We understand that losing a loved one can be a very difficult and challenging time. It can often be a daunting process for those appointed as personal representatives with the worry and stress of administering the estate and ensuring the process is dealt with correctly.
At Whitings LLP we can offer advice and support with a clear and efficient plan covering the legal, tax and administrative processes involved.
The probate services we are typically asked to offer support with include:
- Advising the personal representatives on the action required.
- Interpretation of the Will and identifying the beneficiaries.
- Ascertaining the assets and liabilities as at the date of death.
- Valuation of business and shares.
- Advising on the inheritance tax liability and reliefs available.
- Application for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
- Call in assets and settle liabilities.
- Calculation of the income tax and inheritance tax liability of the estate.
- Distribution to beneficiaries.
- Preparation of estate accounts.
We have been providing the majority of the above services to our clients for many years. More recently we have attained accreditation from the ICAEW to undertake the elements of probate work which are a reserved legal activity meaning we are able to offer our clients support throughout the whole probate process by providing a complete and seamless service.
In addition, our partners, named in a personal capacity, can act as Executors within your Will.
Why choose Whitings LLP?
The legal, tax and administrative processes involved in dealing with an estate can be complex and add additional strain during an already stressful time. We can offer advice and guidance each step of the way.
Where the deceased was an existing client of the firm we will usually have an in depth knowledge of their financial and taxation affairs, business interests and family circumstances giving us a head start in giving the personal representatives the best advice and the most cost-effective service.
We offer a free initial consultation at which we will discuss the services required by the personal representatives and the family of the deceased to ensure we tailor or work to your needs.
The services required will vary according to the particular circumstances of the deceased. In some cases, all that is required is to collate all the necessary information to make the application for probate on behalf of the personal representatives, complete the relevant inheritance tax forms and advise on the payment of any tax liability. Once probate has been granted and the tax paid, the personal representatives can proceed with the administration of the estate themselves.
In more complex cases, such as where the deceased owned or had an interest in a business or a family company, we can advise on tax reliefs, the scope for mitigation of tax liabilities and valuation of the business or company shares. We can advise the personal representatives on their duties and obligations to ensure the estate is administered correctly and all funds properly accounted for.
Where the personal representatives wish us to undertake the entire estate administration process we can deal with collecting in bank accounts, cashing in investments, obtaining professional valuation of properties and instructing solicitors on the legal work required to transfer or sell property. We can deal with the income and expenses of the estate and make interim and final distributions to the beneficiaries. We will deal with tax compliance and advise on tax planning opportunities.
How long will it take?
The simplest probate cases may take 6 months to complete while a complex case could take two years or more.
Some elements of the estate administration process are outside our control eg the time taken for the probate registry to process the probate application, for HMRC to agree a business or property valuation and the related tax liabilities, or for the sale of a property to a third party.
We will keep you informed at regular intervals on progress with the probate application and the administration of the estate, and we will update you on the estimated time required to complete the estate administration.
How much will it cost?
Our charges are based on the time taken and the level of partner, associate or staff required to complete the assignment and our charge out rates are set out in our terms of business. Once we have agreed the scope of our work we will provide you with an estimate of our fees. Where our work proves to be more complex and time consuming than originally envisaged, we will advise you and agree a revised fee estimate as necessary.
For a simple Grant of Probate only our fees will range from £1,000 to £3,000 plus VAT depending on the complexity of the estate and the inheritance tax forms required.
Disbursements include the probate court fee of £273 plus £1.50 for each additional copy of the Grant of Probate required.
For a full service dealing with the administration of the estate our fees will range from £3,000 to £10,000 plus VAT but may exceed this for the most complex cases. Business and share valuation work will result in additional fees for which we will provide an estimate before undertaking the work involved.
Where property valuations and legal work are required, we will assist with instructing Chartered Surveyors and solicitors as necessary.
Whitings LLP are licensed to provide Probate Services from our Bury St Edmunds, Ely and St. Neots Offices and our probate specialists are Andrew Winearls, Philip Peters Paul Jefferson and Nick Edgley who are authorised to provide probate services by ICAEW having attended and passed the Mercia UK Certificate in Probate and Estate Administration.
Whitings LLP is licensed to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England & Wales by the . The Probate register and can be accessed at www.icaew.com/probate. The Probate regulations can be accessed at www.icaew.com/regulation/probate-services.
Whitings LLP Staff Diversity Questionnaire
Whitings LLP are accredited to perform the reserved legal service of non-contentious probate and are required to collect, report and publish diversity data about their employees.
For information about our charging rates, professional indemnity insurance arrangements, our internal complaints procedure and how to contact the Legal Ombudsman please refer to our terms of business which you can find here.
I have always found Whitings helpful, reliable and always willing to discuss problems and advise on the best procedure.