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We specialise in administering both simple and complex estates.
Alison Armstrong acts as a consultant for Joelson on private client matters. She qualified as a Solicitor in 2003 and has a wealth of experience handling work relating to the administration of estates, as well as Wills and estate planning, mental capacity and Powers of Attorney.
During her career, she has dealt with many high value and complex estate administration cases Involving UK and international assets.
Depending on the value and complexity of the affairs of the person who has died, the role of Personal Representative of an estate is a big responsibility. It can be overwhelming and time-consuming.
Even fairly simple estates can be challenging to administer without the guidance of an experienced professional. Potentially, HM Revenue & Customs can levy personal penalties on a Personal Representative who has not taken due care when submitting the Inheritance Tax account or has submitted incorrect or false information.
In estates where complex inheritance tax calculations are required, we strongly advise using a specialist probate solicitor.
If you would like some help to administer an estate, we can deal with the day-to-day matters on your behalf. Our fees would be payable out of the estate.
What does our probate service provide?
We offer a full estate administration service, guiding you through the process from start to finish.
The service would typically include:
What is the cost of applying for probate?
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter, including:
Unlike most banks (who on average charge around 4% of the value of an estate to deal with the administration) we charge based on the time we actually spend administering the estate. Our hourly rates are between £125 and £325 plus VAT.
As a general guide, our fees for the full administration of an estate are usually between £7,500 and £10,000 plus VAT and third-party costs. However, we will provide an estimate prior to beginning work.
In addition to our fees, there will also be third party costs (known as “disbursements”). We handle these payments on your behalf to ensure that the administration progresses smoothly and efficiently.
Examples of these fees are as follows:
|Probate court fee||£155 plus 50p per copy|
|Swearing of the oath||From £5 per person|
|Advert posted in the London Gazette||£69.50 plus VAT|
|Advert posted in local newspaper||Variable|
|Landmark Financial Assets Search (Lost Assets Search)||£162 plus VAT|
|Copy death certificates (per copy)||£9.25 – £23.40|
|Copy divorce papers||£10 – £65 depending on whether court and case number known|
Potential additional costs
If there is no Will or there are potential issues arising out of disputes between beneficiaries, there are likely to be additional costs.
We also specialise in Will and estate disputes and will be able to give a more accurate idea of costs once we have more information.
Our fees do not include dealing with the sale or transfer of any property within the estate.
They also do not include any fees relating to any tax planning advice that you may ask us to provide in relation to the assets that you and the beneficiaries under the Will have inherited
How long does Probate take?
On average, estates that fall under the Inheritance tax threshold are dealt with within 12 – 18 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-8 months. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 8-12 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4-8 weeks.
Higher value, taxable and more complex estates (especially if the distribution of the estate is disputed) can take far longer to finalise.