Dealing with probate and the administration of an estate can be daunting. Royce Peeling Green incorporating Crawfords is licensed to carry out non-contentious probate work and, as a trusted firm of accountants and tax advisers, we have the skills and experience to help you through this process.
What is probate?
Probate is the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions, known as their estate, when they die. Executors named in the will can apply for probate, but if there is no will (and therefore the deceased is intestate), the closest living relative can act in the capacity of administrator.
The stages of probate
We provide a range of probate and estate administration services. You can choose whether you would like us to help you with the full process or elements of it; whatever is best for you and your individual circumstances. Areas in which we can help include:
- Initial estate administration
- Establishing the value of assets and liabilities in the estate
- Placing statutory notices in newspapers
- Review of all paperwork, including the death certificate
- Calculation of any inheritance tax due and preparation of the Inheritance Tax Return
- Application for probate, also known as Grant of Representation, including completion of all relevant forms. This will be:
- A grant of probate, applied for by the executors where there is a will; or
- Letters of administration, provided in cases where there is no will
- Collecting in the estate and distribution in accordance with the will.
Is probate always required?
There are some exceptional circumstances which mean that probate is not required:
- The deceased’s assets are worth less than £5,000
- All of the assets pass directly to a joint owner such as the spouse. However please be aware that property owned as ‘tenants in common’ does not pass directly via survivorship, but passes via the estate.
It is always best to take professional advice to understand your own circumstances.
How long does it take?
The time scale for the whole process (as described above) could take between 6 to 12 months. It depends on the complexity of the estate, for example how much information needs to be collated, and time required for HMRC to process the application.
What will it cost me?
We will have one, or more, discussions with you to establish what level of support you will require. We will also need to establish the complexity of the estate. We will then provide you with a quotation and charge on a fixed fee basis so that the price will not be increased unless there were exceptional circumstances and the increase agreed.
Our fees for administering the estate and assisting with probate are likely to be up to 1% (plus VAT) of the value of the estate with a minimum charge of £2,500 plus VAT. The typical charge will be £5,000 to £10,000 plus VAT.
The following are the charge out rates for our team members and will be applied where a fixed fee is not agreed:
- Probate Director: £250 plus VAT
- Probate Manager: £175 plus VAT
- Tax Assistant / Estate Administrator: £100 – £125 plus VAT
Fees would vary dependent on the following circumstances:
- Whether there is a surviving spouse or civil partner
- Whether there is a will and its whereabouts are known
- Whether the deceased had granted a power of attorney
- Whether there are any executors to the will, and if so, how many
- Whether anyone was financially supported by the deceased at the time of their death
- The number of beneficiaries
- The value of any property and its state of occupation
- The number and type of any bank or building society accounts
- The complexity of private pension arrangements
- Whether there are any securities such as shares, bonds or unit trusts,
- Whether the estate is taxable
- The value of any gifts made within seven years before the death of the deceased
- Whether any assets are held overseas in a foreign jurisdiction and therefore will need separate probate.
We are ready to help
If you would like to discuss how we could help you, please email email@example.com or call 0161 608 0000. We will then arrange a meeting in which we can discuss your requirements.
Licensed by the ICAEW
Royce Peeling Green incorporating Crawfords is licensed and authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to carry out the reserved legal service of non-contentious probate in England and Wales. The ICAEW Probate Register is here: https://www.icaew.com/regulation/probate-services/information-for-consumers/icaew-probate-register
Royce Peeling Green incorporating Crawfords is committed to promoting equality, harmony and respect amongst individuals and to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation of all kinds, with a view to creating a diverse, culturally rich and inclusive environment.
It is a regulatory requirement of the ICAEW for all firms licensed to carry out probate to collect, report and publish employee diversity data. We collected the data and reported the results to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales in March 2023.
A report detailing RPG’s diversity findings is linked below. Matters of marital status and sexual orientation have not been published due to privacy considerations.
Probate Compensation Scheme
In the unlikely event that we cannot meet our liabilities to you and you have suffered a loss, you may be able to seek a grant from ICAEW’s Probate 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.
Details of the firm’s complaints procedure are included in the firm’s client letter of engagement.
If you would like to make any comments about the service you have received from us or if you are unhappy with the service you are receiving, please let us know by contacting Royce Peeling Green’s Head of Legal Practice by letter. We will consider carefully any complaint that you may make about our probate services as soon as we receive it and will do all that we can to resolve the issue. Your complaint will be acknowledged within five business days of receipt and we will aim to resolve it within 8 weeks.
If we do not deal with it within this timescale or you are unhappy with our response you may escalate the matter to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales https://www.icaew.com/regulation/complaints-process and or 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. https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/ and firstname.lastname@example.org