We provide you with expert probate support so you can focus on supporting your family
When someone close to you dies, we’re ready to give you the guidance and reassurance of what to do next. Our experienced probate solicitors will act compassionately to help you cope with the emotionally challenging duties required.
Using a probate solicitor is not compulsory and some people are happy to deal with probate by themselves. Although this is perfectly possible, the workload involved should not be underestimated as probate can be a lengthy and time-consuming process.
Flexible assistance in your hour of need
Using our specialist probate services can help get things sorted faster and more efficiently and can result in a larger portion of the estate being distributed. Our team will be on hand to advise on any complex questions and issues as they arise.
We work closely with you, keeping you informed every step of the way. We can undertake the complete administration of the estate on your behalf, or just those parts where you feel you need our expert assistance.
We agree on all costs in advance to give you the certainty you are looking for upfront.
Our Probate services include:
- Assisting with registration of the death
- Advising on the meaning of the terms of the Will
- Explaining Intestacy rules if there is no Will
- Explaining the tax issues concerning the estate
- Preparing documents for the Probate Office and the Inland Revenue
- Applying for Probate or Letters of Administration
- Completing the administration of the estate
- Helping with the sale of any property
- Dealing with disputed Wills and claims against estates
- Inheritance claims
- Post death deeds of variation
– WANT TO KNOW MORE?
A deeper dive for those who have more questions
A Grant of Probate is an order of the Court giving one or more people the legal authority to
administer the estate of the deceased in order to distribute it correctly to the beneficiaries. The
people who have the right to apply for a Grant of Probate are the Personal Representatives of the
estate. PRs are either the Executors named in the Will or the next of kin under the Rules of Intestacy
if there is no Will.
There are different types of Grant depending on the circumstances and who is to deal with the
estate. The two main types of Grant of Representation are the Grant of Probate (where there is a
Will) and Letters of Administration (where there is no Will).
The people named in the Grant of Representation are legally responsible and ultimately liable for the
administration of the estate of the deceased. It is important their duties are exercised correctly, and
this is where KWW Solicitors can assist.
Being a PR brings with it tremendous responsibilities, and you should be prepared for the process to
be challenging and lengthy.
The PR is legally responsible for administering the estate according to the
provisions expressed in the Will or Rules of Intestacy.
When someone dies without leaving a valid Will they are said to have died Intestate. In these
circumstances the Rules of Intestacy apply and these determine who will administer as PR and who
will benefit from the deceased’s estate. The law sets down an established order of entitlement for
PRs to take out a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. The order is basically the next of
kin, ie: (i) spouse or civil partner; (ii) issue (children or remoter lineal descendents); (iii) parents; (iv)
brothers and sisters. When identifying PRs and beneficiaries, extreme care and diligence is required.
- Help you understand who the PRs are in your particular case
- Explain in detail the role, responsibility and ultimate liability of a PR
- Explain the benefits of appointing us on your behalf to take on the legal responsibilities.
If the deceased dies testate (with a Will), the beneficiaries will be those named in the Will. On an
intestacy, the beneficial entitlement follows to a large degree the entitlement to take out Letters of
Administration as PRs, but again, this is something we can advise upon.
Before the Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) is obtained it is necessary
to value the estate of the deceased and to calculate any IHT due. The relevant IHT forms must be
completed and submitted to HM Revenue & Customs with any tax due. No IHT is payable for gifts
to spouses or civil partners, charities or political parties. Otherwise, every person has an IHT-free
allowance on death, currently amounting to £325,000. This is called the Nil-Rate Band (NRB),
and any unused portion can be transferred between spouses.
Since April 2017 there is a new allowance called the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB). The RNRB is
fairly complicated but where the deceased owns or, in some circumstances, owned a home and is
passing the same to children, a further £150,000 may be available, rising to £175,000 in April 2020
and this is also transferrable between spouses, as with the NRB. By April 2020 a surviving spouse
may be able to transfer to the children up to £1million tax-free subject to fulfilling certain criteria.
It is too complicated to set out all the rules here but we will be very happy to explain the same to you
when either you are applying for probate or, perhaps more importantly, updating your Will. These
allowances must be claimed, and we will ensure you benefit from all possible allowances.
Unfortunately, if IHT is payable, it must be paid before the Court will issue the Grant of Probate or
Letter of Administration. The tax that is applicable to property can be paid in instalments over 10
years, although interest will be applied.
Yes, absolutely. You can decide who to leave your money to and who will manage your affairs after
your death. If you have already made a Will, we would happily review it to ensure it continues to
reflect your wishes. There may have been many changes in your family circumstances, and there will
certainly have been changes in the law and IHT. KWW Solicitors can ensure your wishes are catered
for and the Will is tax-efficient to be able to claim all IHT.
– OUR CHARGES
How our fees work
Our fees are based on the amount of work we do, so you will be charged for each hour of work undertaken. Fees are dependent upon individual circumstances.
An important factor that will affect fees is whether or not the estate is chargeable for Inheritance Tax and if more detailed IHT forms are needed. Other factors that have additional work and cost implications include:
- Presence of a valid Will
- Number of properties
- Number of bank or building society accounts
- Number of beneficiaries
- Potential disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets
- Number of trusts in the Will
- Missing beneficiaries
- Any claims being made against the estate.
Grant of probate/letters of administration only
Often, the main difficulty in the administration of a straightforward estate is the preparation and submission of the Inheritance Tax (IHT) forms, and the application for the grant.
If the executors/administrators obtain the necessary information, we can prepare and submit the forms on their behalf. The executors/administrators can then deal with the completion of the administration once we have obtained the grant.
Estates containing a property are often more complicated and therefore more costly. The executors/administrators may need additional advice regarding IHT or capital gains tax. If this is the case, we can reserve the right to charge for the extra advice.
Note: VAT is not included on fixed price probate services.
- Estate where no IHT is payable (IHT form 205) – from £1,500
- Estate where IHT is payable (IHT form 400) – from £2,000
KWW Solicitors will deal with the entire estate, including:
- Obtaining date of death valuations of the assets and liabilities in the estate
- Completing the IHT paperwork
- Completing the probate application
- Distributing the estate (to no more than six beneficiaries)
For complex estates where there are, for example, stocks and shares, more than one property, foreign assets or business assets, please call us on 0208 979 1131 for a competitive quotation.
- Probate Court Fee – £155 (if using a solicitor – £215 otherwise)
- Office copies for grant of probate – £1.50 + VAT per copy
- Land Registry copy fee – £3 + VAT
- Bankruptcy search fee – £2 + VAT per beneficiary
- Confirmation of identity – £10 + VAT per person
- Advert in London Gazette and local paper (estimated) – £150 + VAT.
Should further assets be discovered in the course of the administration, additional costs will arise.
Additional services that will require the assistance of a third party at additional cost include accountancy services and tax advice and valuations for property, savings, investments or other assets.
Where there is likely to be any additional or unusual costs, we inform you at the earliest opportunity and a clear estimate of those extra costs will be provided.
The cost of selling or transferring a property is not included in this price. If you require this service, we will gladly provide you with an estimate.