Basis of charging for uncontested Probate where all assets are in the UK
We do not charge a fixed fee for Probate. Instead we charge a fee based on the estimated size of the Estate and the time it will take, based on our hourly rates. Our fees cover the standard work (see below) required to complete the Probate, including obtaining the Grant. However, not all transactions are straightforward and if difficulties arise which mean extra work is needed, we will need to spend extra time dealing with that, so this will result in a higher charge. (Please see “Our additional services menu” below)
Typically, the time we will spend dealing with an Estate (grant, collecting and distributing) will be between 15 hours and 20 hours. The work will be done by the person most suitable for that work within our team: for example, simple Estates and the simpler parts of complex Estates will be dealt with at a more junior level and the more complicated parts of complex Estates will be dealt with at a more senior level. The charging rates of our team members are set out below, under their profiles. We will confirm with you the person most suitable to carry out your work when you contact us.
As an example, a senior team member (charged at £200 plus VAT per hour) could do the work in 15 to 20 hours, resulting in a charge of £3,000 to £4,000 plus VAT, whereas a more junior team member (charged at £150 plus VAT per hour) could do the work in 15 to 20 hours, resulting in a charge of £2,250 to £3,000 plus VAT.
This assumes that the Estate is one where:
· there is a Will
· there is no more than one property
· all assets are in the UK
· there are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts
· there are no intangible assets (patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc.)
· there are no more than 3 beneficiaries
· there are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets – if disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
· the value of the estate does not exceed £325,000 as the estate will likely become liable for Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) after this point – if you think that the Estate will be above this value, you should contact us direct for an estimate of fees.
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.
Disbursements (expenses we administer on your behalf)
Disbursements to be paid in addition to our hourly charges:
· Probate application fee of £155 plus 50p for each extra copy of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
· £5 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
· Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
· £220 typically for a Post in The London Gazette – protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
· £220 typically for a post in a Local Newspaper – this also helps to protect against unexpected claims.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to others, such as court fees. We handle the payment of them on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
What does this fee cover?
Our range of fees is designed to reflect the average time it takes to administer an Estate and does not take account of unexpected difficulties which may arise. Obtaining Probate and distributing assets is not always straightforward, but in general, this is what we will do during a typical transaction:
· take your detailed instructions and provide initial advice
· provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate team member to work on your matter
· 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 Probate Court on your behalf
· obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
· collect and distribute all assets in the Estate
· prepare and finalise Estate Accounts showing the financial position.
We may need to charge more if the transaction turns out to be more complex than this. For example, we make assumptions about certain factors which apply, and if they do not, meaning that extra work is required, we will add further fees to the above total. For example, the fees above apply where the Estate has assets solely within the UK and there are no missing beneficiaries.
Our additional services menu and fee structure (we will charge extra if any of these apply)
· share holdings (stocks and bonds) are not included but can be dealt with at an additional cost of around £100 plus VAT depending on the number of share or bond holdings
· 4+ beneficiaries can be dealt with at £100 plus VAT per additional beneficiary
· the conveyance of any property in the Estate is not included (we do not offer conveyancing so you will need to instruct another solicitor to do this for you).
How long will obtaining Probate and administering the Estate take?
The time taken from instructing us to obtain a Grant to completion of the distribution of the Estate will depend on a number of factors. On average, Estates like this are dealt with within 12-18 months. It can be quicker or slower, depending on the extent of the assets and whether there are missing beneficiaries or IHT to pay or whether any unforeseen complications arise. In cases where there are assets overseas, or there are particular assets which require specialist valuations or the terms of the Will are contested, this can take significantly longer.
Obtaining the Grant of Probate typically takes 12-16 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take 16-20 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes around 4-8 weeks.
Who will be doing my work? Meet our Probate team!
Our dedicated Probate team has many years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all Probate matters. We have give team members who may work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Julia Morrill, Head of Private Client Department.
The period following bereavement is a difficult time and family members or Executors appointed under a Will may require help and advice to successfully navigate through the Probate process, which distributes the assets of the deceased’s Estate in line with the Court’s authority.
Our team can work with you to take on as much or as little involvement as you need and to clearly explain the necessary steps. If you wish, we can simply apply for the initial Grant of Representation on your behalf so that you can then take over the remainder of the process. However, if you prefer we can take over conduct of any of the stages in which you do not want to be involved. Alternatively, we can take care of the entire procedure for you.
We want you to feel that you are receiving a personal service and therefore we are keen to introduce you to the whole team.
Julia Morrill, Director
Charge rate: £200 plus VAT per hour (£240 per hour in total)
I have over 25 years’ experience in settling high value, multi-million pound clinical negligence claims on behalf of both children and adults and I am known for my empathetic, commonsense approach. I have particular expertise in birth injury cases.
This skill and experience informs my role as a specialist Court of Protection appointed Professional Deputy, making me ideally placed to assist in managing with the financial and property affairs of individuals the Court of Protection has deemed do not have capacity to do so themselves.
Due to my in depth knowledge and expertise I now head the Private Client Department at Minton Morrill. My role as a Court of Protection solicitor has made it vital that I am able to offer my clients an all round service in the management and protection of their assets. I am renowned in providing clear, practical and effective advice that is effective in protecting and preserving the assets of my clients. I work closely with other professionals, such as financial advisers, accountants and wealth managers to achieve my client's goals.
My role as a Private Client solicitor involves advising individuals on all aspects of asset planning. This includes advice on Administration of Estates, Court of Protection matters, Inheritance Tax, Probate, Powers of Attorney, Trusts and Wills.
Charge rate: £150 plus VAT per hour (£180 per hour in total)
I began working at Minton Morrill after completing my postgraduate studies in 2014. I subsequently qualified as a solicitor in December 2018. I assist in various areas of Private Client work; including Court of Protection (property and finances), Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate. Due to the interchangeable nature of Private Client work I believe it is important that I am able to provide clients with advice and assistance in these ever expanding areas.
Applying for Probate and Letters of Administration can be a very stressful and lengthy process, especially as clients are dealing with bereavement. My approach is to be personable during this time and assist my clients through the various stages of Probate as much or as little as they want.
| Raksha Champaneri, Paralegal
Direct dial: 0113 391 6012
Charge rate: £100 plus VAT per hour (£120 per hour in total)
|Mary Woodward, Paralegal
Direct dial: 0113 391 6007
Charge rate: £100 plus VAT per hour (£120 per hour in total)