Probate Solicitors in Ipswich, Colchester & London
It’s difficult to know what to do first when a member of your family or a close friend dies. Therefore, to support you, Attwells team of probate lawyers offer a free initial chat. Firstly, this will help you decide whether you need the Complete Probate service or Fixed Fee Probate package. But equally, our probate solicitors give you an opportunity to discuss what happens next and when.
What is Probate?
Probate is the way of distributing a person’s assets according to their Will when they have passed away. However, if the person did not have a Will their assets, the items they owned, including money, and property are distributed in accordance with the Statutory Rules.
Grant of Probate – Probate Lawyers
Importantly, the person’s assets can only be distributed once the Grant of Probate has been provided by the Probate Registry. But depending on the size of the estate, (the value of the items owned by the deceased) Inheritance Tax may have to be paid. Therefore, this will need to be settled before a Grant of Probate can be provided and the assets distributed to beneficiaries.
Applying for Probate
Attwells are probate solicitors in Ipswich. We also have offices in Colchester and London. As a result, we can offer a complete or fixed fee probate service.
Our complete probate service is designed to reduce stress and responsibility (within reason). We will do the running around, and undertake all the legal work. If you would like help with applying for Probate please call Mel on 01473 229200.
What you can expect when instructing Attwells Probate Lawyers
A Personal Representatives
Typically, the Personal Representative is named in the deceased’s Will (if there is one). However, if there is no Will, this will depend on who is entitled to inherit under the intestacy rules.
The Personal Representatives must write to all asset holders to get valuations of the deceased’s assets as they stood on the date they died. For bank accounts, this will be a statement. But for property, they will need a probate valuation. Whereas for specific assets, like collections and shares, there are special valuation rules.
In addition, the Personal Representatives must also ascertain the extent of any debts of the deceased.
Finally, once the value of the estate is known, the Personal Representatives must decide which IHT Forms and Probate Forms need to be completed to obtain the Grant of Representation.
Don’t worry if this all sounds complicated, one of our probate lawyers can talk you through the process.
Inheritance & Capital Gains Tax
Part of dealing with the estate is considering if there is any Inheritance Tax (IHT) to pay. Plus, if there is any Capital Gains Tax or Income Tax to pay on the increase in value or income received since the date of death. As a result, any tax due and administration costs incurred can then be deducted from the estate before it is distributed amongst the beneficiaries.
Who will be doing my work?
What you can expect when instructing Attwells Probate Lawyers
Obtaining a grant of representation and dealing with the administration of an estate can be complicated; it can take several months to make sure everything is done properly. At Attwells Solicitors we offer a complete estate administration service to deal with everything for you.
Every estate is different, which is why we encourage you to contact us so we can provide you with an estimate outlining a range of potential fees to make sure that you get the right amount of support to meet your individual circumstances. We will update you regularly on your costs throughout the matter so you can stay in control throughout.
The Probate Process
When somebody dies, their Assets must be collected in, any Liabilities paid and the Estate then distributed amongst the Beneficiaries. This is called administering the Estate.
This is a job for the Personal Representatives (PRs). The PRs may be set out in the deceased’s Will (if there is one) or, if there is no Will, depend on who is entitled to inherit under the Intestacy rules.
First, the PRs must write to all Asset holders to get valuations of the deceased’s Assets on the date they died. For bank accounts, this will be a statement. For property, they will need three professional valuations. For specific assets, like collections and shares, there are special valuation rules.
Then the PRs must also ascertain the extent of any Liabilities of the deceased.
Once the value of the Estate is known, the PRs must decide which IHT Forms and
Next, the Probate Forms need to be completed to obtain the Grant of Representation.
Finally, once the Grant of Representation has been obtained (but before the PRs can pay out anything to the Beneficiaries), the PRs must pay any Inheritance Tax (IHT) but also consider if there is any Capital Gains Tax or Income Tax to pay on the increase in value or income received since the date of death. Any tax due and Administration Costs incurred can then be deducted from the Estate before it is distributed amongst the Beneficiaries.
For more information please download our useful probate leaflet.
How much does Probate cost?
We charge for the time our probate lawyers spend dealing with the matter at a rate of £250.00 plus VAT per hour, but with no additional fee based on the value of the estate. However, we do have an additional fee scale, you may wish to refer to.
Therefore, the general price range for Probate would be:-
- Simple estate: £3,000 to £7,500
- Medium complex estate: £7,500 to £25,000
- High complexity estate: £25,000 to £75,000
Usually, a simple estate is one where there is a house, some bank accounts, and no disagreement between the beneficiaries.
However, more complex estates may involve IHT, foreign assets, companies, farms, or disputes against the estate.
Possible additional fees
- £273 for the probate fee
- £1.50 for each copy of the Grant
- £20 for title check per check
- £25 for bankruptcy and ID checks per beneficiary
- £40 for money transfer per money transfer.
Timescale: Overall Probate can take anything from 3 to 12 months depending on the complexity. Your solicitor will advise you on the most likely timescale when you enquire.
Will & Estate Disputes
Contentious probate is a legal term given to probate disputes. It refers to any disputes about a person’s will or the administration of the estate.
Losing a loved one is heartbreaking enough, but if you suspect problems with their will, trust, or how their estate is being handled can compound your grief.
If you feel that there is an issue with a loved one’s will or how their estate is being managed please contact our contentious probate specialist Edward Powells on 01206 239755.