Wills and Probates

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The importance of making a Will cannot be overstated. Each Will is tailored specifically for the client, taking into account his or her personal financial circumstances, family commitments and the possible incidence of taxation and in particular, inheritance tax.

At Zuriels, you can be assured of receiving experienced, sensitive and specialist advice in ensuring that your family and loved ones are provided for in the future.

We facilitate a smooth, tax efficient distribution of your Estate, catering for your specific and individual requirements.

After a death, it is important to those who are left behind that the Estate is administered with sympathy as well as with efficiency, obtaining valuations of all the assets of the Estate, agreeing the tax liability, applying for the Grant of Probate and then with the benefit of that Grant gathering in the assets of the Estate and administering them according to the Will

We can provide you with practical, confidential advice across the whole spectrum of Wills and Probate issues including:

  • Making a Will
  • Administering an Estate
  • Applying for Probate
  • Inheritance Tax Issues
  • Power of Attorney

Wills Fee Guide

A simple Will for one person starts at £300

A pair of simple mirror image Wills starts at £450

This includes all the following:

  • An initial meeting to discuss your circumstances, both family and financial, and your wishes.
  • Clear and comprehensive advice in plain English on the best structure for your Will including but not limited to guardianship provisions, funeral wishes, gift of personal possessions and money and your beneficiaries.
  • Preparing the draft Will for you to review. If changes need to be made, we can discuss these and then prepare the final Will.
  • A second meeting to sign the Will with the team acting as your witnesses.
  • Free safe storage of your Will and we will provide you with a copy of the signed Will for records.
  • Free registration of your Will with Certainty, a National Will Register. The registration with Certainty records the existence of your Will and the location of it but the contents of your Will are not disclosed. That way, if your copy Will is lost, misplaced or forgotten over the passage of time, the location of it can be identified and your wishes carried out.

Other costs:

Copies of the deeds to your property. These cost £7 per property (not VAT).

Probate Fee Options

We provide two probate fee options; a fixed fee option where we obtain Probate

on your behalf and a more flexible complete service option that adapts to a wider

range of Probate support.

1. Fixed Fee Probate Service

We can assist you through this difficult process by obtaining the Probate on your

behalf.

Our prices:

Simple Estate£1,500 + VAT (£1,800)
Complex Estate£2,500 + VAT (£3,000)

This includes:

A dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter
An initial Consultation to identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
Advising on the probate process
Advising the executors or administrators on their duties and responsibilities
Advising on the information required to obtain Probate to enable you to
Prepare a list of the assets and liabilities and their values.
Reviewing and checking that the information provided to us is accurate and in accordance HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) rules.
Completing the relevant Inheritance Tax forms
Ensuring that the correct Inheritance Tax (IHT) exemptions and reliefs are claimed.
Drafting a statement of truth for you to swear.
Making the application to the Probate Court on your behalf.
Obtaining the Probate and sending the Probate to you.
Free safe storage of the original Probate.
Simple EstateComplex Estate
Completing forms IHT205 (and IHT217 if        
needed
– Completing forms IHT400 and all relevant schedules
– Obtaining an IHT reference from HMRC
– Calculating the IHT due on the estate
– Preparing the IHT payment forms
– Liaising with banks to arrange Payment of the IHT due on submission of the IHT Tax Return to HMRC
– Obtaining receipted Probate Summary from HMRC

Other Costs:

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. These include:

DisbursementPrice
Probate Court Fee£155 with additional copies charged at  50p per copy (no VAT)
Copies of the deeds to the deceased’s property                                              £3 per property (no VAT)
Protection from unexpected claims from unknown creditors Approximately £200+VAT

The Government is planning rises in probate fees which will be charged according to the value of the estate. The draft legislation has not yet been made law but the changes are expected to come in shortly. The proposed probate application fees are as follows:

Value of estateProposed fee
Exceeds £50,000 but does not exceed £300,000;£250
Exceeds £300,000 but does not exceed £500,000;£750
Exceeds £500,000 but does not exceed £1,000,000;£2,500
Exceeds £1,000,000 but does not exceed £1,600,000;£4,000
Exceeds £1,600,000 but does not exceed £2,000,000;£5,000
Exceeds £2,000,000£6,000

Our timescales:

Simple estateComplex estate
From receipt of the list of the assets and liabilities and their values, it will take us approximately 2 weeks to complete stages 3 to 7.

The Probate Court takes on average 2
weeks to issue the Probate.




From receipt of the list of the assets and liabilities and their values, it will take us 3 to 6 weeks to complete stages 3 to 4.

