Administration of a deceased estate Help!

I`ve taken on the task of appointing a solicitor for my MiL to do the legal side of my FiL`s will , the FiL died a few days ago , first quote for doing the legal work nearly knocked me off my chair .

Further to your telephone conversation with my colleague xxxxxxxxx, I confirm the following costs:
  • Grant Only: we will draft, arrange execution and submit the application to obtain the Grant of Probate. The fee for this is from £950.00 plus VAT and disbursements (Court fee of £273.00 plus £1.50 each for copies required) as long as no Inheritance Tax is payable.
  • Full Administration: we will correspond with the asset and liability holders to obtain the date of death information; draft, arrange execution and submit the application to obtain the Grant of Probate; realise the assets of the estate; pay the liabilities of the estate; prepare Estate Accounts; deal with taxation matters and distribute the estate in accordance with the Will. The fee for this depends on the value of the estate but will start from £6,500.00 plus VAT and disbursements if the gross value of the estate is less than £325,000.00.

As far as I can see it is a mirror will , all is going to the MiL , they have joint bank accounts, he had a good civil service pension and an ISA in his name.

The only complication I can see is there is a serious clinical negligence claim in place against a care company,any compensation would go to the MiL I assume, the quoting solicitors say a Grant of Probate is required because of this

So my question is about fees,is this quote extortionate? seems a huge amount to me for a simple mirror will , obviously I`ll be shopping around, also how much work can you do yourself to reduce solicitor fees?

This is under English law and the FiL`s share of assets has a value of approx £200k.
 
Hangfast, I will ask the Mrs as she did the lot for her mum, no solicitor involved as such. I don't know what went into doing it but, I know that her brothers were happy at the money she saved by taking it on.
 
If it’s a straight forward will and all going to your MIL then look at doing it yourself, there’s plenty of information on the internet.
 
Many things don’t even come under the will. Joint bank account is automatically hers, bank just needs a copy of the death certificate. If they were joint tenants on the house then that’s hers under the survivorship rules. Inform land registry to make the relevant change to the deeds.

As she’s his spouse there’s no capital gains tax, regardless the size of the estate.
 

slick

LE
4-5 years ago my old dutch passed away leaving all to myself and my brother, which mainly consisted of her savings and her house. Probate through a solicitor cost about £480 if I remember correctly.
 
 
I`ve taken on the task of appointing a solicitor for my MiL to do the legal side of my FiL`s will , the FiL died a few days ago , first quote for doing the legal work nearly knocked me off my chair .

Further to your telephone conversation with my colleague xxxxxxxxx, I confirm the following costs:
  • Grant Only: we will draft, arrange execution and submit the application to obtain the Grant of Probate. The fee for this is from £950.00 plus VAT and disbursements (Court fee of £273.00 plus £1.50 each for copies required) as long as no Inheritance Tax is payable.
  • Full Administration: we will correspond with the asset and liability holders to obtain the date of death information; draft, arrange execution and submit the application to obtain the Grant of Probate; realise the assets of the estate; pay the liabilities of the estate; prepare Estate Accounts; deal with taxation matters and distribute the estate in accordance with the Will. The fee for this depends on the value of the estate but will start from £6,500.00 plus VAT and disbursements if the gross value of the estate is less than £325,000.00.

As far as I can see it is a mirror will , all is going to the MiL , they have joint bank accounts, he had a good civil service pension and an ISA in his name.

The only complication I can see is there is a serious clinical negligence claim in place against a care company,any compensation would go to the MiL I assume, the quoting solicitors say a Grant of Probate is required because of this

So my question is about fees,is this quote extortionate? seems a huge amount to me for a simple mirror will , obviously I`ll be shopping around, also how much work can you do yourself to reduce solicitor fees?

This is under English law and the FiL`s share of assets has a value of approx £200k.
If you get in touch with the Probate Office...they are very helpful and, can save your MiL a lot of money plus, your advice would be from the people investigating and granting Probate...all it costs is a phonecall !
 
If you get in touch with the Probate Office...they are very helpful and, can save your MiL a lot of money plus, your advice would be from the people investigating and granting Probate...all it costs is a phonecall !

Contact details at the bottom of the page on the link above your post................and they work Saturdays.
 
If you get in touch with the Probate Office...they are very helpful and, can save your MiL a lot of money plus, your advice would be from the people investigating and granting Probate...all it costs is a phonecall !

Do it all yourself then - it is not complicated and save yourself some money,, Letters, telephone calls and emails what could be easier

Plenty of guidance on the Government website

Government Website

Those fees quoted do not look to far out for a solicitor doing the work - money grabbing Bas*****ds

I bet they charge 10% for estates over 325K

Archie
 
Do it all yourself then - it is not complicated and save yourself some money,, Letters, telephone calls and emails what could be easier

Plenty of guidance on the Government website

Government Website

Those fees quoted do not look to far out for a solicitor doing the work - money grabbing Bas*****ds

I bet they charge 10% for estates over 325K

Archie
Which is what I did...it is time consuming but, all the help is there.
 

CivviWalker

War Hero
I sorted out the probate on my father's estate myself.It was mainly hassel free and took just over 4 months to complete.The first thing is to register the death and get the death certificate as nothing can be done until this has been carried out.

This website might help.They sell a DIY probate kit for £29 which guides you through the process.

 

Old Stab

LE
Book Reviewer
@Gone2ratshat
When the Mrs ex husband died the advice given on here was a massive help and made a rather unpleasant and daunting experience much, much easier. The probate was a PITA as the pillock didn't have a will.

The Arrse collective WILL be able to square this away for you mate.
 

Stabwedge

Old-Salt
Firstly, my sympathies for your loss.

My Dad died and then, when we were half way through sorting my Dad's estate, my Mum died. I sorted what was left of my Dad's stuff and then my Mum's. It's not hard to do but is a very long process. Mostly waiting for organisations getting back to you. Oct 2019 to Apr 2021 all in for everything to be completely finished..

I would recommend doing it yourself. Get onto all the websites you can think of; Court Service, the banks, insurances, HMRC (whether tax is due or not), Citizen's Advice, etc. Also, be prepared to fill in many, many forms.

I can't give specific advice because I'm in NI and I believe it's a slightly different process over here.
 

BlipDriver

War Hero
Don't forget to get multiples of the death certificate, many places want a copy (that's usually returned) & several copies means you can pursue simultaneous avenues. (It's also easier and cheaper to get duplicates at the time of registration).
My condolences.
 
Don't forget to get multiples of the death certificate, many places want a copy (that's usually returned) & several copies means you can pursue simultaneous avenues. (It's also easier and cheaper to get duplicates at the time of registration).
My condolences.
Second that on getting multiple copies of the death certificate. I sorted out both my parents without any problems so save yourself thousands and do it yourself. It will be time consuming, especially the HMRC form. I actually found that handling my mother's affairs was strangely cathartic.
 
I'm not going to offer any advice on whether you need a lawyer or not, as I'm in Canada and not the UK. I have however dealt with a fairly simple estate.

However:
  • As you are not the named executor you can "help" the executors by telling them what they need to do, but nobody else is going to be interested in listening to you directly. This means when below I say "you" I really mean "they".
  • Find out if the executors are joint, which means they both need to act together and both signatures are needed on everything.
  • Get multiple copies of the death certificate, you will need to send this to various parties.
  • Contact his pension provider to inform them of his death. Do this right away. There may also be death benefits associated with his pension (e.g. a life insurance policy).
  • Contact the appropriate government department with respect to his state pension (or whatever it is called), health card, driver's licence, etc. Whomever registered his death may have done this automatically already, somebody else here may be able to tell you that.
  • Contact the bank right away and inform them of the death.
  • Joint bank accounts should transfer over right away if the UK is like Canada.
  • See if he has any investments and contact them right away. If they are joint they should transfer over right away, again assuming the UK is like Canada.
  • Cancel any cell phones, newspaper or magazine subscriptions, automatic charitable donations, etc., etc. which may be coming out of his bank account and are not being continued by his spouse. Look over copies of his bank statements to see what payments may be coming out and where they are going.
  • If any subscriptions, accounts, etc. in his name are to be continued, see about getting the name changed to his spouse.
  • Check if there are any named bequests in the will, such as certain items (e.g. his stamp collection) going to named individuals, charitable donations, etc.
  • If there are any beneficiaries other than the spouse (including named bequests), get signatures on receipts when they receive them and file the receipts.
  • Find out what insurance policies he may have, and contact the insurance companies . This includes collecting any death benefits.
  • Set up a filling system and keep records of everything, including when phone calls were made, when letters were sent out, when replies were received, etc. This will be important in order to keep track of what is going on. It gets more complicated as time goes on and you cannot rely on your memory to keep track of it all.
  • Buy some courier bags (fabric document bags with zippers) and large brown envelopes for storing and sorting the documents. These are very handy for keeping things together and for taking documents with you if you have to go to a meeting at the bank, etc. These are cheap, I pay about $1.25 apiece.
  • Plan on keeping all documents relating to the estate "for a very long period of time". Don't chuck them out once it looks like it's all sorted. Make a plan for where they are to be kept. Mark the documents with something useful like the actual name of the deceased rather than just "Dad's estate".
  • The deceased will need his taxes done. In Canada the tax year for estates is not the same as the tax year for the living .Find out how this works in the UK.
  • You will need to advertise the death so that creditors can make claims on the estate. Find out the proper way to do this so that nobody comes back on the executors later looking to sue. There may not be any creditors, but this still needs to be done.
  • You will need to get a final release from the tax authorities stating that there are no tax claims on the estate and that they are done with it once and for all (I assume the UK is the same as Canada in this respect). This could take quite some time.
  • I'm assuming the funeral has been all taken care of thus far. However, contact the funeral home and find out of there are any other bills from them coming in.

If you hire a lawyer you won't need full administration as your description of the estate does not indicate anything that complicated. If you do hire a lawyer however then expect to be the one (or rather the executors being the ones) doing all the routine leg work while the lawyer does the legal filings. Your time is cheaper than a lawyer's so it's better this way.

If you decide to do it all yourself then as I said above I can't really offer any advice on that as I don't live in the UK.
 

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