Paul Berg & Taylor

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Contact us to arrange a meeting

Address
Paul Berg & Taylor
5 Kinsbourne Court
96-100 Luton Road
Harpenden AL5 3BL

Tel: 01582 760161
E-mail: harpenden@pbtlaw.com

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Paul Berg & Taylor are an Accredited Conveyancing practice
This firm has achieved accredited status. To learn more about the status afforded and benefits to you, please visit the Law Society's website, www.lawsociety.org.uk

Probate costs

If you are an executor appointed in a will to deal with the affairs of the deceased or a beneficiary or relative if no will was written, you may need legal advice or assistance to know what to do next in connection with the deceased's estate (the assets and liabilities, whether owned or owed with our without any other persons) and how they should be dealt when either a “Grant of Representation” or “Letters of Administration” have been issued by a Probate Registry.

We are happy to discuss the issues you face in an initial interview on a free of charge basis. It is important to note that every estate is different and that is one of the reasons why we are happy to meet you and discuss your needs. For instance, there may be a need to protect your own assets and address personal liabilities that could otherwise arise, or there may be a need to consider complex or unexpected tax liabilities and whether they could be mitigated.

The discussion we will have is on an entirely no obligation basis leaving you free to consider your position but with the benefit of more knowledge.

We will ask you to bring two forms of identification in the form of a passport or photo style driving licence and a recent utility invoice that shows your name and address, with a copy of the deceased's death certificate to that interview. If there is one, you should also bring the will or a copy of it with you.

Please contact David Taylor by e mail or to telephone us, ring on 01582 760161.

For work we undertake other than in an initial interview, it is on a chargeable basis and below are general indications of cost based on our experience. Our fees are intended to reflect the time and work involved in dealing with an estate and as we do not always know the full extent of the assets and size of an estate at the onset we will charge for dealing with probate related work based upon the time required to deal with it.

The costs below do not include work arising from instructions to deal with complex tax issues that arise either from the death of the deceased, the wording or interpretation of a will, gifts made prior to death or that relate to tax liabilities arising during the deceased's life time, if disputes arise or if there are other complications or protracted issues to resolve:

  1. if you are happy to provide us with and accept full responsibility for the accuracy of a schedule of estate assets and liabilities and their values for probate purposes and if there is no Inheritance of other tax liability our fixed costs for o btaining a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration are estimated to be no more than £1,000 plus vat.
  2. if there are no more than 5 assets owned or different liabilities owed by the deceased (other than the usual utility costs, card debts etc.) and the size of the estate does not exceed £325,000 or there is no Inheritance Tax liability and those assets do not include a share portfolio, fixed costs are estimated at no more than £2,500 plus vat.
  3. if there are no more than 5 assets owned or different liabilities owed by the deceased (other than the usual utility costs, card debts, etc.) but the estate is taxable and those assets do not include a share portfolio, costs are estimated at no more than £3,500 plus vat.

If the deceased owned more than 5 assets, each further asset is charged at between £150 and £500 plus vat per asset, depending upon the nature of the asset in question. The costs information given above will include the work required to deal with HMRC and to apply to the Probate Regis try for the required Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration appointing the executors or administrators to deal with the deceased's assets and liabilities. If you would then like us to deal with the administration of the estate, settlement of liabilities and distribution of assets, we would not expect costs to exceed between £100 and £500 per asset depending upon its nature and value.

If we think that our estimate for costs is going to be exceeded, we will advise and discuss the position with you so that you are always aware of the costs liability and can agree these with us. This could arise from and for example:

  1. tax issues that arise from the wording or interpretation of a will, from gifts made during the lifetime of the deceased or that relate to the tax affairs of the deceased during his or her lifetime.
  2. missing or incorrect paperwork or information relating to assets or liabilities or difficulties in communicating with 3rd parties such as asset holders, creditors, debtors.
  3. dealing with unusual or complex assets for liabilities, such as fine art, antiques, timeshares or private company shareholdings.

Please note that these costs do not include the costs for any work undertaken by our property or conveyancing fee earners. Work that you may ask them to undertake is chargeable separately and can be confirmed to you upon request.

We also have standard charges for undertaking client (or sometimes beneficiary) identity checks of £20 plus vat per name and of £40 plus vat for making an electronic payment through the bank's Clearing House Automated Payments scheme (known as a CHAPS or TT payment).

During the course of a transaction, we will make certain payments on your behalf to enable the matter to be progressed. These are known as “3rd party disbursements” and will commonly include what are known as a Probate Fee (to the Probate Registry) of £155, an executor's oath fee of £5 and statutory advertising charges to protect the executor's or administrator's personal liabilities, usually be tween £175 and £275.

Please feel free to call us and arrange the initial interview referred to. This is a chance to discuss your concerns about a will, your entitlements or obligations or just to tell us about your concerns and ask how they should be best dealt with.

If you would like to consider our services, you will also be able to give us more information about the estate so that we can give you further and individual costs information specific to the estate in question and a general indication of the time we expect before everything will be finalised for you.

Initially, we expect a probate matter to take between 3 and 12 months to be concluded depending upon its value, the assets and whether a claim is possible against the executors.

You will meet either Aisha Adi who is our probate assistant or the partner in charge of the private client and probate department, David Taylor. Aisha has over 4 years' experience of dealing solely with probate matters and David has managed probate matters for some 25 years. Both are highly committed to client satisfaction and providing the service and expertise you should expect from the lawyers entrusted to deal with the estate.