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Probate

Probate is the name given to the process of distributing the assets of a deceased person.  How complicated this is depends on both the deceased’s wishes, set out in their will, and the size of their estate.  You may wish to deal with this yourself but if you decide that you would like some professional help then our team of dedicated and sympathetic probate professionals are ready to assist you.

Our team has over fifty years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to residential conveyancing.  There are few areas of residential conveyancing that the team has not dealt with before and you can be assured that the team will make your house purchase experience as easy and stress free as it can be.

We have three members of the team who may work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Dominic Cassidy, Partner .  Dominic is assisted by Julie Hodge, Partner, and Michael Boyce, Solicitor.

Dominic Cassidy – Partner

Partner Dominic Cassidy qualified as a solicitor in 1989.  Dominic specialises in litigation and private client probate work.  Dominic is an experienced probate lawyer and is able to assist with modest and complex estates.

Julie Hodge – Partner

Julie qualified as a solicitor in 2004.  Julie is a partner in the firm and undertakes family and private client estate work.  Julie is an experienced probate lawyer and is able to assist with modest and complex estates.

Michael Boyce – Solicitor

Michael qualified as a solicitor in Northern Ireland in 2012 before moving to the UK.  He has specialised in property law, conveyancing and private client estate work since qualifying.

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

Probate work is generally undertaken on an hourly rate basis.  The following information is provided to assist you in understanding how our fees are calculated.  The prices provided are indicative of the likely cost of a case and should not be taken as an absolute quote.  You must still contact us to obtain a detailed quote which takes into account the individual circumstances of your case.

The prices set out below assume that the case is uncontested and that all of the deceased’s assets are in the UK.  This includes both testate and intestate (with and without a will) and taxable and non-taxable estates.

We anticipate this will take between 15 and 30 hours work at a composite hourly rate of £200.00 per hour plus VAT.

The actual hourly rate will depend on who undertakes the work on your behalf.  The more complex a matter is the greater the likelihood that it will need to be worked on be a more experienced solicitor.  The applicable hourly rates are:

Partner – £225.00 plus VAT

Associate Solicitor – £175.00 plus VAT

Trainee Solicitor – £125.00 plus VAT

Paralegal – £100.00 plus VAT

Total costs estimated at £2,500.00 to £6,000.00 plus VAT.

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.

In exceptionally complex cases we may be required to depart from the fee structure set out above.  We would always tell you in advance if we considered your matter to be exceptionally difficult and would not undertake any chargeable work on your behalf without first obtaining your authority to do so.

In modest or less complex cases it may be possible to agree a fixed fee.  A typical fixed fee would be £2,500.00 plus VAT.

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 no more than 5 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 1 and 5 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 inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HM Revenue and Customs
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements included in this fee:

  • Probate application fee of £155.00
  • £5.00 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2.00 per beneficiary)
  • £85.00 – Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • £215.00 – £400.00 – Post in a local newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.

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.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £0.50 (one per asset usually).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
  • preparing tax returns*

*If a tax return is required specialist advice will be required from an accountant at an additional cost.

How long with this take

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 3-6 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2-6 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2-6 weeks.