Wills & Probates

Wills

At Westparc Law we understand the importance of planning for the future. Research shows that more than two thirds of people in the UK do not have a Will in place. For many people, making sure that they have a will in place can be overlooked or even considered unnecessary. However, the consequences of passing away without a Will can often make an already difficult time for your loved ones further complicated as they are left without clear instructions of your wishes.

At Westparc Law we are able to provide expert advice in order to ensure peace of mind whatever your circumstances.

Whether your affairs are straightforward or require a more detailed analysis of business interest, general succession planning or inheritance tax issues, we will evaluate your circumstances and tailor our advice to your specific needs. Our aim is to make the process as simple and easy to understand as possible.

Probate

When a loved one passes away, you may be faced with the task of acting as their executor or administrator to deal with their affairs. At Westparc Law, we understand the stress that this adds to an already difficult and emotional time, especially if you haven’t received the correct advice or support to guide your through the daunting process.

Obtaining the Grant of Probate and dealing with the collection and administration of assets is all part of the service our highly skilled team can offer you and your family. We aim to provide a responsive and proactive service to ensure that the wishes of your loved ones are respected and carried out whilst also making the process as simple and straightforward as possible.

Current charging rates for obtaining probate for uncontested estates where the deceased has a valid will. 

There are different rates which the Firm may apply and as follows:

  • In cases where there are no unusual circumstances or complexities the firm may work on the basis of a fixed price quotation. This is unlikely to be less than £750.00 plus VAT and disbursements or more than £1,500 plus VAT and disbursements.
  • If the matter is more complex or there are unusual circumstances, then the Firm charge purely on a time basis. The time will be dependent on what is required. The hourly rate will be the rate prevailing at the date of death. The minimum rate is currently £146.00 per hour plus VAT and disbursements.

The estimated total cost assumes we are instructed to solely obtain the Grant of Probate and there are no unusual circumstances or complexities.

Current charging rates for obtaining probate for uncontested estates where the deceased has a valid will. 

There are different rates which the Firm may apply and as follows:

  • In cases where there are no unusual circumstances or complexities the firm may work on the basis of a fixed price quotation. This is unlikely to be less than £750.00 plus VAT and disbursements or more than £1,500 plus VAT and disbursements.
  • If the matter is more complex or there are unusual circumstances, then the Firm charge purely on a time basis. The time will be dependent on what is required. The hourly rate will be the rate prevailing at the date of death. The minimum rate is currently £146.00 per hour plus VAT and disbursements.

The estimated total cost assumes we are instructed to solely obtain the Grant of Probate and there are no unusual circumstances or complexities.

Current charging rates for obtaining Probate for uncontested estates where the deceased does not have a valid will.

There are different rates which the Firm may apply and as follows:

  • In cases where there are no unusual circumstances or complexities the Firm may work on the basis of a fixed price quotation. This is unlikely to be less than £1,000 plus VAT and disbursements or more than £2,000 plus VAT and disbursements.
  •  If the matter is more complex or there are unusual circumstances then the Firm charge purely on a time basis. The time will be dependent on what is required. The hourly rate will be the rate prevailing at the date of death. The minimum rate is currently £146.00 per hour plus VAT and disbursements.

The estimated total cost assumes we are instructed to solely obtain the Letters of Administration and there are no unusual circumstances or complexities.

Current charging rates for acting in the administration of an uncontested estate with only assets in the UK

 There are different rates which the Firm may apply depending on the circumstances as follows:

  • In cases where there are few assets and they are of little value the Firm may work on the basis of a fixed price quotation. This is unlikely to be less than £1,200 plus VAT and disbursements or more than £1,800 plus VAT and disbursements.
  • If the estate is more complex and has a large number of assets or assets with a high value, then the Firm charge on a time basis. The time will be dependent on what is required. The hourly rate will be the rate prevailing at the date of death. The minimum rate is currently £210 per hour plus VAT and disbursements. It is difficult to estimate, in advance, how many hours are likely to be needed to complete the administration of an estate but (generally) it is likely to be somewhere between 10 to 30 hours. In some cases a time limit can be imposed which cannot be exceeded by the Firm without prior authorisation.
  • Where an estate is particularly valuable, with numerous and/or complex assets and Inheritance Tax is payable, then a percentage of the gross value of the estate will be applied in addition to the hourly rate based on time spent. The percentage will generally vary from ¼% to 2% but may, in certain cases be slightly more. Both the percentage and hourly rate are subject to VAT and the usual disbursements.
  • If there is a continuing Trust, time spent dealing with the matter will be based on an hourly rate currently £210 plus VAT. However, in larger or more complex matters, a percentage charge of between ¼% and 2 ½% of the Trust assets may apply. An estimate of the likely time to be spent (on an annual basis) will be given (where possible) at the outset.

The likely disbursements to be incurred in the circumstances described above are as set out below:

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties which we handle on your behalf.

• Probate Court fee £155.00

• Sealed copies of the Grant – 50p per copy

• Bankruptcy search (per person) £ 2.00

• Bank transfer fee (per transfer) £ 40.00

• VAT on bank transfer (per transfer) £ 8.00

• Statutory notice (approx. per notice) £200.00

Time scale

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-9 months. Typically obtaining grant of probate takes 20 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 6-8 weeks.

Once this has been done and provided it is safe to do so we can distribute the assets which normally takes 3-4 weeks.

Before making any distribution, the Executors need to decide whether or not they wish to place statutory notices in the newspapers. Statutory notices are notices which are places to allow any unknown creditors two months to come forward to make a claim against the estate, If you do not place the notices in the newspapers and an unknown creditor comes forward, at a later date, you will be personally liable for any monies due to the known creditor.

The precise stages involved in an uncontested probate vary according to the circumstances. We have set out the key stages of a standard transaction: –

  • Providing you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter.
  • Undertaking regulatory checks
  • Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries.
  • Accurately identifying the type of Probate application, you will require.
  • Obtaining the relevant documents required to make the application.
  • Completing the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms.
  • Preparing the Statement of Truth for you to sign.
  • Making the application to the Probate Court on your behalf.
  • Obtaining the Probate and securely send a copy to you.
  • Collecting and distributing all assets in the estate.

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.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 + VAT (£1.80 inc. VAT) (1 per asset usually)
  • Dealing with the scale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included
  • Advising upon, estate related Inheritance Tax, and submitting Inheritance Tax Returns and subsequent formalities.

Solicitors that deal with Probate work:

Faiz Khan will be dealing with probate cases, he is a newly qualified solicitor and has 2 years’ experience in this area and he will be supervised by Saira Islam, who has 5 years’ experience in Probate.

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