Probate

We can help

The death of a loved one or business colleague is an emotional and stressful time. We can provide you with support and guidance through the probate process.

For existing clients we will already have a knowledge of assets owned and potentially a history of gifts, which can be helpful to the Executors/Administrators of the Estate.

We can also provide probate services for non-client individuals and with our skills are able to assist the executors or administrators with all estate matters.

We approach the family in a sympathetic and supportive way while dealing with the probate details professionally.

Probate fees

We confirm we are licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales to carry out reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England & Wales.

Our fees for probate depend upon the service required on the following fee basis:

Completion of IHT205 (2011) to obtain Grant of Probate £750 + vat
Completion of IHT205 (2011) and IHT217 to obtain Grant of Probate £900 + vat
Completion of IHT400 and supplementary forms where no tax due £1,600 + vat
Completion of IHT400 and supplementary forms where tax liability arises From £1,800 - £2,500 + vat

Where we are instructed to assist in the administration of the estate we are happy to provide a quotation for the additional work once we know the extent of the work required.

This will be based on an hourly rate of Partner £170, Qualified Assistant £90.

We confirm either Jamie Sunnucks or Joy Bishop, Partners, will oversee all work undertaken.

Additional charges incurred in obtaining the Grant are set by HM Courts & Tribunal service as set out on www.gov.uk/applying-for-probate/fees. These fees will be in addition to our fees detailed above.

Notification in The London Gazette and local newspaper, if requested to protect against unknown creditors, could be an additional fee of between £300 - £500.

If we find any issues that are likely to significantly alter the fee quoted we will advise you at the time. For example, the executors may require us to undertake further work or to ascertain the assets or liabilities of the estate.

It is difficult to provide an exact guide as to how long the probate will take, but we work alongside the Executors/Administrators. At times matters may take longer to complete for various reasons, but we will communicate with you throughout the probate process to advise of the position.

Probate Process

In summary the probate process includes:

  • Identifying the assets of the deceased and obtaining confirmation from Banks/Building Societies/Valuers/Stockbrokers etc on the value of the assets.
  • Calculation of any Inheritance tax liability and submission of IHT forms to HM Revenue & Customs if a IHT liability arises.
  • Submission of all details to obtain Grant of Probate.
  • Placing a notice in The Gazette to allow possible creditors to come forward to ensure that there are no unknown creditors of the deceased.
  • If requested, collecting all the assets of the estate e.g. money from bank accounts, shares from stockbrokers and proceeds from selling the deceased’s property.
  • Settling any debts that need to be paid e.g. unpaid bills and tax liabilities.
  • Distributing the estate to the beneficiaries of the Will.
  • Preparing a final account of the estate for approval by the executors.
  • Estate returns as necessary.

General

Levicks are Licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales.

Details of our probate accreditation can be viewed at icaew.com/probate under reference number C007334928.

Compensation Scheme

In the unlikely event that we cannot meet our liabilities to you, you may be able to seek a grant from ICAEW’s Compensation Scheme. Generally, applications for a grant must be made to ICAEW within 12 months of the time you become aware, or reasonably ought to have been aware of the loss. Further information about the scheme, and the circumstances in which grants may be made, is available on ICAEW’s website: www.icaew.com/probate.

Complaints

We look to provide clients with a high level of service but should you feel that we have not delivered on this, please let us know by contacting the head of the legal practice Joy Bishop. We will consider carefully any complaint that you may make about our probate services as soon as we receive it and will look to resolve the issue. We will acknowledge your complaint within five business days of its receipt and endeavour to deal with it within 8 weeks. Any complaint should be submitted to us in writing.

If we do not deal with it within this timescale or if you are unhappy with our response you may of course take the matter up with our professional body, ICAEW, and the Legal Ombudsman. Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman should be made within six years of the act or omission or within three years of you becoming aware of the issue, and in either case within six months of our written response to your complaint to us. The contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are:

Letter: Legal Ombudsman, P O Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ.

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Telephone: 0330 555 0333

Diversity Data

Our diversity data results are listed separately:

Diversity data

Please contact your local Partner or Joy Bishop / Jamie Sunnucks if you would like to discuss probate services further.