Probate and Estate Administration

We understand how difficult it can be to handle someone’s legal and financial affairs.

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As licensed practitioners for probate related work and specialists in all aspects of taxation, accounts preparation and estate planning, we are best placed to take care of your probate and estate administration work.

We understand how difficult it can be to handle someone’s legal and financial affairs, particularly at a time when you’re likely to be coming to terms with the death of someone close. But don’t worry, we’re here to help, providing as much or as little support as you need to get things done.

We were one of the first accountancy firms in Kent to be licensed to carry out probate work, following a major change in the law. Prior to this change only solicitors and banks were able to carry out this work.

Applying for probate

Whether you choose to carry out the probate and estate administration process yourself, or you instruct us to do the work for you, the application for probate is still the same. It involves:

  1. Finding the will.
  2. Applying for the grant of representation.
  3. Administering the estate.
  4. Preparing the estate accounts.
  5. Distributing the assets to the beneficiaries of the estate.

Please download our ‘Guide to Probate’ for a more detailed overview of the process.

Guide to probate

Why choose us?

We are one of only a few qualified accountancy firms in the country who are licensed to carry out probate work. This, combined with our expertise in all areas of accounts, tax and estate administration means you can have total confidence in us handling the whole process for you.

What is usually involved?

On average obtaining the grant of probate takes between 6 and 12 months, there are many matters which can cause a delay in the timescales and can include matters such as:

  • Collating all the relevant information about the estate, this can be more challenging if the deceased did not keep detailed records of their assets;
  • Identifying and communicating with the beneficiaries of the estate;
  • Liaising with other external advisers, such as valuers, estate agents, accountants and financial advisers;
  • Where the estate includes land and property, this tends to increase the timescales for the process;
  • If there are overseas assets these can also extend the timescales;
  • Where the estate does not require an inheritance return to be submitted, the process will be much quicker as HM Revenue and Customs may take up to 12 weeks to review the return; and
  • Processing times by the Courts and Tribuals Service Centre which are often in excess of 30 days – we will complete the application for a grant of probate using MyHMCTS service wherever possible (there are some cases where this service cannot be used).

We will carry out our work in a timely manner, once all of the documentation from you and third parties is available.  We will regularly liaise with you to give you an update on the progress of the application.

Where we believe that the probate is contentious or will potentially become contentious, we will immediately cease work on the matter and refer you to a solicitor who will be able to progress the case for you.  If the probate does become contentious, it is highly likely that the process will take substantially longer and have a substantial increase in costs.

Our fees are calculated on the basis of time spent on your affairs, the levels of skill and responsibility involved, the importance and value of the advice provided to you, and the level of risk in accordance with the ICAEW Probate Regulations regarding pricing transparency.

Our hourly rates for the purpose of calculating these fees (exclusive of VAT) are:

  • Partner – £160 per hour;
  • Manager – £90 per hour;
  • Assistant – £60 per hour; and
  • Secretarial support – £30 per hour.

In addition, we may charge disbursements including:

  • Probate application fee;
  • Additional copies of the grant of representation;

The services we can provide include:

  • Review the Will, codicils and legacies to ensure that they are valid and prepare affidavits where necessary;
  • Ascertain who the beneficiaries are;
  • Identify the composition of the estate and ascertain whether a grant is needed;
  • Value the estate;
  • Prepare any inheritance tax return;
  • Finalise the income tax and capital gains tax position of the deceased at the date of death and prepare the tax return for this period;
  • Prepare the papers for application for a grant of probate / grant of administration;
  • Ensure the appropriate legal statement is prepared;
  • Obtain the grant;
  • Finalise the estate tax; and
  • Prepare estate accounts.

We will liaise with you to assess which services you require and will then be able to offer you an indication of the likely cost of our services.   If the estate is more complicated, for example, there are a large number of assets to consider, a number of assets to value and a number of inheritance tax reliefs to consider, then our fees will be substantially greater.  Once we have a comprehensive understanding of the estate and the services you need, we will advise you up-front of the estimated cost.

If it is necessary for us to carry out work that is outside the scope of the engagement currently in place with you, we will advise you of this in advance. Any additional work will result in additional fees being charged.

We will keep you informed of our costs in relation the probate work and liaise with you if the costs are likely to be greater than our initial estimate.

We would therefore like to point out that it is in your interests to ensure that the information you provide us with when we are estimating our fees is accurate and if you are unsure of anything then please do let us know.

How we handle any complaints

For details of our complaints handling procedures and regulatory information please contact us.

Diversity Statement

As an accredited probate firm, we are required to monitor the diversity of our staff and report to the ICAEW on an annual basis.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission states it is important that firms do not breach workers’ or applicants’ confidentiality or reveal anything which might enable someone to work out information about another person which was provided in confidence. The Partners are concerned that individual members of staff could be identified from the summarised results that we have collated and so as not to make them publicly available.

Associated areas we can help

In addition to providing the probate and estate administration service, we can also help you and your family in the following related areas:

  • Estate planning
  • Executorships
  • Financial planning and wealth management
  • Inheritance tax planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Trusts planning and administration

A guide to probate.

Probate and estate administration is a legal and financial process which happens after someone has died. It can be a very complicated and lengthy procedure to complete. To help explain the process and the legal and financial terms used, please download our ‘Guide to Probate’ page via the button below.

Guide to probate

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