Probate Solicitors in Leeds, Sheffield and York: Fixed Fee Probate Lawyers
After the difficulties of bereavement, probate is just one of the many things you’ll have to deal with at this distressing time.
We offer a dedicated service to deal with the administration of the estate on your behalf undertaken by our Probate Solicitors on a fixed fee basis. For our full pricing transparency please click here.
Contact our Probate Lawyers in Leeds, Sheffield or York for dependable, practical support and we’ll ensure that probate and any other outstanding issues are resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.
What is probate?
Estate Administration, also known as Probate, is the process of ascertaining and dealing with the assets and liabilities of an Estate and executing the Will according to the wishes of the deceased. If the deceased died without a will, their estate will be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy.
Before an estate can be distributed, the Executors named in the Will may have to apply for a Grant of Probate or if the deceased died without a Will, the next of kin may need to apply for Letters of Administration.
What is a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration?
Permission to execute the Will and administer the estate is granted through a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration where there is no will.
A Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration may not always be necessary depending on the type and value of the assets owned by the deceased.
Who can apply for probate?
If you are named as an executor in the will, you can apply for probate.
If there isn’t a will and you are the next of kin, the order of priority for applying for Letters of Administration is as follows:
- children (including children adopted by the deceased but excluding step children)
- uncles or aunts
- if children, siblings and uncles or aunts of the deceased person have died before the deceased, their children may apply for probate.
It’s worth noting that if you are named in the will as the Executor or you are next of kin but you don’t want to act, you don’t have to.
The probate process
As you might expect, obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and administering the Estate is a fairly complex process involving elements of legal, tax and financial work.
Step 1: Identification
Firstly, everything the deceased owned (from pensions to possessions) and everything they owed (from loans to utility bills), must be identified in order to determine the value of their Estate.
Secondly, everyone who is entitled to a share of the estate according to the terms of the deceased’s will, or in accordance with intestacy laws if they died without a will, must be identified. Their identification documents should also be obtained.
Step 2: Apply for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
An application is made to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Representation document which confirms the legal authority to administer the Estate.
Your application will contain the following documents:
- The original will and two copies
- The Statement of Truth
- The Inheritance tax form
- The application fee
All of these documents will be sent to your local Probate Registry.
Step 3: Tax
If necessary, inheritance tax will be paid to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and an inheritance tax return will be submitted (whether tax is actually due or not).
Step 4: Receive Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
Once you have received this it provides the authority for the Personal Representatives to collect in the assets. For example, bank accounts can be closed, shares can be transferred or sold and property can be sold.
Step 5: Settlement
The deceased’s assets may be sold (liquidated), and their debts settled. Other payments also need to be settled for estate administration expenses, accounting to HMRC and any further taxes, such as capital gains tax, must be paid.
Step 6: Accounting
Estate accounts will be prepared to show all payments into and out of the Estate, and showing the balance left for distribution to the beneficiaries. The Estate accounts will be sent to the Personal Representatives (such as the Executor in the will) for approval.
Step 7: Distribution
If there are no challenges or disputes and no other complications preventing distribution, the final step is to transfer any assets to the beneficiaries if they wish to retain them, and distributing the balance of any funds.
This process can be time consuming and overwhelming for many people, particularly as it comes at an already very challenging time.
By working with the experienced Probate Solicitors at Lupton Fawcett through our offices in Leeds, Sheffield and York, you’ll gain the peace of mind that everything is being taken care of in the most efficient and expedient manner with minimal stress.
How a probate solicitor will help you
A Probate Solicitor can either take care of all aspects of probate on your behalf or they can provide legal advice on any specific area you want help with such as:
- Applying for the Grant of Representation
- Handling all the inheritance tax issues
- Managing the sale of any assets
- Dealing with the transfer of any property, land or assets to the beneficiaries
- Handling will and probate disputes
No matter what stage you are at with the administration of an estate, or what area of probate you need specific help with, our experienced Wills and Probate Solicitors will be happy to answer your questions and offer their professional advice.
