Chester: 01244 354800
Liverpool: 0151 3210000
Legal 500 Top Tier Firm 2024  
Solicitors in Chester and Liverpool

DTM Legal provide a full Wills, Trusts & Estate service. Below we outline our probate service and fees.

The SRA have asked that we provide more information on an average non-contested Probate cases, where the assets to be collected and distributed are held within the UK only.  We believe there is no such thing as an average Probate matter; we treat each client as an individual and our team deals with a wide range of Probate matters. More complex matters may result in additional charges and a longer timescale for completion, which will be set out in our Client Care Letter should you choose to instruct us.  Please feel free to contact us if you are unsure whether this pricing information would apply to your matter.

What is the price range for this service?

  • We charge on the basis of time spent in dealing with a matter, the more complex a matter the greater the amount of work will be required.

What hourly rates do you charge?

  • Partners – £325.00-£350.00 per hour
  • Senior Associate – £300.00 – £325.00 per hour
  • Solicitor – £250.00 – £275.00 per hour

Example of calculation of fees

  • 20 hours work carried out by a solicitor whose charge rate is £250 per hour plus VAT would be £5,000 plus VAT.
  • We offer different options regarding dealing with the full estate administration or obtaining Grant only if appropriate.
  • A quote will be provided upon receiving information as to the estate and work required.

What disbursements will I need to pay?

Disbursements are expenses that we have to pay on your behalf for third party services (such as search fees or court fees)

  • Probate Court Fee – £273.00
  • Probate Court Office Copies – £1.50
  • Land Registry Office Copies – £3.00 for each Title /Plan required
  • Bankruptcy search fees – £2.00 per individual name

Options are available for:

  • Statutory Advertisements – quote obtained around £200.00 plus VAT
  • Assets and Liability Searches – £155.00 – £185.00 plus VAT
  • Will Search – £38.00 – £95.00 plus VAT
  • Unclaimed Assets Register search – £25.00 (in VAT)
  • Genealogy report – quote provided upon information provided

What steps are involved?

  1. Notify relevant institutions of the death (if this has not already been done by the family).
  2. Ascertain all assets and liabilities and obtain date of death values – the timescale will completely depend on the number of assets and with which institutions they are held. If there are properties then formal valuations will need to be arranged. It is therefore almost impossible to give a timescale given every case will be different.
  3. Prepare the inheritance tax return. Simple cases will only require an IHT205. More complex and higher value cases will require an IHT400 which is significantly longer.
  4. In the case of the IHT400, this is submitted to HMRC and the inheritance tax if any is due is to be paid within 6 months from the date of death to avoid interest and penalties.
  5. Prepare the Legal Statement or Professional Form as required and arrange for this to be signed by the Executors/Administrators.
  6. Submit application for the Grant, original Will (if there is one) and the fee to the Probate Registry. Once received by the Probate Registry.
  7. Once the Grant has been received, official copies are sent to all institutions that require to see the Grant where the deceased held assets; those assets should be paid to the executor’s client account and liabilities should be paid. The timescale for this will completely depend on the number of assets and the speed and efficiency of the institutions we are dealing with. If there is a property to sell for example, this will inevitably add to the timescale for this step (please see our Residential Sales page).
  8. Prepare executors accounts showing the capital and income of the estate and the figures due to the beneficiaries for approval by the executors.
  9. Finalise any pre-death and post death tax affairs.
  10. Distribute the assets.

What services are included in the price?

  • All of the above steps are included in the price quoted.
  • What services may be required in addition to the above, and what will they cost?
    • Property sales – please see our Residential Sales
    • Inheritance tax planning advice – it is impossible to estimate costs, as this will depend on the extent of the estate. Please speak to us for more information.
    • Deeds of Variation the cost will depend on the nature of the variation in accordance with the time spent
    • Disputed matters – a quote can be provided

How long will the matter take?

There is what is known as an Executors / Administrator’s Year – it is hoped that within a year of instruction matters would be complete.  However, straightforward matters can be dealt with sooner than this and more complex matters will take longer.  Things that can delay matters are not receiving all of the information required as to the assets and liabilities at the outset, further assets / liabilities coming to light.  Disputes between beneficiaries or claims against an estate.  The estate administration largely depends on the speed of response of the organisations that hold the assets and liabilities of the estate.  Furthermore, it can take the Probate Registry and the Land Registry currently a number of months to process applications from the date of receipt of documentation.  If there is a potential for a claim against the estate, the estate should not be distributed until 6 months have passed from obtaining the Grant.

Who will handle my matter?

The Probate Team are ably assisted by:

  • Jocelyn Hanekom
  • Sharon Maxwell

Who supervises the work?

Most of the day to day supervision of the work will be carried out by Heather Lally. The Partner with overall responsibility for the Trusts and Estates Team is Richard Thomas

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