Here at Landons we appreciate and understand that losing a loved one is a hard and emotional time of your life. The legal side of dealing with death can be complicated and overwhelming. This is why our team at Landons are committed to offering an approachable, responsive and efficient service, to make matters a little easier during a difficult time.
As part of our service Landons would always ensure that you are provided with a dedicated and experienced Probate Solicitor to work on your matter. At present, Jessie Stewart and Aneesah Ahmed are actively working within the Private Client department and on Probate matters in particular.
Jessie Stewart has worked in the Private Client team at Landons since 2016 and since qualifying Jessie has become a Director and owner of Landons. Jessie is in the process of obtaining her Diploma in Trusts and Estates with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly as well as being a ‘Dementia Friend’.
Jessie takes instructions and advises clients in relation to Wills, Estate and Tax Planning, Trusts, Lasting Powers of Attorney Probate and Estate Administration. Jessie’s recent work includes but is not limited to;
- Acting for Executors on complex high net estates, including estates comprising foreign assets
- Preparing Wills that included a Trust in order to provide financial protection for a disabled beneficiary
- Advising clients on Care Fees
- Advising on and preparing a Deed of Variation
- Advising on and preparing a Deed of Appropriation
- Advising and preparing the Inheritance Tax Forms for large Estates where the Nil Rate Band and Residence Nil Rate Band were transferable and ensuring that the Estate made use of all allowances available
- Preparing Wills and giving Inheritance Tax advice as well as related estate planning advice for spouse where one spouse was terminally ill to include arranging a transfer of one property between the spouses to reduce Capital Gains Tax and subsequently Inheritance Tax.
Aneesah qualified as a solicitor in 2016 and became a part of the Landons Private Client team in 2017.
Aneesah takes instructions on and provides advice in relation to Wills, Inheritance Tax regulations, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Probate, Estate Administration, the Care Act and Tax Planning. Aneesah also has a special interest in Mental Health Law and prepares complex applications for Deputyship Orders. Recent highlights include:
- Preparation of Wills for individuals with complex requirements and various family set ups including but not limited to:
- high net worth individuals
- individuals with alternative family set ups such as married couples with step children and previous families
- assisting clients to arrange their assets for their future financial protection
- preparing Wills for clients to include Trusts for relatives who lack capacity or are subject to the Mental Health Act
- advising clients on Care Fees and how to minimise these
- Collecting in and administering high net value Estates including Estates with assets abroad
- Arranging for the closure of asset portfolios
- Applying the available Inheritance Tax allowances and exemptions to minimise the Estate’s tax liability
- Preparing instructions for a complex and thorough valuation of agricultural land and applying the available agricultural tax exemptions
- Calculating an Estate valuation and strategically applying business relief to assets which would otherwise incur Inheritance Tax
- Setting up Trusts for minors who are the recipients on large inheritances
- Properly advising executors on their roles and responsibilities of managing and maintaining Estate assets
Aneesah is always willing to go that extra mile to discuss the specific needs of her clients and is an Alzheimer’s Research UK specialist solicitor.
Probate takes many different forms depending not only on whether or not the deceased made a Will but also depending on what assets belonged to the deceased when they died. A Solicitor at Landons would be more than happy to explain to you and assist you with all or any aspects of Probate.
We offer our services which would include but not be limited to the identification of the legally appointed Executors or Administrators and Beneficiaries. We would always ensure the proper reading of the Will and an explanation of the same to the Executors or Administrators. We would make the necessary enquiries in order for us to complete a list of debts and assets belonging to the Estate in order to continue to complete any necessary Inheritance Tax Forms to forward the same to HMRC where applicable.
We would then draft the Probate Application Form and ensure that you have all of the necessary documentation required in order to make a Probate application with the Probate Registry Office to ultimately obtain the Grant of Probate.
We would then deal with any matters from obtaining the Grant of Probate through to the collection of the assets. We would then distribute all assets in the Estate in accordance with the Will or the rules of Intestacy.
How much will it cost?
If a Solicitor were to assist you with Probate matters, then we would anticipate that this would take between 7 and 15 hours work. A Solicitor’s fee would be £220.00 + VAT per hour and a Senior Solicitor’s fee would be £250.00 + VAT per hour. The total cost for a Solicitor to assist you would therefore be estimated between £1,540.00 – £3,300.00 + VAT.
We will handle the full process for you here at Landons. This quote range above is for Estates where:
- There is a valid Will
- There is no more than one property
- There are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are 1-4 beneficiaries
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
- 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
The exact cost will of course 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.
In the event that there is no Will or the Estate is more complex and there is Inheritance Tax to pay or if the Estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds), then additional hours are often needed to be spent on the administration of the Estate. This therefore means that there is likely to be an additional cost that could range significantly depending on the Estate and how it is to be handled.
Administration costs will also vary due to the size of the assets to be liquidated and the number of beneficiaries for distribution purposes. The cost of selling or transferring a property is not included in this price, if you require this service, please let us know and we will provide you with an estimate in that regard.
We would always discuss costs with you in detail and advise you of any additional fees that maybe incurred. At Landons we pride ourselves on our transparency and communication regarding costs throughout each of our matters.
Potential additional costs
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees or court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
|Fee for a Grant of Probate||£155|
|Each sealed copy of the Grant of Probate||£1.50|
|Commissioners fees for swearing Oath||£7|
|Land Registry search fee (per property title)||£3|
|Bankruptcy search fee (per beneficiary)||£2|
|Post in the local newspaper||£80 approximately|
|Post in the London Gazette||£100 approximately|
Please note that the fee for a Grant of Probate we are told is increasing however we do not yet have a set date on which this increase will take place. For your information the increases will be as follows:
The fees will depend on the amount the estate is worth:
- Estates worth less than £50,000 will pay nothing, meaning estates worth between £5,000 and £50,000 will save £215 compared to the current system.
- Estates worth from £50,000 up to £300,000 will pay £250, a rise of £35.
- Estates worth from £300,000 up to £500,000 will pay £750, a rise of £535.
- Estates worth from £500,000 up to £1 million will pay £2,500, a rise of £2,285.
- Estates worth from £1 million up to £1.6 million will pay £4,000, a rise of £3,785.
- Estates worth from £1.6 million up to £2 million will pay £5,000, a rise of £4,785.
- Estates worth more than £2 million will pay £6,000, a rise of £5,785.
In addition to our hourly charge mentioned above, a value element charge may also be applicable. Under Law Society Guidance, when calculating the value element, we are obliged to consider the value of the deceased’s assets including their residence and the value of the rest of the Estate.
There are various factors that will affect any inheritance tax due on an estate, including the size of the estate and any measures that were put in place by the deceased to limit the estate’s tax liability. We would advise you to look on the HMRC Website to calculate inheritance tax which may be due, the calculators can be found at:
How long will this take?
On average, Estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 4-10 months.
Typically, preparing the Estate to make an application for a Grant of Probate takes between 2-4 months, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 2-6 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 6-12 weeks. We would then advise the Executors of their legal position and certain timelines that they are obliged to consider.
These guidelines are as follows: a 2 month period from receipt of the Grant of Probate and a 6 month period from receipt of the Grant of Probate. Depending on how the Executors then wish to proceed and which, if any, guidelines they wish to oblige by, we would distribute the assets to the beneficiaries.
Preparation for a distribution can take from 2 days up to 3 weeks depending on any outstanding enquiries which need to be raised and depending on the availability of information from the Executors regarding the Beneficiaries of the Estate.