If you’re the executor of a Will, you will have to apply for probate in order to distribute a person’s estate and inheritance. The process of doing this is fairly simple in itself, but issues can arise. Executors, beneficiaries, solicitors and HMRC can all cause issues when it comes to distributing assets and wealth, and this can make the whole process long and complicated.
Therefore, you might be better off asking a solicitor to help you from the very beginning. This will mean that they can foresee any issues and work hard throughout the process to make sure it is as smooth as possible.
Even then, probate can take a long time to resolve. That can be frustrating, especially if you have beneficiaries who are eager for their inheritance and bearing in mind you are legally obliged to keep them up to date with where you are in the process.
But we’re sure your natural instinct is to worry about the cost. Of course, you want to keep these as low as possible. So, how much do solicitors charge for probate?
How much do solicitors charge for probate?
Probate solicitor’s fees are usually based on the value of the estate; therefore, you are probably looking at anywhere between 2% to 5% of the value of the deceased’s possessions.
If the estate is valued at £500,000, the solicitor’s fees will be anywhere from £10,000 to £25,000 plus VAT.
This is no small fee, so it is worth considering if this is the right option for you before you do it. That will depend entirely on the individual circumstances of the case. If you foresee any issues, then we one hundred percent recommend that you contact a solicitor as early as possible. It is well worth the money in return for the time.
Why might I need a solicitor for probate?
Before you start, an executioner of a Will needs to apply for a Grant of Probate. Then, how you execute this Will should depend entirely on the instructions left by the deceased. These can be fairly simple or complicated, depending on the deceased’s circumstances. It could also be further complicated by a number of circumstances, for example if beneficiaries, solicitors or HMRC are unhappy for any reason.
There can also be issues if someone thinks that a Will does not represent the deceased’s intentions. They might think it was forged, or that the deceased had reduced mental capacity when it was written, or that they were influenced by someone else.
A person might also have been financially dependent on the deceased, who has not provided for them effectively in the Will. This is a common occurrence when a dead spouse leaves their estate to their children and nothing for their partner. This can make things incredibly complicated.
A probate solicitor will know exactly what to do in this situation and will help to smooth over the situation and reach a conclusion as quickly as possible.
Where do I start with probate?
You need to start by finding the Will. Only one in ten people in the UK actually have one, therefore this might be a fairly difficult task. You’ll need to search through at home paperwork or ask their solicitor or bank.
You can also check the Principal Registry of the Family Division.
If the estate is worth less than £5,000, then you might only have to show the bank a death certificate in order to release it.
The executor of the Will will need to do this. There should only be one, but there might be two if there are children under the age of 18 named as beneficiaries.
How do I choose a solicitor?
You are here, therefore we are guessing the fees are important to you. Contact several solicitors and ask their fees for helping you with probate. But don’t only go for the cheapest one. Look for solicitors with a good reputation and a lot of experience in dealing with these issues. Trust your gut. If something sounds wrong, it probably is.
Whatever you do, don’t automatically allow a bank or solicitor named as executor in the Will carry out probate. Their fees can be substantially more than you would get if you shopped around.
JMR Solicitors can help
If you’re looking for a reliable and knowledgeable solicitor to help you apply for probate, or if you are part way through the project and have run into issues, JMR Solicitors can help.
Our experienced team would love to assist you through this process. We’re award winning personal and business lawyers giving understandable and practical legal advice to clients in Manchester and beyond. Our clients return to us time and time again.
Call 0161 491 3933 or email email@example.com and we will get back to you.