Wills and Probate Law

Why you need Solomon Shepherd

Solomon Shepherd Solicitors is one of the UK’s best law practices and experienced lawyers who represent your legal interest every step of the way. Our dedicated team of highly experienced, fully qualified and skilled solicitors cover several aspects of law. Our expertise to effectively represent clients across numerous legal disciplines is hinged on the professional integrity of our Solicitors, who strive to achieve justice and equity for all.

We help our clients make sense of the law which enables our success rate to increase steadily, year-after-year. Our Solicitors offer up-to-date and innovative solutions tailored to your individual needs. We aim to provide a personal but professional legal service that our clients can expect from any reputable law firm.

 

Wills and Probate

Making a Will does not have to be burdensome and strenuous. Wills can avoid unnecessary trauma for dependents and relatives and prevent consequential family feuds.

By making a Will you may make provision for your family and friends, reduce exposure to Inheritance Tax, appoint Executors and guardians for your children and set out your wishes and any restrictions that you may want to apply after your death. 

Probate

When a person passes away, there is usually a need to deal with the person’s Estate. Applying for the legal right to deal with the deceased person’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’) when they die is called ‘applying for probate’.

The legal document that allows the deceased’s assets to be released to one or more people who have the legal authority to act and administer the estate is called Probate. It proves to the asset holders that they are releasing the assets to the correct and authorised people.

It is commonly assumed that when a person dies and leaves a will (Testate) there is no requirement for Probate. This is an error and a misconception. A grant is required n if the person left a Will. 

If the person left a will, you’ll get a ‘grant of probate’. If the person did not leave a will, you’ll get ‘letters of administration

 In situations where Probate is required, the Estate of the deceased will essentially be frozen in order to safeguard them against it being wrongly or incorrectly distributed. Effectively, without a Grant of Probate a property cannot be sold or transferred and most Financial Institutions will not allow anyone to access the deceased’s account

If you’re not sure whether you require probate please contact us on info@solomonshepherd.com 

What We Do To Assist

At Solomon Shepherd Solicitors we understand that bereavement can be a difficult period for families and loved ones.  It is therefore our aim to make the process of dealing with the Estate of your Family and loved ones less burdensome. We are able to help deliver a Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration where appropriate)

Once you have the Grant of Probate, this will empower you to deal with the remainder of the Estate. In some instances however, you may wish to have this responsibility and task given to another person to undertake. Solomon Shepherd Solicitors is able to provide this service, by applying for the Grant of Probate and collecting in all the assets of the deceased. 

Our Solicitors appreciate that this can be a difficult time, especially against the backdrop of dealing with several other matters. It is our aim to make this as stress-free as possible.

Probate and Administration

Legal Fees

The following prices relate only to Estates where all assets are located in the UK and where there are no contested issues. In relation to such cases, our normal hourly rate is £250 per hour plus VAT.

We are happy to assist in relation to obtaining the grant of probate, and/or assisting with the estate administration.

The following estimates anticipate a reasonable level of communication during the process and, in circumstances where that is exceeded, additional charges are likely to be applied, although you will be notified prior to any such charges being applied.

Circumstances where additional charges may be incurred are also set out below. Please note that Executors/ Trustees of an estate may be entitled to reimbursement of all legal costs and related expenses involved.

To obtain the Grant of Probate only

Our minimum charge for probate matters – to obtain a grant of probate – is £2000 plus VAT. This equates to £8hours of work.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We can handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Probate Court Fee – £155.00**
Copies of Grant of Probate (per copy) – £1.50**
Oath Fees (per executor) – £7.00
Land Registry Title Entries (per entry) – £3.00**
Bankruptcy Search Fee (per name) – £2.00**
Marriage/Death Certificate Search (per search) – £10.00**
Creditor Protection Notices – £300*
* This is an estimated cost as the charges vary between area, dependent upon the newspaper in which the notice is published.

**These fees are subject to changes outside our control and we will advise you accordingly

Once the grant of probate has issued, we will send a final invoice for the work done and subsequent to payment , we will forward to you the original Grant of probate together with the certified copies that you have requested.

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no Will or the estate consists of any numerous share holdings (stocks and bonds) there are likely to be additional costs that could range 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 in relation to the assets involved;

How long will this take?

The time it takes to obtain a grant of probate depends largely upon how quickly the relevant asset information can be obtained. Once that information has been obtained (which can take 4 to 6 weeks depending upon the institutions concerned) typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 4 to 6 weeks thereafter. If inheritance tax is payable and therefore a receipt is first required from HMRC, the process will take longer depending upon how quickly HMRC process the application, although that can add a further 3 to 5 weeks. On average that is about 4 months.

To Administer an Estate

The time it takes to administer an estate can take several months and depends on a number of factors, including if there is a residential property to sell; if income tax returns require completion; or; an estate needs to be registered as a complex estate (see above). In addition, we advise that clients consider delaying the estate administration to avoid potential personal liability as an Executor for the following reasons:

In any case where our services are terminated partway through a transaction (e.g. before obtaining the grant of probate or concluding the estate administration) charges for the work undertaken to that point will be made at the hourly rate referred to above plus VAT and disbursements.

Wills

The price for any Will depends on the complexity of the Will instruction and the number of assets and beneficiaries involved. For a very simple Wills, which are Wills involving no more than 3 beneficiaries and 3 bequests is £180+ VAT

A Wills outside this description will be charged at the hourly rate of the Solicitor which ranges from £195 – £250/hr. All charges attract VAT

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