HMRC takes on average 4 weeks to
return the receipted Probate Summary.

The Probate Court takes on average 2
weeks to issue the Probate.

Probate Complete Service

The fixed fee service is not for everyone. Bereavement can be an emotionally traumatic time, and this can make dealing with the administration of the estate a daunting prospect. Even if you are not directly affected by the death, you may still want a helping hand through the whole administration process. We can offer this help through our complete service where we will deal with every aspect of the estate from beginning to end.

Every estate is different, and our Complete Service price is well suited to your situation. We will take the information available at the outset to provide you with an estimate. It may be difficult to provide us with all of the information at the outset and to foresee all the issues that may arise; we keep you updated with costs information periodically.

Our prices:

Our costs are based partly on the value of the estate and partly on the time spent dealing with the matter.

Time

This is based on the time spent by the solicitor on the particular matter. Our time is normally charged at the rates set out in the table below, plus VAT and typically can range from £3000 to £20,000 but for a large and/or complex estate, the time charge can be higher.

PositionCurrent hourly rate
Trainee solicitor£160 – £180
Solicitor and Chartered Legal Executive with up to four years’ post qualification experience£200 – £240
Solicitor and Chartered Legal Executive £240 – £260
with more than four years’ post qualification experience
Senior Solicitor
£260 – £280
Partner£260 – £300

Estate Value

For the value element, the starting point is 1% of the gross estate where Howell Jones LLP are not Executors, or 1.5% where any partners or members of the firm are Executors.

In addition, when calculating the gross estate, the value of the deceased’s interest in his or her residence is halved. Some assets, for example a share in a property passing by survivorship, may be excluded from this charge in calculating the gross estate.

The Probate Stages

Probate can be a lengthy and involved process. Administering the estate involved the following stages and processes:

Stage 1

Meeting with a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter:

  • to identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • advising on the probate process
  • advising the executors or administrators on their duties and responsibilities
  • advising on the information required to obtain Probate
  • Initial correspondence to investigate and obtain various valuations for all assets and liabilities.
  • Prepare Schedule of Assets and Liabilities

Stage 2

  • Prepare relevant Inheritance Tax (IHT) forms and all relevant schedules
  • Obtain an IHT reference from HMRC where necessary
  • Calculate the IHT due on the estate and ensuring that the correct Inheritance Tax (IHT) exemptions and reliefs are claimed
  • Prepare the IHT payment forms where necessary and liaising with banks to arrange payment of the IHT due on submission of the IHT Tax Return to HMRC
  • Obtain receipted Probate Summary from HMRC

Stage 3

  • Draft a statement of truth for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf.
  • Obtain the Probate

Stage 4

  • Collect in all assets.
  • Pay all known liabilities.
  • Advertise for creditors.
  • Liaise with property solicitors regarding the sale of any property*
  • Finalise IHT
  • Prepare and finalise Income Tax to date of death
  • Prepare and finalise Tax Returns for the period of administration
  • Prepare and finalise Capital Gains Tax
  • Obtain HMRC clearance for all taxes
  • Carry out bankruptcy and ID checks on all beneficiaries
  • Pay legacies
  • Deal with any transfer assets to beneficiaries named in the Will
  • Make interim distributions
  • Obtain receipts

*conveyancing costs are not included

Stage 5

  • Finalise Estate Accounts
  • Send signed Estate Accounts to residuary beneficiaries
  • Prepare R185 tax certificates
  • Distribute the estate
  • Obtain receipts

Other costs:

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. These include:

DisbursementPrice
Probate Court Fee£155 with additional copies charged at 50p per copy (no VAT)
Copies of the deeds to the deceased’s property£3 per property (no VAT)
Protection from unexpected claims from unknown creditors  Approximately £200+VAT

The Government is planning rises in probate fees which will be charged according to the value of the estate. The draft legislation has not yet been made law but the changes are expected to come in shortly. The proposed probate application fees are as follows:

Value of EstateProposed fee
exceeds £50,000 but does not exceed £300,000;£250
exceeds £300,000 but does not exceed £500,000;£750
exceeds £500,000 but does not exceed £1,000,000;£2,500
exceeds £1,000,000 but does not exceed £1,600,000;£4,000
exceeds £1,600,000 but does not exceed £2,000,000;£5,000
exceeds £2,000,000£6,000

Our timescales:

A taxable estate typically takes about a year to complete. Some complete in a much shorter timescale and some may take longer.

What’s next?

If you would like to discuss your probate needs in confidence, please call us and we will be pleased to provide you with initial guidance.