Will Writing & Probate
Lentells Ltd is pleased to offer a professional and competitively priced probate service to all our clients, their families and contacts. We are one of the first accountancy practices in the West Country to be accredited and licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to provide this service. Previously it has been a service reserved for solicitors and the legal departments of the major banks.
In what ways might you benefit from our new service?
What does the probate service provide?
The level of service and support that you require from Lentells can be agreed at the outset. This is flexible and you can choose to pass the entire process to Lentells or we can assist in those areas where you need most help.
The full service includes:
- Compiling details of the deceased’s assets and liabilities
- Obtaining professional valuations
- Completing the inheritance tax (IHT) accounts and forms
- Claiming appropriate IHT reliefs and exemptions and calculating the IHT payable
- Applying for and obtaining the grant of representation
- Gathering in or selling the assets of the estate
- Settling the debts of the deceased and arranging for the payment of inheritance tax
- Reviewing potential tax savings through a variation of the Will within 2 years
- Dealing with income and capital gains tax liabilities of the estate
- Paying legacies and distributing assets to the beneficiaries
- Preparing final estate accounts
How much does our full probate service cost?
We think that it is much fairer to charge based on the time spent taking into account the complexity involved rather than simply charging a fixed percentage of the estate value which tends to penalise those estates of high value but relative simplicity.
No two estates are alike and the value and complexity of the estate needs to be assessed before a fee estimate can be provided. If foreign assets are involved then the time and costs will be higher.
We have seen instances where other providers have given an initial fee estimate but the final charges were considerably higher. We understand, therefore, that for your own peace of mind, you need to know in advance, what the maximum fee might be. Consequently, we will agree a cap on our fee, although in most cases, the actual fee will be less than the cap, based on the actual time spent.
In setting a cap on our fee we also have to fix a minimum fee for those estates of low value which can still involve considerable work. The minimum fee is £1000.
Our fees do not include any third party costs that arise such as professional valuations for probate purposes or legal fees associated with the transfer of property. All fees are subject to 20% VAT.
It is difficult to generalise but by way of example, let us assume that an estate is valued at £1.5m, includes a house and investments and the entire estate has to be liquidated and distributed to named beneficiaries and charities, with no surviving spouse or civil partner.
Indicative fees, excluding VAT, based on what solicitors and banks have traditionally charged, are: