Probate Services

What is Probate?

Probate is the process of proving that a Will is valid and confirming who has authority to administer the estate of the person who has died.

If a person dies with a valid will in place, they will have named one or more people, known as executors, to do exactly this.

The process of Probate is also dealing with collecting assets, settling debts (including inheritance tax and income tax) and the correct distribution of assets as per the Will.

Why would I want a professional to handle Probate?

Sometimes the process is straightforward and can be carried out by non-professionals. There are many situations however, where a professional is more suited to carry out the probate process. These include when the:

  • executor(s) simply doesn’t have time to do the work
  • executor(s) is too emotional or doesn’t feel up to it at the time.
  • estate needs to pay Inheritance Tax
  • Will has created one or more trusts
  • Will is ambiguous and not clear on its meaning

I am an executor – what is my role?

The moment the Testator dies, the role of the Executor(s) begins and there are some very important initial duties:

  • Securing the assets. They are now legally responsible for the assets of the Testator and may need to secure the property and belongings e.g. change the locks on the property, switch off utilities etc.
  • Insure the assets. They must ensure that the house and contents are insured.
  • Arrange the funeral, which is an Executors duty, but normally involves the family.
  • Assess the deceased’s assets and liabilities (debts).
  • Calculate whether there is an Inheritance Tax Liability, complete the relative forms, agree with HMRC and arrange to pay HMRC.
  • Arrange for the Grant of Probate, which gives legal authority to the executors to deal with the Estate.
  • Gather together all assets.
  • Pay debts and liabilities.
  • Complete Estate Accounts.
  • Distribute the estate according to the Will.

How much will Probate cost through a bank or solicitor?

Most banks and solicitors charge anywhere between 1.5% – 3% of the estate (regardless of how much work is involved) plus hourly fees meaning the total bill can spiral out of control. That could equate to over £9,000 for an estate valued at £300,000 – a substantial sum.

If a bank or solicitor has prepared your Will for you (often free of charge) there is a good chance they will have appointed themselves as professional executors. Plus, they may not have told you how much they charge for probate fees…

This unfortunately means that they can charge whatever they like to administer your estate when you die, because you’re not around the question it!

What can I do?

If a bank or solicitor has prepared your Will, please contact us and we will clarify your situation and advise you of your options.

GPW Probate support and cost

Working with a team of experienced specialists, we can carry out the whole probate process from start to finish. Let us remove the strain from you at such a difficult time.

Our fixed fee quote is based on the actual amount of work involved. It will usually equate to between 1.5%-1.75% for comparison purposes. Remember we do not charge an additional hourly fee.

We are open and transparent so will give an upfront, guaranteed quote prepared during a home visit or video call (if preferred). We then will leave you to decide whether you wish to use GPW’s Probate services.

We also offer a service called Probate Assist.  This is an ideal service for those executors who are happy to do most of the work themselves, but would like us to check if everything has been done correctly before the Grant is applied for.