The fee charged by Solicitors for administering an Estate on your behalf will vary depending which Solicitors you instruct, whether or not Probate is required, and how complicated the Estate is that is being dealt with. It is common for solicitors to charge based on how much time they spend on the administration of an Estate, but be aware that some solicitors charge a percentage of the value of the Estate instead.
At Co-op Legal Services we offer a free, fixed fee Probate quotation so you’ll know how much it will cost to fully administer the Estate before our Solicitors start any work.
With our Probate Complete Service we take full responsibility for getting Grant of Probate and dealing with the Legal, Tax (excl VAT), Property and Estate Administration affairs*.
*We can also pay all the costs of a Co-op Funeralcare funeral, providing the Estate owns sufficient assets which can be sold in due course to repay our costs.
We Take Full Responsibility
With our Probate Complete Service we take full responsibility for administering an Estate on your behalf, ensuring that the Estate (everything the deceased person owns) is dealt with and distributed in line with the wishes laid out in the Will, and in full compliance with the law.
We also take full responsibility for winding up the deceased person’s affairs, from ensuring the correct Inheritance Tax and Income Tax forms are completed, any property is sold or transferred as per the terms in the Will, to contacting all the relevant parties such as HMRC, Department of Works and Pensions, utility companies, Royal Mail and publishing formal notices; and distributing the Estate to the beneficiaries as per the terms in the Will, or as per the Rules of Intestacy if there was no Will.
As part of our service, we provide free advice, support and guidance and will send a Co-op Probate Consultant to visit you at your home (or another location of your choice) in England or Wales. Once we have spoken to you about what needs to be done, we will provide you with a written fixed fee quote.
When we have provided you with a written fixed fee quote for the agreed work to be done, that price will not change unless the original information we are given is shown to be incorrect or circumstances change.
Our Probate fee would be taken from the Estate once all other matters had been taken care of. So no family members or friends of the deceased person would be responsible for paying any costs upfront.
What is an Executor of a Will?
An Executor of a Will is the person responsible for taking care of someone’s affairs after they die. Executors are usually appointed in the person’s Will at the time of writing it.
If the deceased person did not have a valid Will in place, then the Rules of Intestacy would determine who is responsible to take this role, and this person would be known as the ‘Administrator’ instead.
What Does Administrating an Estate involve?
Administrating an Estate involves a significant amount of work. The Executor is responsible for ensuring that the wishes that the deceased person set out in their Will are carried out, and that their assets, finances and other affairs are dealt with in a way that complies with the law.
If an Estate is not administered in the correct way, then this would be seen as a breach of duty on the part of the Executor. The Executor can be held personally liable for any breach of duty, and may have to use their own money to rectify any financial errors that were made. So it’s essential to ensure that the Estate is administered in the correct way and that no mistakes are made, regardless of how minor they might seem.
The main tasks involved in administering an Estate include:
- Establishing exactly what the deceased person owned and calculating the total value of this (known collectively as their Estate)
- Notifying utility companies, HMRC and other organisations of the person’s death and settling final bills
- Calculating Inheritance Tax on the Estate – this can be complicated and it’s always a good idea to get some professional help if you’re unsure
- Obtaining a Grant of Probate, so that bank accounts can be closed and other matters dealt with on behalf of the deceased
- Identifying who the beneficiaries are that the deceased person has named in their Will, and contacting these individuals
- Selling any property and/or assets that the deceased person owned, or transferring these to a named beneficiary
- Paying off any debts that the person had, using money from the Estate – this could include mortgages, loans or credit cards
- Distributing what’s left to the beneficiaries named in the Will or under the Rules of Intestacy.
Why Instruct a Solicitor to Administer an Estate?
Most people that find themselves having to deal with the administration of an Estate will have very recently suffered the death of someone close to them. People usually appoint friends or relatives who they are close to and who they trust to administer their Estate.
Administering an Estate is a very demanding job, and the stress of this at a time when someone is grieving can be too much to bear. Calculating Inheritance Tax and filling out complicated forms is the last thing that most people want to be doing while coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.
At Co-op Legal Services we can relieve the pressure at this difficult time and take full responsibility to administer the Estate on your behalf.
For free initial advice and guidance call our Probate Advisors on 03306069584 or contact us online and we will call you.