What Is Probate?
Probate is the obtaining of the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’) when they die. It is vital that you should not make any financial plans or list a property on the market until you’ve received probate.
You need to make an application to begin the process of probate. We will do this on your behalf to check that it’s needed and that you are eligible to apply. You also need to estimate the estate’s value so we can report the same to find out if there is any Inheritance Tax to pay.
Following this, our expert team of probate solicitors in Middlesbrough will contact the financial organisations for the person who died in order to find out, if you will need probate to get access to their assets. Every organisation has its own rules.
Is Probate Needed?
Probate may not be necessary if the Deceased:
-Only held an amount of money which falls below each bank or building society’s specific threshold. This differs for every financial institution.
-Owned shares or money with others - this automatically passes to the surviving owners unless they have agreed otherwise.
-Owned land or property as ‘joint tenants’ with others - this automatically passes to the surviving owners.
We can help with and advise on any of these duties including:
-Applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration,
-Investigating and valuing the estate,
-Collecting funds from the estate,
-Distributing assets according to the Will.
We can assist with as much or as little of the process as you like. We can simply get a Grant of Probate for you, or you can pass all of your executor duties on to us.
What Costs Are Involved?
We will confirm the funding arrangements with regard to your probate matter.
Every estate is different, which is why we encourage you to contact us so that we can provide you with an estimate outlining the range of potential fees to make sure that you get the right amount of support to meet your individual circumstances. We will update you regularly on your costs so that you can stay in control throughout.
We will correspond with the necessary institutions for you before completing the Inheritance Tax return and applying for the Grant of Probate. Once we have obtained the Grant of Probate, we will collect the assets, repay any liabilities and distribute the estate on your behalf.
Depending upon the number of assets, we anticipate that this will take between 4 and 28 hours of work at £250.00 plus VAT per hour. Total costs are estimated between £1,000.00 and £7,000 (plus VAT) and any necessary disbursements.
The exact cost will depend on the simplicity or complexity of the matter.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to another organisation, such as court fees. We will handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. E.g.:
-Probate Court Fee of £155.00
-Swearing of the Oath (per executor): £7.00
Potential additional disbursements and costs;
-If any additional copies of the Grant are required, they will cost 50p per copy. Usually, one copy is required per asset.
-£84.00 to publish in the London Gazette which protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
-£200.00 to publish in a local newspaper which also helps to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. This figure is an estimate which will be dependent upon the price charged by the local newspaper.
-Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department searches, £2.00 per beneficiary.
-Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
-If there is no Will or the estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks and bonds) there are likely to be additional costs that could vary significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
Please contact us so that we can provide you with an individual quote based on your specific circumstances.
We will do the following:
-Advise you in connection with obtaining the appropriate grant of representation to the estate
-Advise you in connection with the administration of the estate, including legal, taxation and administrative matters
We will not do the following:
-Provide any advice in relation to foreign assets
-Deal with conveyancing matters of any property involved in the estate. If necessary, this will be outsourced to another firm specialising in conveyancing matters following a discussion and agreement in relation to costs with yourself
The following factors are likely to increase the cost of your matter:
-Not having all of the paperwork available, or having missing or incorrect information that needs investigation/correction
-Third parties not responding to our communications promptly
-Dealing with complex assets or items (for example, fine art, shares in private companies etc.)
As soon as any complications arise, we will discuss these with you and agree to the fee for the additional work being carried out in advance of any further work being undertaken.
Depending on the complexity of the estate and the assets and whether or not there is a Will, the time it takes to obtain a Grant of Probate is typically between 3 – 6 months but can be greater if the Court application is non-standard.
The time to collect the assets following receipt of the Grant can take 3-4 months and if one of the assets is a property then this may take longer as we are dependent on the property market and the legal transactions that need to be in place to sell the property.
The average time to deal with an estate is approximately 10-12 months. Each case is different and in some cases, these timescales may be exceeded.
For more information or to speak to someone please call us on 01642 222575 or send us a message via our enquiry form.
Do I need Probate if a valid Will is available?
The requirement for Probate is not based on the existence of a Will and is more dependent on the financial situation of the person who has passed away.
Who is responsible for getting Probate?
If the deceased made a valid Will before their passing, then the responsibility to get Probate arranged falls on the Executors of the estate who are mentioned specifically in the Will. If no Will is evident, the rules of intestacy will dictate who is responsible.
What are the rules of intestacy?
These are a set of rules laid out by statute that denote the order of inheritance. We will advise seeing how they might apply to you.