Parchment Solicitors is a predominantly Private Client Practice specialising in Wills, Probate, Estate Planning, Powers of Attorney and related matters.
The process of Probate is the administration of a deceased person’s Estate and we offer either a full Probate service or a Grant only service.
We believe that an initial consultation with one of our Probate team is the best place to start and we offer a 1 hour meeting free of charge and with no obligation to use our services. At this meeting we can explain the process to you, answer your questions and give you a good indication of the likely cost of the administration process.
This is where the Executor provides us with all the written valuations (as at the date of death) and other relevant details and we complete the Probate forms, draft the Oath and submit the application for the Grant of Probate. Where an Estate is not liable to Inheritance Tax (IHT), our fixed fee is £1,000.00 plus VAT and disbursements. Where an Estate has an IHT liability our fee is a minimum of £1,500.00 plus VAT and disbursements. This can increase if there are complex issues.
We do not work on an hourly rate basis – we charge a fixed fee based on the percentage of the gross Estate value. Because it takes a while to establish the value of an Estate we will quote you the percentage rate to be applied when the gross Estate value is known. Our basic rate is 1% of the gross Estate, plus VAT and any disbursements (see below).
As a guide, an Estate with a gross value of £500,000 and charged at the basic rate of 1% would have fees of £5,000 plus VAT and disbursements.
1. Finding out about all the assets and liabilities of the Estate and obtaining valuations;
2. Arranging for payment of any Inheritance Tax liability due on the estate, or accepting liability for non-payment (if relevant);
3. Obtaining the Grant of Representation;
4. Paying the liabilities of the Estate from Estate assets;
5. Paying any legacies;
6. Dealing with Accountants, Financial Advisers and HMRC in respect of tax returns and any resultant Income and Capital Gains Tax matters both for the period to the date of death and for the period of the administration of the Estate;
7. Preparing Estate Accounts;
8. Distributing the residue of the Estate.
This list is not exhaustive and is only a guide.
We do not include in our fixed fees matters which are or become contested; Deeds of Variation and post death planning work; property sales or transfers; foreign assets; complex tax or business matters.
There will normally be additional expenses payable to others which will be charged to the Estate. These may include, at current rates:-
1. Probate Court fee £155.00.
2. Court fee (per copy) for sealed copy Grants £0.50.
3. Commissioners’ fees (min) on swearing Oath £7.00.
4. Bankruptcy Search per person £2.00.
5. Anti Money Laundering Search – per person £7.20.
6. Unclaimed Asset Register Search £25.00.
7. Land Registry Title Search – per property £3.00.
8. Will Register Search - variable (but typically £100-£200) + VAT.
9. Trustee Notices - variable (but typically £200-£300) + VAT.
On average, Estate administration can take between 6 – 12 months to complete. If there are complications such as disputes between beneficiaries, or property sales involved, this can take longer – but we always aim to complete matters as soon as we possibly can.
The head of our Probate Department is Jeremy Mills, who is a Partner at Parchment. Jeremy is a specialist Trust and Tax planning Solicitor and Notary Public with over 25 years’ experience.
Rachelle Moore is a Solicitor who has worked at Parchment for 4 years dealing largely with Probate work, as well as some residential conveyancing.
Michael Shiman, also a Partner at Parchment, is the Probate Manager responsible for all administrative matters and he has many years’ experience dealing with Probate administration.
The Probate department is supported by the Parchment administration team.