Abbey Legal Services are able to offer a Probate Assistance package at a very competitive fixed fee. We will assist with the completion of the legal forms and calculation of Inheritance Tax due (if any), in a timely and efficient manner, and most importantly of all, often at a fraction of the cost of the alternatives.
When a person dies, the Executor(s) named in the Will has to apply for Probate if the Estate is worth more than £5,000 or the deceased owned a property. To obtain Probate, the Executor(s) must submit applications to the Probate Registry, as well as HM Revenue and Customs, with all relevant documentation. Until this is done, and the Grant of Probate has been issued and received, the Executors cannot and must not distribute the Estate. Executors should be aware that institutions such as banks, building societies, and insurance companies will often not release funds until they are in possession of an official copy of the Grant of Probate. Most importantly of all, Executors must be aware that they are personally liable if the correct amount of tax is not paid from the Estate, or if mistakes occur when distributing the deceased’s Estate.
Using Banks and Solicitors to act as Executors.
Executors should be aware that the likes of banks, solicitors and trust companies will often apply their fees expressed as a percentage of the value of the Estate. This can be very expensive, for example, some high street banks can charge between 4% and 6% of the value of the Estate, whereas solicitors tend to charge around 3%.
Even a modest Estate where the deceased owned a family home could well be worth £250,000. Thus, when the bank’s probate fees are applied, the cost could be a staggering (£250,000 x 5%=) £12,500 + VAT. Similarly, solicitors fees can be expensive, and although their rate is usually less than those of banks, the overall costs on such an Estate will often amount to 3% of the Estate Value at (£250,000 x 3% =) £7,500 + VAT.
What’s Included and What Does it Cost?
There are two fees involved with our Probate Assistance package, and these are:
- Professional Fees
- Probate Application Fee
1. Professional Fees
The professional fees are the cost of our services and include the following:
- Initial consultation with one of our qualified consultants to ascertain the details of the deceased’s Estate
- Completion of the appropriate Probate application form
- Completion of the appropriate Inheritance Tax form
- Guidance for the Executor(s) on gathering the assets and distributing them in accordance with the Will
- Preparation of accounts for the Estate if neccesary
- Telephone support for the Executor(s)
2. Probate Application Fee
The Probate application fee is paid directly to HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) in order to apply for the Grant of Probate. This fee is currently £215 plus 50p for each additional official copy of the Grant of Probate. We would normally recommend that you purchase at least 2 additional copies of the Grant of Probate to allow you to send them to various organisations without having to wait for them to be returned.
The flat fee structure for probate fees is set to be replaced by a stepped scale based on the estate’s value. The changes, set out below, were due to take effect from 1 April 2019 but have been delayed because they’ve yet to receive parliamentary approval.
|Estate Value||Proposed Fees||Change From Current|
|Under £50,000||£0||£215 less|
|£50,000 – £300,000||£250||£35 more|
|£300,000 – £500,000||£750||£535 more|
|£500,000 – £1 million||£2,500||£2,285 more|
|£1 million – £1.6 million||£4,000||£3,785 more|
|£1.6 million – £2 million||£5,000||£4,785 more|
|over £2 million||£6,000||£5,785 more|