At Coles, we offer two different service levels to our customers to assist with administering the affairs of someone after their death, depending on the level of involvement Executors named in a Will, or family under an intestacy (no Will) wish to take.
A solicitors traditional Probate service would assist in the entire estate administration, ending with the production of estate accounts and making payment out to those entitled. This service is listed below as Full Probate Service.
Often, Executors or family are willing to undertake most roles but with the security that the actual Probate application legal forms are completed by professionals, including the IHT tax form that has to be completed for HM Revenue & Customs. For this reason, we offer a “Grant Only” service which primarily involves the completion of the key documents to obtain Probate / Letters of Administration.
A full estate administration comprises three parts. The first is to confirm the extent of the estate and the value of the assets, the second is preparing the application for Probate/Letters of Administration based upon this and obtaining the same, and the final part is using Probate/Letters of Administration to collect in those assets and distribute them in accordance with the Will or Intestacy provisions.
Our standard retainer includes:
To ensure clarity in our prices and at the request of our clients, rather than operate on an hourly rate basis, we offer our probate service on a fixed % of the gross estate value reportable to HMRC. Currently those charges are:
Estates below £1m – 1.8% or 2% where the Directors of the firm are appointed executors or co executors.
Estates exceeding £1m – 1.25% or 1.5% where the Directors of the firm are appointed executors or co executors.
Where those charges would would significantly exceed the anticipated work, due to a single high value asset, we may agree with you a fixed fee alternative to ensure fairness in our charges.
The following is not included in our standard retainer and is chargeable in addition. This is due to the work is not always required to be undertaken in standard matters and would cause additional work to be undertaken.
With this service we will prepare the Probate / Letters of Administration application to secure the Grant of Probate/ Letters of Administration.
£700 plus VAT
The following is not included in our standard retainer and is available for additional charges if required due to the work is not always required in standard matters and would cause additional work to be undertaken.
In both probate services there are a number of additional amounts payable to third parties (disbursements) that are in addition to our fees:
In the full administration service the following disbursements may apply in addition:
(*Prices are exclusive of VAT which may be applied)
For our Grant Only service we would anticipate having the Grant or Probate/ Letters of Administration obtained within 4 weeks of instructions.
For full administration services, time frames largely depend on the complexity of the estate and/or whether a IHT400 full inheritance tax account is required to be lodged with HMRC. As an indication only where no IHT is payable we have included this timesheet to give you an indication of the length of time it can take to undertake “Probate” based upon time estimates for each stage. Certain elements are dependent on 3rd parties and so we have been cautious with the estimates given. In general, the following timeframes are a guide.
|Task||Estimate for Task||Total time|
|Confirmation of the value of the estate as of the date of death
|8 weeks||8 weeks|
|Completion of the Probate application and signature by all Executors
|4 weeks||12 weeks|
|Issue of the Grant of Probate by the Court
|3 weeks||15 weeks|
|Registration of the Grant with Asset holders to obtain account closure forms
|2 weeks||17 weeks|
|Closure of accounts, transfer of assets not being sold, confirmation and settlement of any debts.||8 weeks||25 weeks|
Preparation of Estate accounts and approval by Executors.
|4 weeks||29 weeks|
|Payments out to Beneficiaries||3 weeks||32 weeks|
If a property is being sold as part of the administration, the estate administration cannot be completed until the property has sold which is entirely dependent upon the property market.
It may be possible to consider making interim payments to beneficiaries during this period once accounts have been closed dependant on the value of the estate.