.00 Plus VAT @20% and Plus Disbursements For:

  • Advice on the Probate
  • Ascertaining the Assets and Liabilities in the Estate.
  • Preparation of an IHT 400 Inheritance Tax Account and supplementary forms.
  • Reclaiming the Residence Nil Rate Band and other reliefs.
  • Arranging Payment of The inheritance tax.
  • Applying for the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration.
  • Collecting The Money from the Financial Institutions.
  • Sale Or Transfer of a Freehold Property.
  • Paying The Sale Proceeds To You.

Timescale - 6 to 7 Months

Option D - A Fully Managed Probate
This is a bespoke service which removes the stress and worry that an executor can experience when facing a complex or large estate. Typically, we charge an Hourly Rate of £195.00 Plus VAT @20% And Plus Disbursements, however, we are still prepared to offer a fixed fee where possible. Please contact us to discuss your particular requirements. Under this package, we complete all work within Options A to C plus any other work that you request us to complete on your behalf, for example:

  • Work as set out in options A, B, or C above (whichever is most appropriate).
  • Placing of Statutory Advertisements.
  • First Registration of The Property.
  • Dealing with any claim made by The Department For Work And Pensions regarding overpayment of benefits.
  • Making interim distributions of monies until the administration of the Estate has been finalised.
  • Preparation of an Estate Account.
  • Corresponding with the Beneficiaries regarding the Estate.
  • Final Distribution of the Monies to the Beneficiaries.
  • Preparation of Income Tax Return/Capital Gains Tax Return.
  • Payment of any Income Tax or Capital Gain.
  • Finalising The Administration of The Estate.

Timescale - Variable depending on how much of the above is required. For a large or complex probate, it could take 1 Year 6 Months to finalise the administration of the estate.

Where The Firm Has Been Appointed As Executor in the Will
The Firm Takes On Full Responsibility And Liability For The Assets In The Estate. We charge as follows:

  • 1. Hourly Rate of £215.00 Plus VAT @20%
  • 2. Value Element of 0.75% on any Property (As Recommended by the Law Society)
  • 3. Value Element of 1% on other Assets In The Estate. (As Recommended by the Law Society)

The overall fees really depend on the amount of work undertaken such as:
  • The Number of Assets.
  • Any Claims Brought by DWP or others
  • HMRC Income And Capital Gains Tax To Be Paid or Reclaimed.
  • The Number of Beneficiaries with whom we need to communicate.
  • The Number of Interim Distributions Required, if any.

Timescale – Up to 1 year 6 months, however, this is varies depending on the work required.

Typical disbursements are as follows:

  • Probate Registry fee of £155.00 plus £1.50 for each additional copy Grant
  • Special Delivery Postage - £9.50 plus VAT
  • Bank Transfer fees of £30.00 plus VAT for each BACS/CHAPS inland.
  • Statutory Advertisements (Notices to Creditors) - Between £100 and £200.
  • Valuations Fees for Property, Stocks/Shares and other Items of Value - Variable
To discuss a probate or for more information on our fees, please contact us on 0208 524 9111.

Fees for Contesting a Will or Making a Claim against the Estate

£220.00 per hour plus VAT and disbursements.