Probate & Estate Administration
When you lose a loved one, the process of administering their estate can be particularly challenging during what is already a very difficult and emotional time. If you have been named as the executor of your loved one’s estate, you will likely be faced with a lot of responsibilities. Our probate solicitors based in Liverpool and Wirral are on hand to guide you through and alleviate the stress of the probate process. We can offer support, advice and a friendly ear to help you carry out the wishes of the person who has died.
We will provide you with a bespoke quote which will take into consideration the specific circumstances of the estate. For more pricing information, please see our Probate Fees section (see the Pricing tab) or give a member of our team a call and we will be happy to chat through your requirements and provide a quote over the phone.
Do I need a Solicitor to help me with Probate?
It is always recommended to seek legal support from an expert when administering an estate, either from a solicitor or a legal executive that specialises in this area. You can decide to deal with the estate yourself, however administering probate is a long, often complicated process that involves tax calculations, extensive paperwork and complex legal work.
Jackson Lees can offer you practical, hands-on support. Our team are sensitive to your situation and we will help you to get through this difficult time by taking some of the pressure away from you.
We can offer legal advice and help with completing a range of estate administration duties, including:
- Notifying relevant people and organisations of the person’s death, including financial institutions, to freeze their bank accounts.
- Applying for the Grant of Probate from the Probate Registry. This vital step establishes the validity of the will (if applicable) and confirms the authority of the executor(s) to deal with the estate. If there is no Will, a Grant of Letters of Administration may be required instead.
- Obtaining valuations of any assets and liabilities on the date the person passed away.
- Completing the necessary forms and accounts for the Inland Revenue and paying any outstanding income tax or inheritance tax (if applicable).
- Agreeing with the Inland Revenue how much inheritance tax is payable (if applicable).
- Collecting assets, paying bills and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.
- Managing any Trusts that are outlined in the Will.
We can also help you when it might be relevant to vary the terms of the Will or the rules of intestacy. If you believe that the Will does not accommodate people as it should, we can discuss your options. In some circumstances, you may even be able to reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable.
Our Probate solicitors can provide as much or as little support as you need. We can simply apply for the Grant of Probate on behalf of the estate, or we can help you with the full administration of the estate from start to finish. You are not alone through this.
Your role as executor of an estate
The executor or administrator of an estate is the person that the deceased has chosen to carry out their wishes. Being named as an executor in a Will makes you the trusted personal representative for a loved one after their death.
As the executor of an estate, you are responsible for dealing with the assets of the estate and paying any debts or taxes owed by the deceased, before distributing what is left according to their wishes.
What to do when someone dies and leaves a Will
The basic process for Estate Administration is:
- Identify the assets and liabilities of the estate in question.
- Get in touch with an estate administration lawyer to prepare the probate application.
- Complete an Inheritance tax return (if applicable).
- Receive the Grant of Probate from the Probate Registry.
- Collect in the assets of the estate.
- Pay any outstanding debts.
- Distribute any remaining assets, according to the last will and testament of your loved one.
If someone has died without leaving a Will, then someone must still be assigned as an administrator of their estate. This person is chosen according to Intestacy Rules - the law surrounding deaths without a Will. We understand that this can be an upsetting and confusing time. We want you to feel informed and supported, please contact us to discuss this process and how we can help.
The Probate process usually takes around a year. However, the exact timeline for administering an estate will vary depending on the size and complexity of the situation. We will be with you every step of the way, supporting you with all responsibilities that fall to executors of an estate.
Dealing with complex Probate
Some estates are more complicated that others. Your loved one may have a fairly straightforward estate comprised of a single property or piece of land, some savings or a pension, and perhaps some stocks. In more complex probate cases, your loved one may own multiple properties in multiple countries, they may even have multiple Wills in multiple countries, each one created to deal with the assets in that particular country. If your loved one has left behind many high value assets that businesses they may have owned or foreign assets, it’s important that you seek legal advice to help you correctly administer their estate.
Contact Jackson Lees' Probate Lawyers
With offices in Liverpool, Hoylake, and Heswall, we have been helping people across Merseyside with the practical aspects of estate administration for generations. We pride ourselves in supporting our clients every step of the way. We will get through it together.
As the executor of an estate, you may face some complicated situations when administering an estate. You may need to create or manage a Trust, on behalf of a loved one.
In some difficult scenarios, you may have to defend the Will against disputes. At Jackson Lees, our expertise incorporates all areas of Probate law, from Estate Administration to dealing with Will disputes.
Our experienced Wills, Trusts and Probate team based in Liverpool and Wirral are a team you can trust, who pride themselves on being approachable and offering a sensitive service. Our goal is to ensure that your loved one’s wishes are carried out with a minimum of fuss.
Or please complete our enquiry form and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as they can.
We will be happy to chat through your requirements and provide a quote over the phone or via email.
Some articles you may be interested in are below:
- Why make a Will?
- Can you make a Will online?
- Making a Lasting Power of Attorney from home
- Estate administration under lockdown
- Contesting a Will - what Netflix got right
Our Probate Fees
We aim to provide tailored quotes to individuals based on their specific circumstances. To get your bespoke quote for Probate and Estate Administration, please give a member of our team a call (or request a callback) and we will be happy to chat through your requirements and provide you with a quote.
Ask for a callback
Your Probate & Estate Administration team will usually consist of an experienced lawyer working with an administrative assistant from the people referred to below in the ‘Our People’ section. To find out more about them, click their profile, or visit the ‘Our People’ page.
Our Probate fees for full administration of an estate - not subject to Inheritance Tax (IHT)
When we meet with you we will tell you exactly who will form part of the legal team working on your matter, the work that they will do, and what they will charge.
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
However, as an initial guide we anticipate the full administration of an estate (not subject to Inheritance Tax) will take between 20 and 25 hours work at £192 plus VAT* per hour. Our total costs are estimated to be between £3,840 to £4,800 plus VAT* (at current VAT rates this is between £4,608-£5,760 in total). The actual cost will vary depending on the seniority of the person doing the work and the complexity of the case.
(*Current VAT rate is 20%)
For more information about the different pricing levels and the work that will be undertaken please see the appropriate PDF document in the links below.
On average, a Probate matter/Estate Administration, that is not subject to Inheritance Tax is usually dealt with within 9 to 18 months (depending on the sale of property).
Our fees for Grant of Probate (where Inheritance Tax will not apply)
Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes between two to three months.
We can just obtain a Grant of representation on your behalf, our fixed fee for extracting a Grant of Probate or other appropriate grant is £750 plus VAT* (at current VAT rates this is £900 in total).
By virtue of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations and SRA Standards and Regulations, we are required to verify your identity and the integrity of the assets which may be the subject of your transaction. We will make a charge of £20 plus VAT for each person for whom such checks are required. This includes a direct cost to us for this service of between £8 and £14 (depending on the circumstances and the provider used) and a small charge to cover administration and advice. Please note that if you reside abroad then the charge will be higher and will be based on where you reside.
(*Current VAT rate is 20%)
This fixed fee applies to lower value cases where inheritance taxes (IHT) do not apply. For higher value estates please see the details in the below PDF documents.