When to use a Probate Specialist
Is it necessary to use a solicitor for probate? How much does a probate specialist charge? Can I do my own probate in the UK?
This article explains when a probate specialist may be necessary and the likely costs involved.
While generally, you can do probate yourself, in some limited situations it is a good idea to use a professional.
What is Probate?
Probate is the entire process of administering a dead person’s estate. This involves organising their money, assets and possessions and distributing them as inheritance, after paying any taxes and debts.
If the deceased has left a Will, it will name someone that they’ve chosen to administer their estate. This person is known as the executor of the Will.
Before they begin, the executor must apply for a Grant of Probate. This is a legal document which gives them the authority to deal with the deceased’s property.
Probate ends once all taxes and debts have been paid and all inheritance passed on.
When do I need a probate specialist?
A probate specialist may be a solicitor or an accountant. They could be needed if:
• the value of the estate is over the Inheritance Tax threshold and the estate is still earning a regular income where there are complicated taxes due. The threshold for the 2021/22 tax year is £325,000.
• the deceased died without a will, and it’s a complicated estate to sort out
• there are doubts about the validity of the will
• the deceased had dependants who were deliberately left out of the will, but who might want to make a claim on the estate
• the estate has complex arrangements, such as assets held in a trust
• the estate is bankrupt (also known as insolvent)
• the estate is bankrupt
• the estate includes foreign property or foreign assets
• the deceased lived outside the UK for tax purposes.
What can a probate specialist help me with?
Administering an estate has many duties and responsibilities and can amount to a huge burden of pressure on someone who is already struggling with great emotional distress following the loss of a loved one.
By itself, probate can also be a complicated and document-heavy process.
Our team of specialists will be by your loved ones’ side throughout the process, making the process simpler with a sympathetic, caring and compassionate service.
The comprehensive service will cover:
• Drafting, preparing and submitting the probate paper
• Establishing and managing any Trusts created by the Will
• Identifying joint assets, or any life or minority interests
• Ensuring all liabilities are paid from the estate
• Preparing estate accounts and obtaining approval
• Distributing the proceeds of the estate
• Preparing income, inheritance and capital gains tax forms
• Calculating and paying any owed amounts
• Obtaining clearance from HMRC
• Collecting all assets
• Obtaining formal valuations
• Arranging sales and closing accounts
• Contacting financial, governmental bodies and interested parties
• Obtaining details of all estate assets and liabilities
• Placing Trustee Act Notices
How much do probate services cost?
Some probate specialists and solicitors charge an hourly rate, while others charge a fee that’s a percentage of the value of the estate.
This fee is usually calculated as between 1% to 5% of the value of the estate, plus VAT.
The table below is an example of how much you could end up paying for their service. This total doesn’t include court or application fees, so the final bill will probably be higher.
|Value of estate||Fees||VAT||Total Payable|
|£100,000||£1,000 (1% of estate value)||£200||£1,200|
|£100,000||£5,000 (5% of estate value)||£1,000||£6,000|