A word from our team…
Senior Probate Solicitor Leeds
I enjoy working at Lupton Fawcett in Leeds as I have the opportunity to assist a variety of different clients from local individuals to those overseas. I provide advice on the administration of estates, ranging from small estates, perhaps with one or two assets, to larger more complex estates involving businesses, farming land and also dealing with cross-border issues. Working in Leeds has allowed me to build great working relationships with local professionals such as estate agents, stockbrokers and independent financial advisors to assist with the various stages of estate administration. Hugh Thompson
Senior Probate Solicitor Sheffield
I have worked as a Private Client Solicitor since 2012 and I enjoy being able to get to know my clients and understand their needs, helping them often at difficult times in their lives. I have a varied caseload of clients both locally and further afield and pride myself on providing a friendly and approachable service. Charlene Vilia
Senior Probate Solicitor York
As a local to York, I enjoy working at the York office of Lupton Fawcett as I have the opportunity to provide advice regarding estate administration to a range of clients including local individuals and families. Through working as a Solicitor in Yorkshire for over 10 years, I have established longstanding connections with individuals and families, helping them through the difficulty of losing a loved one. As a member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), I am able to offer extensive advice to my clients regarding the administration of estates. Ed Taylor
How long does probate take?
Everything depends on the unique circumstances of the Estate, the will and the people involved. However, as a guide to what is common based on our experience, we can provide the following outline of approximate timescales:
- Obtaining the grant of probate – 4 to 12 weeks
- Collecting assets – 4 to 6 weeks
- Distributing assets – 2 to 4 weeks
The average time to complete the process of administering an estate is 6 to 9 months.
We always keep our clients informed of progress throughout, and make sure you are aware of the reasons for any delays. We will also advise you if any unforeseen work becomes necessary.
What are the time limits on applying for probate?
Although there are no official time limits on applying for either the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, there are clearly some good reasons not to delay doing so for too long.
If there are several beneficiaries and the other parties feel that there are unnecessary delays, it is possible for them to sue for withholding their property.
A possibly more pressing issue initially though could be the payment of inheritance tax.
There are two different forms for inheritance tax depending on the circumstances of each Estate.
Inheritance Tax Return Form IHT400 must be filed within one year of the person’s death.
Inheritance Tax Return Form IHT205 actually has no time limit.
However, you should not leave it too long because the will cannot be considered settled until the form has been submitted. Once again, the beneficiaries may choose to take action if you delay the process unnecessarily.
Can I stop a probate if there is a disagreement?
If there is a dispute about the will, it is possible to stop probate by entering what’s known as a Caveat.
A Caveat prevents the Executor(s) or Administrator(s) of the will from obtaining a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and so they are unable to distribute the Estate until the dispute has been resolved.
Under the Inheritance Act, you only have six months from the date the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration have been issued in which to contest a will.
If you feel you were treated unfairly, or you believe the will is not valid for some reason it is important to seek legal advice as early as possible to ensure your interests are protected.
Fixed fee probate legal services
Naturally, every Estate is different and there are many factors that can affect what is required to sort out what happens to someone’s Estate after they die.
The legal fees associated with probate are based on the value and nature of the assets, whether or not there is a Will, whether or not there are any debts to be settled and the number of beneficiaries.
Once all of the details of the Estate have been understood, we will provide a fixed fee probate quote. The price will not change unless circumstances change during the process, or the information we were provided with at the outset is shown not to be correct.
For more information about our Fixed Fee Probate Services contact us today.
Contact our expert probate solicitors in Leeds, Sheffield and York today
If you wish to talk to one of our solicitors about our fixed fee probate service please get in touch with our Yorkshire-based team today.
For a no-obligation initial consultation please either call our Leeds, York or Sheffield offices on the number at the top of this page or fill out the enquiry form and we’ll call you back.
Our Probate Solicitors in Leeds, York & Sheffield regularly provide probate legal services for the administration of estates for clients across the United Kingdom including Bradford, Birmingham, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield, York and Nottingham.
We can support your needs wherever you live in England, Wales & Northern Ireland.