Probate

When someone dies there are several important tasks that need to be completed. Naturally, the deceased’s immediate family, relatives, and friends will be adversely affected by many feeling anxiety and stress about the loss of a loved one.

In addition to managing funeral matters, there are several legal implications that must also be addressed. Dealing with any of the deceased’s assets requires an application for Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letter of Administration.

Our experienced probate team understands that serving grieving clients calls for a sensitive and thoughtful approach- because this is always difficult for families. Where there is a valid will, the named Executors will take responsibility. Executors will often seek legal advice because the law places several action and reporting obligations on Executors.

In the absence of a valid will, a person is said to have died “Intestate”. Intestacy Rules determine who can be appointed to act as Administrators of the estate in these instances.

The role of an Administrator can also be onerous because strict rules prescribe actions that must be taken, how they should be taken and when they should be taken in relation to estates. The deceased’s estate may involve valuable or complex matters and an Executor or Administrator is personally liable for administering the estate correctly.

Every Executor or Administrator can instruct a Solicitor of their choice to assist with the completion of their work. It is also usual for Executors and Administrators to settle legal fees out of the deceased’s estate.

Applying our legal skills, we help those handling probate matters to tidily achieve good outcomes for the deceased and his or her family.

Obinna Baranta

Obinna Baranta

Partner
  • Application for and obtainment of Grant of Probate
  • Application for and obtainment of Grants of Letter of Administration
  • Drafting and registration of a Powers of Attorney
  • Calculation and Management of Inheritance Tax Liabilities
  • Domestic and International searches for Company Shares and Equity Stocks
  • Domestic and International Searches for Bank Accounts
  • Domestic and International Searches for Life Insurance and Death-in-Service Benefits
  • Domestic and International Searches for Investment Properties and Accrued Pensions
  • Recovery of all Estate Assets and Distribution of Assets according to wills or intestacy rules
  • Preparing the necessary documentation for the Grant of Probate
  • Carrying out all necessary checks to ensure the validity of any Will in existence.
  • When there is no valid Will, applying the Rules of Intestacy to the Estate of the deceased to identify the Personal Representatives and beneficiaries and to establish the entitlement of the beneficiaries.
  • Ensuring the accurate distribution of the Estate in accordance with the Will or the Intestacy Laws
  • Advising on and dealing with any claims against the Estate.
  • Placing all required statutory adverts to prevent any future claims against the Estate.

Completing the following tax forms for HMRC:

  • The Income Tax return from 6th April to the date of death.
  • The appropriate Inheritance Tax form, either an IHT 205 or IHT 400.
  • The Capital Gains Tax return, if required.
  • Conducting all correspondence with HMRC relevant to completing the above tax forms.
  • Taking any corrective action required by HMRC during the Estate administration process.
  • Claiming any relevant tax reliefs or exemptions applicable to the Estate.
  • Calculating any Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax that is owed.
  • Ensuring payment of any outstanding tax from the Estate.
  • Calculating and arranging for the transfer of any Nil Rate Band allowance if available, in order to reduce Inheritance Tax.
  • Identifying Personal Representatives
  • Identifying Beneficiaries of the Estate
  • Corresponding with all Financial institutions
  • Corresponding with other Companies e.g. Insurance Companies
  • Identifying, verifying and valuing all assets based in England and Wales
  • Paying any debts and liabilities from the Estate
  • Preparing the accounts of the Estate
  • Distributing the Estate to the Beneficiaries
  • Setting up any Trusts for the Estate
  • Ensuring that the buildings and contents insurance remains in place
  • Appointing the Royal Mail to re-direct post for period of time
  • Transferring ownership of registered property from the deceased to the beneficiaries.
  • If there is a property to be sold, then, for an additional fee, we can deal with the following:
  • Appointing an Estate Agent for the marketing and sale of the property.
  • Appointing and managing a specialist Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) provider in obtaining an EPC for the property where appropriate.

We will assist you in gathering assets, dealing with Wills and HMRC, paying inheritance tax, applying for probate and the distribution of assets.
Normally we based our charges on 2.5% of non-property assets and between 0.5% to 1.5 % of real property assets depending on the value of the property. The higher the value of real property the lower the percentage charge.
Both charges are subject to a minimum fee of £2500.

Disbursements:

Probate court fee- Its costs £155 to apply for probate if the value of the estate is more than £5,000. It is free if the value is less.

£5 Swearing of the oath (per executor).

Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary).

If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £0.50 (per asset usually).

How long will this take?

Once we have obtained all the necessary information it can take the court between 4-8 weeks to grant probate.

However, probate is sometimes disputed which makes matters more complicated and less straightforward. We would, therefore, have to advise on an individual basis depending on the case to help you understand the process and complexities of your situation.

Please Note: All prices quoted above include VAT and there are no hidden charges in relation to the fees for our firm’s legal services to you.

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COMPLIANTS:

Our aim is to deliver quality services that you will be happy with.

If unfortunately, after efforts our effort to do our best we have not got this right, a complaint about our service can be raised, in the first with the lawyer that handled your matter and provided our service to you. All our staff are trained to appreciate that client satisfaction comes first and your lawyer will do his or her best to listen to you, provide an explanation and carry out any remedial actions that you require so that you may become satisfied with our service.

If after the above initial stage you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint you may complain to our Mr Obinna Baranta who is our firm’s complaint manager - by writing to our London address of 51 Fellows Road, London NW3 3DX.

Mr Baranta will do his best to resolve the matter to your satisfaction by reviewing the service we provided to you in a manner that satisfies you.

Mr Baranta will first write to you within 7 working days of hearing from you to acknowledge receipt of your complaint and he will aim to send you a substantive reply to your complaint within 14 working days.

Mr Baranta will investigate your complaint by speaking to the person involved and may telephone you to get more details about our service to you.

If you do not feel comfortable about complaining to Mr Baranta about our service to you because he handled your matter, you may write to Mr Kenny Ogba who has been in practice for over 7 years and who will assist the firm by investigating your complaint with intention of finding a resolution that satisfies you.

If after looking into your complaint and responding to you, you are still not satisfied by our responses you may further complain to the Legal Ombudsman whose address for complaints is PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV19WJ.