Dealing with the estate of someone who has passed away can be an intimidating prospect, especially at a time when you are coping with the personal impact of your loss. Getting the right legal support can make things much easier for you, taking much of the work out of your hands and giving you confidence that every detail is taken care of.
Here at hpjv solicitors, we want to make handling probate and estate administration as simple and stress-free as possible for you. We know what a difficult time this can be, so by offering clear, practical guidance in plain English, we aim to remove any unnecessary confusion or extra work.
Our highly experienced probate lawyers can provide as much support as you need. You may simply want advice on a single issue, such as applying for a grant of probate or paying inheritance tax. Or you might like us to handle the whole probate process for you from start to finish. Whatever your requirements, we can offer the tailored, personal service you need.
Book a consultation to see how we can make probate easier for you
Confused about how to deal with the estate of someone who has passed away? Contact our sensitive, reliable probate lawyers in Newport today.
How we can help you with probate & estate administration
Obtaining the Will
The first step to dealing with the estate of someone who has passed away is to establish whether they had a Will and, if so, make sure you can access it. This could be kept in their home, by the solicitor who prepared the Will or at your local Probate Registry.
Only the people named as Executors in the Will have a right to see a copy. If you were not named as an Executor or the deceased did not leave a Will, we can advise you on your options.
Valuing the estate
You will need to work out how much the deceased’s estate is worth so you can see what the various beneficiaries should receive and how much, if any, Inheritance Tax (IHT) you will need to pay.
We can assist you with establishing exactly what assets are included in the estate and having them independently valued. This can make things easier for you and reduce the potential for any conflict over the value of specific assets, such as the deceased’s home.
Applying for grant of probate
To obtain the legal authority to deal with the deceased’s estate, you will likely need to apply for grant of probate. We can make this application for you, ensuring there are no errors in the application or other issues that could hold up the process.
We can also advise you where grant of probate is not required e.g. if you are the spouse of the deceased and they left their whole estate to you. We can also contact the deceased’s bank, mortgage provider and other asset holders to establish whether they require grant of probate before giving you access to specific assets.
Paying Inheritance Tax
You will need to pay any Inheritance Tax due within 6 months of the end of the month in which the deceased died. If you fail to pay by the due date, HMRC will charge you interest on the amount owed.
Our probate lawyers can handle the payment of Inheritance Tax for you, transferring the funds straight from the deceased’s estate to HMRC, giving you peace of mind that everything is taken care of.
Distributing assets from an estate
We can assist with transferring assets to the named beneficiaries, including taking care of issues such as updating the Land Registry where a property has been transferred to a new owner.
With our experience and expertise, we can ensure the distribution of assets goes ahead smoothly and without unnecessary delays, reducing the potential for inheritance disputes.
Preparing estate accounts
The Executor of an estate is required to prepare a final Estate Account showing how the assets from the estate were distributed and any costs, such as Inheritance Tax, legal fees and disbursements that have been covered from the estate.
We can assist with preparing estate accounts, making sure all of the necessary details are included and reducing the likelihood of anyone raising concerns over how the estate was handled.
Estate administration when there is no Will
If the deceased did not leave a Will (i.e. they died ‘intestate’) we can guide you through the slightly different process for dealing with their estate. You will need to apply for letters of administration instead of a grant of probate and we can assist with this and all other stages of dealing with the deceased’s estate.
Unfortunately, disputes over estates and inheritances cannot always be avoided. If someone is seeking to contest the Will or has questioned the way you are handling probate, we can advise you on your position and represent you during any subsequent proceedings.
Should you wish to dispute a Will or have concerns about the conduct of an Executor or Estate Administrator, we can advise you on your legal options for taking action.
In most cases, we are able to resolve contentious probate matters without the need to attend court, saving you time, money and stress.
Find out more about our contentious probate services.
Our probate fees
Fixed fee probate
We are able to offer a fixed fee probate service for some straightforward estates, giving you complete certainty over the costs involved.
The cost of our fixed fee probate services ranges from £2,500 to £8,000 plus VAT and disbursements.
Probate hourly rates
Where there are more complex matters to deal with, we normally work according to an agreed hourly rate, allowing us to give you exactly as much support as you need.
Our probate hourly rates are between £146 - £201 plus VAT and disbursements, plus a ‘value factor’ of between 0.5-1.5% of the value of the estate assets.
Find out more about our probate pricing.
Probate & estate administration FAQs
How long does probate take?
This will depend on the circumstances, including how complicated the estate is and how quickly you are able to deal with each stage of the process.
It normally takes around a month for probate to be granted once your application has been submitted. The rest of the process will then typically take around 6-12 months to complete.
When is probate required?
Probate is required in most cases but may not be necessary if the estate is worth less than £5,000 or if the deceased held all of their assets jointly with another person (e.g. their spouse) and they left all of their assets to that other person.
Does a surviving spouse need probate?
Probate may be required if the deceased had assets that were not held jointly with the surviving spouse or if the deceased left a Will making bequests to someone other than the spouse.
How much does probate cost?
This will depend on the nature of the estate. The fees will generally be higher where there are complex issues that will take longer to deal with, such as foreign assets or business ownership. The fee will also usually be influenced by the value of the estate.
For more information about the cost of probate, please take a look at our probate pricing.
How long after probate can bequests be distributed?
There is no set time limit for bequests to be made, although you may be able to take action to have an Executor or Estate Administrator removed and replaced if you can show that they are delaying making bequests without reasonable justification.
Can a house be sold before probate is granted?
This will depend on whose name the property was in. If the deceased owned the property jointly with someone else, that person may be able to sell the house before probate is granted.
If the property was not jointly owned with someone else, you will normally need to wait until probate is granted before you can sell the house or transfer ownership to a beneficiary named in the Will.
Get in touch with our probate lawyers in Newport
We are able to arrange home and hospital visits at no extra cost (subject to location) for clients with a disability or who would otherwise be unable to attend our offices.
For more information or to speak to one of our experts please call us on:
01633 242 526