Probate accounting and estate planning

We are pleased to be able to offer this service to our existing client base, as well as to new clients. We became authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales to carry out non-contentious probate and estate administration work in January 2016 and, since then, have provided proactive and supportive advice to a number of executors and administrators. With our expertise in all areas of accounts, tax and estate administration, you can have total confidence in us handling the whole process for you.

If you have found yourself appointed as the executor of an estate for a deceased friend or relative and are not sure what to do next or how to deal with your responsibilities, we can help. We provide a tailored service suited to your needs and are happy to either deal with the whole process on your behalf or, if you are keen to be involved and wish to keep fees down, we can work alongside you, giving you support and advice where needed.

Why Choose Us?

For existing clients, we feel it’s important that we are in a position to help you and your extended family when an estate needs to be administered. In the case of your estate, we can provide Inheritance Tax advice and planning, and our cumulative knowledge of your affairs and wishes places us in a unique position of being able and qualified to help, should the need arise.

Our forensic accountancy skills are invaluable when bringing an estate to a timely and orderly conclusion.

Whilst carrying out any probate work, we’re always sensitive to your needs and emotions. You can be sure that we’ll treat your legal and financial affairs discreetly and in the strictest confidence, whilst taking the administrative burden away from you wherever possible.

In all aspects of our work as accountants and tax specialists, we pride ourselves on keeping you informed. This philosophy carries across to our probate and estate administration work. We are committed to ensuring that you – the executor – are given regular progress updates.

Our Services

Our advice, support and assistance in this area typically includes:

  • Inheritance Tax Planning (IHT) and Will advice (we do not prepare Wills)
  • Supporting the executor or administrator in the early stages and setting out next steps for the executor
  • Dealing with notices to asset holders, creditors and legal notices
  • Finalising deceased’s tax liabilities up to death
  • Identifying and corresponding with beneficiaries
  • Obtaining and coordinating valuations
  • Considering IHT reliefs and exemptions to ensure IHT is not paid where not due
  • Preparing IHT returns
  • Probate procedures, including obtaining Grant of Probate
  • Estate administration once Grant of Probate received
  • Collection of assets
  • Distribution of assets

How Long Will It Take?

How long the ‘probate’ process takes varies from case to case.  In the majority of cases we generally advise anything from 3 – 6 months.  However, for more complex Estates or where it is more difficult to gather information and finalise the estate information it can take longer and might take 12 months or more to deal with the grant of probate and Estate administration.

We know how important it is to ensure that things keep moving and we pride ourselves on making sure Executors know what is required of them and when.  At the outset we set out what is needed based on the facts as we understand them at that time.  From this it’s possible for many Executors to do a lot of the groundwork and get things going and then we can usually pull things together swiftly and give the Executor a good feel for likely timescales.

The Probate registry now deal with probate practitioners via an online portal and this helps us to track progress much more closely with the Registry as well as send information back and forth to them more easily.

We always keep in regular contact with our probate clients to keep them informed of progress.

Our Team

You can rest assured that your probate affairs will be conducted properly. Our firm’s procedures must ensure that only an authorised person can undertake or control probate work and that we carry out sufficient CPD to maintain our competence levels.  Both David Hancock and Lucy Parry are “authorised persons” with ICAEW.

As a probate client you will deal with David or Lucy directly.

Our Fees

After a free initial consultation, we will be able to provide a fee quote for services. Dependant on the nature of the estate we may be able to offer a fixed-fee quote, however this is not always possible and can depend on the nature and complexity of the estate as well as other factors. 

We give further details of our fixed fee packages and other fee information in the link below:

 Probate fees 

Speak to one of our partners

Case Studies

To give further insight into typical length of time taken to obtain Probate and typical fees, we provide some case studies of actual work undertaken in this office.

Case Study 1 – Standard Estate

  • 4 bank accounts/investment accounts
  • 2 life policies
  • Premium bonds
  • Property sold prior to death in this case
  • Valid Will
  • No liabilities and No IHT
  • 2 Beneficiaries with one deed of variation
  • Executors organised and dealt with most notifications
  • Estate value £300,000
  • Client account operated
  • Estate Accounts prepared

Time taken to receive Grant of Probate – 3 months

Our fees totalled £2,500 (+ VAT and disbursements)

Case Study 2 – Standard Estate with no Will

  • 4 bank accounts/investment accounts
  • 1 life policy
  • 4 x separate shareholdings – not managed in a portfolio
  • Premium bonds
  • No Will (intestate)
  • No liabilities and No IHT
  • Executors very well organised and dealt with all notifications and collecting in assets
  • Estate value £400,000
  • Administrator operated own client account
  • Estate Accounts prepared

Time taken to receive Grant of Probate – Applied for within 2 months of being appointed.  Significant delays at Probate Registry meant actual grant issued within 5 months of appointment.

Our fees totalled £3,000 (+ VAT and disbursements)

Case Study 3 – More Complex Estate

  • 2 properties, one with specialist valuation requirements
  • 1 bank account
  • Premium bonds
  • Shares (simple shareholding)
  • Valid Will
  • Will trust set up on death of former spouse providing added complexity to this Estate
  • 3 Beneficiaries – 2 under 18
  • Estate value £700,000
  • IHT to pay and tax advice given surrounding most tax efficient route which involved liaison with solicitors involved in Will trust/setting up Will
  • Estate tax to pay on property letting income
  • Client account operated
  • Estate accounts prepared

Time taken to receive Grant of Probate – 6 months

Our fees totalled £5,000 (+ VAT and disbursements)

Regulatory Information

We are authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England & Wales.

These regulations require us to have a minimum level of indemnity of £500,000 per claim on our Professional Indemnity Insurance.  Details of our insurers and other information about our terms of business and privacy notice can be found here:  Professional obligations

Clause 24 of our Standard Terms of Business provides details of the process to follow if a client has a complaint in respect of any probate services we have delivered.

We are required to pay an annual levy to ICAEW in respect of the Probate Compensation Scheme to accord with the requirements of the Legal Services Act 2007.  Further information can be found on ICAEW’s website here:  Probate Compensation Scheme Regulations

The regulations we work under require us to publish data about the diversity of our workforce – 

Click here for the firm’s diversity statistics

Find out more

We offer a range of services to help you meet your business objectives. These are tailored to your individual circumstances and we’ll sit down with you to determine exactly what it is you need from us. 

Personal tax

From self-assessment tax returns to assisting with personal tax compliance issues, we can help.

Read more

Executors

We can help executors and administrators obtain probate quickly and efficiently, and assist with the administration process of the estate.

Read more

Get in touch

Browse our website for more information on the services we can offer you. Alternatively, get in touch to book a no-obligation initial meeting where David or Lucy will listen to your needs and offer advice on how we can help you further.