Wills probate

Wills And Probate

It makes sense to make a Will. There is a very real danger that, if you die without having made a Will, your property may not go directly to the people you would want to benefit. Making a Will is the surest way of providing for others after your death and Rich & Carr solicitors are here to help you do so. Statistics show that 75% of the UK population, that's three out of every four people in the UK, die without leaving a Will, don’t become part of this statistic - our lawyers are skilled in drawing up all the legal documentation you will require.

Someone who dies without leaving a valid Will is said to die intestate, which means that the rules and laws of intestacy made by Parliament govern the ownership of money, property and possessions (known as your Estate) and also govern who is entitled to administer that Estate. These rules are largely inflexible and make provision for spouses, children or further blood relatives in a strict order of priority.

This could mean that, without a valid Will:

  • Your spouse may not inherit everything;
  • If you are separated, but not yet divorced, your spouse could inherit most of your Estate;
  • A distant blood relative may take precedence over a life long companion, if you have no immediate family;
  • If you are living with someone, but not married to them, they may lose out completely;
  • A charity you wish to benefit will lose out;
  • You lose the right to determine who you wish to wind up your affairs;
  • You lose the right to take advantage of tax-saving measures and your Estate may end up with a large Inheritance Tax Bill;
  • If you have no immediate family or blood relatives at all, your entire Estate may go to the Government.

Services we provide include:

  • Basic tax advice; we will refer to an accountant in complex matters
  • Deputyship applications;
  • Preparation of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney;
  • Registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney;
  • Amendment of an existing Will;
  • Acting as professional Executors or Trustees;
  • Storage of Wills and other important documents, such as the Title Deeds to your house;
  • Advising on the effect of intestacy (when someone dies without leaving a valid Will);
  • Obtaining Grants of Probate or Letters of Administration;
  • Administration or winding up of Estates;
  • Variation of estates;
  • Potential claims against Estates if you feel you have been excluded unfairly from a Will;
  • Inheritance Act claims for the provision for dependants;

So if you wish to discuss the preparation of a Will, the setting-up of a Trust or need help administering an Estate, please contact one of our expert, professional solicitors in the Probate Department today.

Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration - Our Fees & Service

Why use rich & carr solicitors?

We are a traditional high street practice local to the area of Leicester & Leicestershire with experience in handling all types of estates.

We provide a professional yet personal service and work closely with our clients to help them decide how much they would like us to be involved with the administration of the estate.

We guide our clients through the process, step by step without the legal jargon.

Our departments work closely with each other so if there is a property to be sold or transferred, we can give effect to those transactions with ease.

We provide you with peace of mind knowing that the administration of the estate is being dealt with ‘under one roof’.

For example, if there is a claim against the estate which leads to Court proceedings then we have experienced litigators in our Dispute Resolution Team.

If, as a result of inheritance, a beneficiary would like to review and draw up a new Will then we can also assist.


our team

John Coffee - Head of Department Associate- Leicester/Oadby office

Michael Payne - Associate - Birstall office

Geeta Kalyanji - Associate - Blaby/Oadby office

Thomas Ackerley - Legal Executive - Syston office

Trusha Rama - Solicitor - Leicester/Oadby office

Vilas Mistry - Solicitor - Leicester/Lutterworth office

Lucy Colledge - Solicitor - Lutterworth office

Sabera Dassu - Paralegal - Oadby office


Click on the links below to find out more about the services that we offer.

APPLYING FOR THE GRANT, COLLECTING AND DISTRIBUTING THE ASSETS

Hourly rate of £155 - £250 plus VAT depending on the experience of the fee earner dealing and the complexity of the matter will apply. We anticipate that it can take between 10 – 25 hours. Total 'time' costs can range from £1,550 - £6,250 plus VAT or more in large estates.

In line with the Law Society recommendations we are entitled to charge 0.5%+VAT of the main residence and 1%+VAT of gross cash assets. If we are acting as Executors then we are entitled to charge 0.75%+VAT of the main residence and 1.5%+VAT of gross cash assets. Bank fees start from £12 inclusive of VAT per transfer.

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. An interim invoice is usually provided upon receipt of the Grant of Representation.

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 in the UK
  • There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • All assets are in the UK
  • There are less than 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 HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate


Please note, the above quote does not include fees for Sale/transfer of property – we would be happy to provide you with a quote.

Based upon the assumptions above, on average it could take between 9 – 12 months to conclude the matter.


Disbursements not included in this fee:

Disbursements are fees payable to third parties, some of which need to be paid before a Grant of Probate application can be submitted.

If possible, we may handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. If somebody ‘lends’ money to the estate in order to cover costs which should have been paid by the estate, then they may be entitled to be reimbursed from the estate before the assets are distributed.


