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Probate and Estate Administration


Terms Of Business For Non-Contentious Probate  


These terms explain the basis on which we will carry out the full process for you in applying for the grant and collecting and distributing assets.


How long will this work take?


On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 12-16 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4-8 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2-4 weeks. 


How much will the work cost?


We anticipate this will take between 15 and 30 hours work at £295 per hour. Total costs estimated at £4425 and £8850 plus value added tax and payments to third parties (“disbursements”). The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end. 


We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:


  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are accounts with no more than 5 different bank and building societies
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are up to 4 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no income and capital gains tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate
  • There no Department of Work and Pension enquiries 


Disbursements included in this fee:

  • Probate application fee of £155 (subject to increase on 01/04/19)
  • Copies of the grant. (£0.50 pence per asset usually)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £83.40 for post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • £150 for post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims
  • Land Registry title documents (usually £3 per item)
  • Bank transfer fees (usually £20 plus vat)


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



Potential additional costs

If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is 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. 


Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included. 


Who will carry out the work?


Our team has over 30 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to wills and estate administration. The team has particular expertise in high value estates and tax matters. We have three members of the team who may work on your matter. They are Michael Stennett, Solicitor and Head of probate and estate administration, and Debbie Stimson and Kevin Sagum, both of whom are Executive Legal Assistants, with many years collective experience.


Anti-Money Laundering


We adhere to Anti-Money Laundering procedures which will require us to take up-to-date proof of identity and proof of address for any payments made from you, or a third party on your behalf, to the Firm.  This purpose of this policy is to protect you and your money.


Cyber Crime and Financial Management


We will agree with you at the outset (in person or by telephone) how banking details will be handled, including whether any changes are planned.  We will hand our bank details to you in person or send them to you by post.   Before accepting new banking details from you or others, we will ask for confirmation face-to-face or by letter sent through the post.  This information will never be requested by us by email.  If bank details are received by this Firm by email, or in a pdf attachment to an email, they will be verified by independent means before being relied upon. This purpose of this policy is to protect you and your money.


Storage of papers and deeds


We will keep our file of papers (except for any of your papers which you ask to be returned to you) for no more than six years and on the understanding that we have your authority to destroy the file six years after sending you our final bill.  We will not destroy documents you ask us to deposit in safe custody.


Termination


You may terminate your instructions to us at any time.   For example, you may decide you cannot give us clear or proper instructions on how to proceed, or may lose confidence in our work.  We are entitled to keep all your papers and documents while money is owing to us.


We will decide to stop acting for you only with good reason and on giving you reasonable notice.  If you or we decide that we will stop acting for you, you will pay our charges on an hourly basis and expenses as set out earlier.


Raising queries or concerns with us


We are confident that we will give you a high quality of service in all respects.  However, if you have any queries or concerns about our work for you, please take them up first with the person handling your case.  If that does not resolve the problem to your satisfaction or you would prefer not to speak to the person handling their case or their supervisor, then please take it up with the firm’s Complaints Manager.


If you remain dissatisfied at the end of the review by the Complaints Manager you can refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman, P O Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Tel: 0300 555 033.  Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk.


Confirmation


We will assume our terms are agreed if you instruct us to act for you.   However, to be certain we would like you to sign below and return a signed and dated copy of these terms.



Signed                                                                          Date