Our Services

Probate & Intestacy

Applying for a Grant of Probate

When someone dies then the executors of their Will are responsible for collecting the estate in and distributing it in accordance with the Will. Executors are formally appointed, by the deceased in their Will.

An application for a Grant of Probate essentially means that the Will is considered and “proved” and the Court then issue a document called a Grant of Probate which lists the Executor or Executors and gives an overall value of the estate.

You do not always need a Grant of Probate and this really depends upon the size of the estate and whether there is property to transfer or sell. As a general rule, the more the estate comprises of, the more likely it is that you will need a Grant of Probate, but we would always advise you of your options at the outset and whether one is absolutely necessary.

You have to complete an inheritance tax form when applying for Probate, either by way of a document called an IHT 205 or a full inheritance tax return on the IHT 400 forms. We can assist you with all of this and our Solicitors are highly experienced in drafting these documents and ensuring that they are accurate and correct.

At the same time these documents are prepared, we shall draft the PA1P form which is the application for the Grant of Probate. These are all then lodged, together with the death certificate and the original Will, at the closest District Probate Registry to you.

It usually takes the District Probate Registry 2 – 3 months to process and complete the application. It can often take a number of months to value the assets and estate prior to lodging the application with the registry and therefore you can generally expect that the process of extracting a Grant of Probate can often take between 6 – 9 months and as a very general guide. Sometimes it can take longer if there are complicated issues to contend with or ascertaining the extent of the estate is more complicated.

Applying for Letters of Administration

If the deceased hasn`t made a Will then the closest relative will need to be approved by the High Court as a Personal Representative of the estate. When you die without a Will this is known as dying “intestate” and the rules of intestacy apply.

The rules of intestacy provide an ordered list as to which family members can apply to administer the estate, and be appointed as the personal representative. They also provide an order as to who is to inherit.

Often intestacy matters tend to involve more time because a Will has to be searched for and it must be certain, as far as is possible, that there isn`t a Will. This is important, because if a Will is later uncovered it can severely delay matters because the wrong steps will have been taken.

Our Probate Solicitors / Costs

All of our Probate Solicitors are highly experienced and able to act upon behalf of the estate in order to administer the same.

Some Solicitors firms and banks charge a percentage of the estate for dealing with the administration of an estate. Here at Laker Legal Solicitors we believe that approach to be unfair and disproportionate. The firm`s fees are determined upon the complexity of the estate and not the size of the estate.

The firm`s national hourly charging rates are set at a maximum of £230 + VAT and that rate is for our most experienced Solicitors. Our practitioner’s hourly charging rates range between £175 – £220 + VAT depending upon their individual levels of experience.

An uncontested straightforward Probate matter with all assets in the UK (requiring form IHT205) will usually be completed within 6 – 12 months. More complex estates usually take between 12 – 18 months to complete. These timescales are estimates and upon the basis that the matter does not become delayed due to protracted property transactions, such as the delayed sale of a house, for example. We keep all of our clients appraised of their matter at all times and provide updates throughout their matter accordingly at the relevant times.

The exact cost will ultimately depend on the individual circumstances of the matter.  By way of example if there are only 1 or 2 Beneficiaries, a limited number of bank accounts, a straight forward tax return (on form IHT205) and no house sale then legal fees would range approximately between £2,000 – £3,000 + Vat.  If there is a house sale then conveyancing would be in addition.

A more complicated uncontested administration of an estate (involving a full inheritance tax return) would usually cost between £4,000 – £8,000 + Vat, depending upon the level of assets and complexity of the matter. This is a guide only and a detailed estimate will be provided to you upon request to take account the individual circumstance of your case. Our charges guidance would be in addition to the below disbursements, (disbursements are expenses your solicitor pays on your behalf and is then charged out to you).

  • Probate Court fee of £215.00
  • £1.50 for each office copy of the Grant required (1 per asset usually)
  • If applicable to your case – possible fees for Trustee Act Notices in the London and Local Gazette– usually range between £200 – £400 + Vat
  • Telegraphic Bank Transfer Fees when we are sending monies £25.00 + VAT
  • £15.00, ID verification charge.
  •  Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department search (£2.00 per individual)
  • This is on the basis there are no claims or challenges against the estate.

OUR FIXED FEE SERVICES

We may be able to provide a Fixed Fee following consideration of the complexity of the estate and overall case. In the event we are able to offer you a fixed fee then we will:

  • Provide you with a fully qualified Probate Solicitor to handle your matter. This either be a Director of the firm or another Solicitor who will be supervised by a Director.
  • 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 District Probate Registry
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
  • Collect and distribute all the assets in the estate

Please contact us today to see how we can assist you and your family at this difficult time, 

What our clients say

Don't take our word for it...

Richard, I cannot thank you enough for all of your professional help during this very stressful time in my life. Thank you again, I will keep in touch.

Mr T of Maidstone

Jessica Blacow from Laker Legal Solicitors Lancaster pulled out every stop truly amazing lady / firm nothing was to much trouble I honestly felt like they was my friends not just a firm that wanted your money but a solicitor firm that cared with compassion I will use Laker Legal Solicitors Lancaster for all my needs in the future.

Mr T, Lancaster

Stephen – Just to say a massive heartfelt THANK YOU for all your work and support , not only on the sale of our business but the opening too. You’re truly one in a million, and we appreciate all you’ve done.

Ms G & Ms K – Wheatley, Oxfordshire

A big ‘thank you’ Richard from Steve and myself.
Your time and attention you gave to both of us was remarkable.
I’ve had dealings with many solicitors over the years, but have never received this level of service as you gave.

Mrs R – West Malling, Kent

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