Fixed Fee Probate

Fixed Fee Probate

What You Need to Know About Fixed Fee Probate

When someone dies, finalising their affairs can be challenging and time consuming. Despite this, executors or administrators of the estate often don’t seek professional help and advice because of the fear of cost. Fortunately, estate administration can be delegated to a probate solicitor or practitioner, and the cost controlled with fixed fee probate. Here we take a closer look at fixed fee probate, consider what is normally included and offer a no obligation, opportunity to recieve fixed fee probate quote from up to four probate practitioners.

What is Fixed Fee Probate?

Probate can become a complex matter and dealing with it at a time when you want to grieve can prove difficult. Fixed fee probate is a simple option that ensures that probate costs for professional legal advice are known from the outset. The fixed fee probate solicitor or practitioner can take care of most elements of the probate process, but when you get a quote for fixed fee probate, it’s essential to ensure you understand exactly what is covered by the quote.

When is fixed fee probate offered?

The approach of probate solicitors and practitioners that offer fixed fee differs and exactly what’s included in the probate quote differs (so check carefully) however, it’s generally offered for small estates that are relatively simple. A fixed fee is rarely offered for complex estates, for example a high value estate with a with a large network of beneficiaries, and is almost never offered for an estate that involves contentious probate.

How much does it cost?

The cost is down to the probate solicitor or practitioner offering the probate quote so it’s definitely worth shopping around as long as you check the quotes are comparable e.g, do all quotes include the probate application fee.

Whoever you choose to quote ensure;

  • They are experienced and qualified.
  • They are regulated so if a mistake is made you have a complaint route. Solicitors are regulated by the SRA, accountants by ICAEW and some probate practitioners fall under the regulatory eye of the (CLC).
  • You understand exactly what’s included in the probate quote. A reputable practitioner will itemise what’s included.

REQUEST A PROBATE QUOTE

Complete this simple form to recieve a probate quote from up to four solicitors.

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What do you require a quote for?
Did the deceased usually reside in England or Wales? *
Have you already obtained the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration?
Does the estate include assets located in England or Wales
Is there a surviving spouse or civil partner?
Is there a valid Will? *
Are you a person entitled to administer to estate? e.g. the Executor or Administrator
Does the probate involve any kind of dispute? *
What is the approximate value of the estate? *
Does the estate include a property?
Does the estate include a business?
Does the estate involve foriegn assests?
Does the estate involve stocks and shares?

What’s included?

Probate can be a complex process but in very simple terms the probate process can be divided into two stages.

Stage 1: Obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration

These are the legal documents that grant the legal right to distribute the estate. A Grant of Probate is required when there is a valid Will in place and is issued to the Executors. Letters of Administration are granted to the Administrator of the estate (normally next of kin) and are applicable when there is no valid will and the rules of intestacy apply.

The process to obtain these documents is broadly the same.

  1. Officially register the death
  2. Value the estate
  3. Calculate and Pay Inheritance Tax
  4. Apply for probate
  5. Pay the Probate Fees

Please note, many fixed fee probate quotes only cover this stage of the process.

Stage 2: Administration of the Estate

The administration of the estate can be administration heavy, time consuming and complex. There are a limited amount of probate solicitors and practitioners who offer fixed fee probate for full estate administration (but there are some). This is because it’s difficult to predict exactly what’s involved, how long it will take and what complexities may arise. Examples of common estate administration tasks are finalising pensions and tax affairs, selling property, house clearance, cancelling all accounts including bank accounts and utility accounts, selling or transferring shares, selling or distributing other belongings such as cars and jewellery, identifying and sometimes finding beneficiaries and the list goes on…..

What is excluded?

Fixed Fee probate will not cover any contentious probate issues or executor or beneficiary disputes. If you find yourself dealing with contentious probate and need help, you may want to speak with a contentious probate solicitor.

The Benefits

Cost-Effective Solution

The cost of probate for large estates can run into thousands of pounds but of course, not every estate has a high value. Fix fee probate is a service that can be tailored to the needs of the client but is more affordable and will only cover what the client requires.

Increased certainty, less personal risk

With probate administration being handled professionally, you will have more certainty that it’s been completed correctly. There are numerous risks to being an executor or administrator and if mistakes are made, executor or administrators can be held personally liable. Delegating the task to a probate solicitor or practitioner reduces that risk.

Efficiency

If you instruct a solicitor or probate practitioner, you can benefit from their experience. A professional knows the system and will complete the probate process more efficiently than someone doing it for the first time.

Reduced Stress

Handling probate while grieving for the loss of a loved one can be hard. By using fixed fee solicitors or practitioners, you can leave them to handle the probate process. This gives you the freedom to grieve without the stress of having to administer an estate correctly and in accordance with the law.

The Disadvantages

Limited Services

The aim of fixed fee probate is to keep things simple and efficient. As a result, it will only cover certain services based on a simple, small estate. If you have a complex estate or probate that has an international element, then fixed fee probate will not be the right fit.

Additional Costs

When you receive your quote, check it carefully to ensure you know what it covers. Most probate solicitors and practitioners will provide a clear and itemised list to provide a clear overview of the service to be provided. They will also specify whether additional disbursements e.g. the probate application fee are included in the quote.

How to Choose a Probate Solicitor or Practitioner

Choosing a probate solicitor or practitioner is like choosing any other service. Do your research! Ask to speak with them before instruction and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Do what you need to do to ensure they have the relevant experience and that you feel a professional rapport.

Request a Quote

If you don’t want the stress of handling probate, then a fixed fee probate service could be the right option. It is ideal for small estates and ensures that the cost is transparent, giving you the freedom to grieve without the worry of managing probate. To start the process, request a quote from a solicitor or practitioner from The Probate Network.

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