Our client will be the Executors named in the Will or the Administrators entitled to take out a Grant of Letters of Administration (if there is not a Will). Likely disbursements:

  • Probate application fee of £155 plus £1.50p per sealed copy Grant of Probate (1 copy per asset is recommended) - please note that this is subject to change to a sliding scale in the future (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/announcemen...)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per UK beneficiary). International bankruptcy searches can cost in excess of £99+VAT.
  • Approximately £260 for Statutory Advertisements (to post in The London Gazette and the Local Newspaper)– Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • If there are stocks & shares to be sold, the stockbrokers and/or Registrars will raise fees.
  • If there is not a Will then further fees will need to be paid to organisations to undertake a national Will search (approx. £114 inc VAT) and to verify or produce a family tree and further fees for Missing Beneficiaries Indemnity policy
  • Additional expenses may be incurred if it is necessary to instruct experts to, for example, value sell or otherwise deal with assets, such as property, personal effects, business interests and shares.
  • Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and possibly other taxes plus accountancy fees may need to be paid to finalise the deceased’s lifetime tax affairs and the estate administration tax position.

OBTAINING A GRANT ONLY (FIXED FEE)

We can help you through the difficult process of obtaining the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration on your behalf.

How much does this service cost?

Our Legal Costs - Fixed fee starting from £600+VAT not including disbursements (see below) based on:

  • There is a valid Will*
  • There is no more than 1 property
  • There are no other intangible assets (intellectual property rights etc)
  • All assets are in the UK
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets
  • There is no inheritance tax payable
  • The executors do not need to submit a full account to the HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate (for example by potential beneficiaries or by the DWP)
  • The executors provide us with all the date of death figures required
  • There is no income tax for the executors to pay

Of course, if any of the above assumptions do not apply then the fixed fee will be increased depending upon the individual circumstances of the estate. We would discuss this with our client at our initial meeting and throughout the duration of the matter.

* If there is not a valid Will, then further work will be required to identify beneficiaries. Our fixed fee starts from £700+VAT and further disbursements will need to be paid (for example, a Will search, instructing tracing organisations to verify or trace a family tree and Missing Beneficiaries Indemnity Policy).

Once we have obtained the relevant Grant, we will forward copies onto the executors and they will be responsible for dealing with the distribution of the assets.

Disbursements are not included in the Fixed Fee. Likely disbursements are:

  • Probate application fee of £155 plus £1.50p per sealed copy Grant of Probate (1 copy per asset is recommended) - please note that this is subject to change to a sliding scale in the future (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/announcemen...)
  • Approximately £260 for statutory advertisements (to post in The London Gazette and the Local Newspaper)– Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • If there is not a Will then further fees will need to be paid to organisations to undertake a national Will search (approx. £114 inc VAT) and to verify or produce a family tree and further fees for Missing Beneficiaries Indemnity policy
  • Additional expenses may be incurred if it is necessary to instruct experts to, for example, value sell or otherwise deal with assets, such as property, personal effects, business interests and shares.


As part of our fixed fee service we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate practitioner to work with you on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal Statement of Truth for you to sign
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and forward copies onto you


Based upon the assumptions above, on average it could take between 2-3 months to obtain the Grant of Probate, from our initial meeting.

Potential additional costs

Sometimes, estates can be more complicated than initially anticipated. In those circumstances it might be the case that additional work has to be undertaken to complete the administration of the estate.

Below is a list of some of the additional work that might be required, which will be charged at the hourly rate of the relevant Probate Practitioner, if not stated or agreed with you otherwise.

  • Administration of Wills trusts
  • Advising and preparing a Deed of Variation (in the region of £500 + VAT)
  • If a claim is intimated or the Will is being challenged
  • There might be a need for us to verify information, or you may want us to write to the financial institutions on your behalf to obtain the required information.
  • If the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds), pension policies, life insurance policies 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 there are stocks and shares to be sold there will be additional costs payable to stockbrokers and Registrars and there may be additional fees for individual certificates
  • If the estate qualifies for transferable nil rate band (completion of form IHT417)
  • If the estate qualifies for Business Property Relief, Agricultural Property Relief, Charitable exemptions this will attract additional costs which can range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We will give you an accurate quote when we receive more information from the client.
  • If HMRC tax returns need to be filed (for income tax and capital gains tax of the deceased and/or income tax and capital gains tax during the course of the administration of the estate)
  • If the DWP carry out an investigation (for example if the deceased was in receipt of any means-tested benefits such as pension credit)
  • If the estate consists of foreign property or assets including bank accounts/property in Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man or Ireland additional work may be required to obtain a Grant for the relevant country
  • If Inheritance Tax is payable, it must be paid before the Grant is issued


The hourly rate of each Probate Practitioner is as follows:

Associate & Head of Department: £250 plus VAT

Associates: £185 plus VAT

Solicitors: £166 plus VAT

Legal Executives: £177 plus VAT

Paralegal: £100 plus VAT


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