Probate

The task of having to deal with the administration of the estate of a loved one can seem overwhelming in an already difficult and anxious time. Working closely with accountants and other advisors, NSS Legal Limited can advise executors and administrators throughout the administration process, including on complex and multi-jurisdictional estates.

NSS Legal Limited can assist with:

  • Identifying and establishing the extent of the estate for probate and inheritance tax purposes;
  • Arranging for the assets and liabilities of the estate to be valued;
  • Preparing the appropriate inheritance tax form and other legal documents to obtain the grant of probate or, where there is no Will, letters of administration;
  • Filing the inheritance tax form with HMRC and liaising with them on their enquiries;
  • Obtain tax clearance from HMRC for inheritance tax and where appropriate, income tax and capital gains tax;
  • Collecting in the assets and settling the liabilities of the estate;
  • Preparing estate accounts;
  • Distribution of the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will or in the absence of a Will, the laws of intestacy;
  • Advising on the inheritance tax efficiency of the estate; and
  • Drafting post-death deeds of variations and disclaimers.

We charge probate matters on a time basis at the hourly rate of the solicitor dealing with your matter. Oliver Sloam, a Solicitor and Director in the firm, charges on an hourly rate of £275. Shamima Begum, a Senior Associate Solicitor, charges on an hourly rate of £250. The rates shown are inclusive of VAT and will be reviewed annually.

As each estate administration differs greatly from one to the next, it is difficult to provide an accurate estimate without having the full details. There will be factors which will make the matter more complex in nature, including the assets involved, its unique set of circumstances, such as the potential for a claim to be made against it and whether such claim is from a creditor or an estranged family member. It is not possible to foresee all eventualities and for this reason, estimates of fees may need to be revised as the matter progresses and more information comes to light.

For estates where:

  • There is a valid Will with no complex clauses or trusts;
  • All assets are in the UK;
  • There is no more than one property;
  • There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts;
  • There are no other intangible assets;
  • There are no more than 5 beneficiaries;
  • The estate is uncontested - that is there are no disputes between or by the beneficiaries on the estate division nor are there any claims against the estate;
  • There is no inheritance tax payable;
  • The executors are not required to submit a full inheritance tax return to HMRC;

Our fee estimate is typically around £5,000-£7,500. This fees estimate will cover instructions for NSS Legal Limited to deal with the full estate administration. This will usually include establishing the extent of the estate based on the information provided by the personal representatives, arranging for the valuation of the assets, preparing the inheritance tax account and probate papers and submitting these to the relevant authority, circulating the grant to collect in the assets, settlement of liabilities, preparing estate accounts and making distributions to the beneficiaries.

Disbursements will be paid separately to the fees listed above and will include the following:

  • Probate Registry Fee at £155 plus 50p per sealed copy of the grant requested at the same time as the application;
  • Commissioner’s fee to swear the oath at £7 per executor, plus £2 per additional codicil per executor to be sworn;
  • Bankruptcy searches at £2 per beneficiary;
  • The London Gazette Statutory Notice to unknown creditors as at 2018 £84.60; and
  • Statutory Notice to unknown creditors in the newspaper local to deceased is typically around £100, but dependent on the locality of the deceased’s property.

Additional costs will be incurred where (please note this list is not exhaustive):

  • There is an intestacy, that is that the deceased died without a valid will in place;
  • The estate has other assets including stocks and shares; or
  • There are assets which need to be sold or transferred. We do not provide conveyancing services or investment advice.

It can take 12-18 months for this type of probate matter to finalise but will be dependent on several factors, including how quickly third parties respond.

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