Transparent Pricing in Probate
21 January 2019
We recently asked the nation to tell us about their experiences of dealing with Probate following the death of a loved one. Of those that said they have been responsible for carrying out Probate on the Estate of someone who had passed away, a staggering 30% told us that they couldn't remember how much this had cost.
The task of completing Probate commonly comes at a time of grief, following the loss of a loved one. It can be difficult to know where to start and also where to turn to for help. This is why it's so important that, if you do instruct a professional Probate specialist to help you, you have absolute clarity on how much this will cost and exactly what this will cover.
At Co-op Legal Services, we offer transparent fixed fee pricing for our Probate services, so that you know exactly what to expect from the start.
What Co-op Members Said
In 2017, Co-op carried out the Nation's Biggest Ever Survey into Death, Dying and Bereavement. As a nation, we are reluctant to talk about death. The purpose of this survey was to tackle this taboo and get the nation talking about a topic that affects every single one of us.
As part of the survey, we asked to Co-op Members about their experience of bereavement, of dealing with a loved one's Estate and whether they have made plans for their own death (such as a Will or a funeral plan).
Of those that told us they have carried out Probate on a loved one's Estate, a staggering 30% told us that they couldn't remember how much this had cost.
Understanding Probate Fees
If you instruct a Probate Specialist to help you with Probate, they will charge a fee for this service. These fees can vary dramatically depending on who you instruct, how much the Estate is worth and how complicated it is to administer.
Some Probate Solicitors will charge an hourly rate for the work carried out, so if unexpected complications arise you could end up paying significantly more than you had anticipated. Others may charge a percentage of the overall value of the Estate.
Other Probate Specialists, including Co-op Legal Services, offer upfront, fixed fee pricing for Probate services, which means that you agree the price to be paid before any of the work starts.
In addition to these fees, there will also be disbursements that will need to be paid to third parties, including a fee which is payable directly to the Probate Court. The Government recently announced that it will be making changes to Probate fees.
Fixed Fee Probate Services
At Co-op Legal Services, we provide a fixed fee quote for our Probate Complete Service before you instruct us. Once we have provided a written quote for the work to be carried out, that price will not change (unless the original information provided to us is found to be incorrect or circumstances change). This means that you know exactly where you stand right from the start and you won't get any nasty surprises later on.
Our fixed fee Probate Complete Service includes:
- A free initial meeting with an experienced Probate Consultant at your home or location of your choice (in England or Wales)
- Obtaining Valuations of the Estate (a valuation fee may be charged by 3rd parties in certain circumstances)
- Covering the cost of a Co-op Funeralcare funeral at the outset of the Estate administration (providing the Estate owns sufficient assets which can be sold in due course to repay our costs)
- Advising the building and contents insurance company of the change in circumstances and arranging suitable alternative cover
- Calculating Inheritance Tax (IHT) owed by the Estate, liaising with HMRC and arranging payment of this
- Claiming any available transferable Nil Rate Band allowance if applicable
- Identifying and claiming any other tax exemptions or reliefs available to the Estate
- Contacting all Beneficiaries of the Estate
- Dealing with banks and other financial institutions to close down bank accounts, etc
- Transferring joint assets into a sole name
- Preparing the Estate accounts
- Providing ongoing support throughout the Probate process, with regular updates from a dedicated Probate Specialist