Thank you for looking at our probate services.
We understand that losing someone you love is one of the hardest times of your life and can bring a mixture of emotions. The legal side of dealing with a person’s death can be overwhelming and confusing which is why we are committed to offering a well-organised, professional and sensitive service, to make your life easier at a difficult time.
Probate is a formal process whereby the Will of the deceased is registered and validated as their last Will and Testament. The Grant of Probate issued as a result proves the Executor has the right to administer the estate. There is also a similar process when somebody dies intestate (without a Will) and this is known as Letters of Administration
If a person dies with less than £5,000 in bank accounts and no property it is unlikely a Grant of Probate will be required.
If a person dies with more than £5,000 in bank accounts and/or owns property it is very likely the Executor may be required to obtain a Grant of Probate in order to access the bank accounts and sell/transfer any property. Some financial institutions will allow accounts to be closed if this sum is exceeded but you will need to check with each.
We have a highly experienced team who can assist you with every aspect of the probate process, reducing the administrative burden and advising sensitively on key decisions which need to be made when managing an estate.
One of our directors, Sangeet Tatem is also the Head of Probate having over 19 years of experience in this area of law. Sangeet is also a Notary Public and can deal with matters involving overseas property.
Sangeet heads an experienced, sympathetic team who are aware that administering an estate comes at a time of grief and high emotion; our friendly straightforward advice will take account of the whole picture and provide you with immediate peace of mind.
Our approach is a simple – we provide a first-class personal service with one person dealing with the probate throughout. We do not have a pool of people that you are expected to contact, we know this causes frustration and upset for everyone involved.
We do not operate automated telephone systems nor do we have a voicemail facility which leaves you feeling distant from us.
Our traditional values ensure that you get the very best personal ‘one to one’ service. We want you to feel confident that you are a priority, with our aim being that we are available to speak with you when you need some clarity and certainty at any stage.
We recognise you need reassurance and provide an outlet for any concerns that you may have. We are real people that pride themselves in providing you with the service you require.
In short, you are in a ‘Sympathetic pair of experienced hands’.
We are proud to hold Lexcel and WIQS Accreditations, issued by the Law Society. This involves the firm undergoing a rigorous audit process which ensures we maintain high levels of client care.
Our fees for obtaining a grant and the administration of estates vary according to the value of the estate. Where possible we offer fixed fees which are set out below:
Obtaining a Grant of Probate
Obtaining a Grant of Probate and claiming *TNRB
Obtaining a Grant of Probate and claiming *TNRB and *RNRB
Obtaining a Grant of Probate with *NRB:TNRB, RNRB & TRNRB
Obtaining a backdated Grant of Probate
Administration of an Estate below £10,000
Administration of an Estate between £10,000 & £200,000
Administration of an Estate between £201,000 - £800,000
1% of gross value of estate
Administration of Estates £801,000 and above
£160 - £250 per hour dependent upon the legal advisor- see below
Advice on Administration of Estates
£220 - £250 per hour dependent upon the legal advisor- see below
*NRB – Nil Rate Band *TNRB – Transferable Nil Rate Band
*TRNRB – Transferable Residential Nil Rate Band *RNRB – Residential Nil Rate Band
Hourly Rate plus VAT
Sangeet Tatem - Solicitor
Paul Olubiyi - Solicitor
Kaylee Justham - Solicitor
Cathy Page – Trainee Legal Executive
What is included in the Administration of Estates
We will handle the full process for you and this estimate is for estates where the person has either left a Will or has died intestate (died without leaving a Will).
We can help you through this difficult process and our fees include:
- Providing you with a dedicated and experienced Probate solicitor or Legal Executive to work on your matter
- Identifying the legally appointed executors, administrators and beneficiaries
- Accurately identifying the type of Probate application you will require
- Obtaining relevant documents required to make the application
- Completing the Probate application and relevant HMRC Forms
- Drafting a Legal Oath for you to swear
- Making the application for the Grant of Probate to the Probate Court on your behalf
- Obtaining the Probate and securely sending 10 copies to you
- Settling any liabilities
- Collecting and distributing all assets in the estate
- Produce Estate Accounts
What is not included in our fees?
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees or court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Anticipated Disbursements if applying for a Grant of Probate and Administering the Estate
Amount inc Vat if applicable
Office copies for the Grant of Probate
£5 for 10 copies
Commissioners fees for swearing Oath of probate
Land Registry search fee (per property title)
Bankruptcy search fee (per beneficiary)
Post in the local newspaper
Post in the London Gazette
There are various factors that will affect any inheritance tax due on an estate, including the size of the estate and any measures that were put in place by the deceased to limit the estate’s tax liability.
We do not believe that it would be sensible to attempt to provide at this stage an estimate of any tax that may be payable. We would advise you to look on the HMRC Website to calculate inheritance tax which may be due, the calculators can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-tools-and-calculators#inheritance-tax-and-bereavement
In the event that there is no Will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds), there is likely to be an additional cost that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be handled. Administration costs will also vary due to the size of the assets to be liquidated and the number of beneficiaries for distribution purposes. We will discuss this with you in detail and advise of any additional fees that maybe incurred.
In the event that additional copies of the Grant of Probate are required, these will be charged at £0.50 per copy or per asset.
The cost of selling or transferring a property is not included in this price, if you require this service, please let us know and we will provide you with an estimate in that regard.
Our fees are fixed and include items detailed above; however, there may be factors which would typically increase the cost of the fees involved. Where there is likely to be any additional cost, we will make sure you are informed of this at the earliest opportunity and a clear estimate of those extra costs will be provided.
Additional services that will require the assistance of a third party at additional cost include:
Valuations for property, savings, investments or other assets
On average, probate for the typical estate will take between 3 – 12 months. Generally, the time taken to obtain the Grant of Probate will take between 3 - 6 months, followed by the collection of assets and distribution of the assets which can take between 4 -12 months. The range takes into account handling everything from straightforward estate through to more complex estates.
Our Probate Team
Sangeet qualified as a Solicitor in the UK in 2000 and joined the Probate team as Head of Department in January 2016. Sangeet became a Director in July 2018 and supervises the Probate Department.
Sangeet studied law at University Malaya in Malaysia and qualified with LLB Hons in 1994. She was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1995 and practised as a Solicitor and Advocate in Malaysia from 1995 to 1997. She obtained a Masters in International Trade Law at Kings College, London in 1998 and is a Notary Public, having studied at Madingley College, Cambridge University for the diploma in Notarial Practice. In January 2012 Sangeet passed her Diploma in Trusts and Estates with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and was admitted as a full member of STEP. She is also an affiliated member of (STEP) Malaysia.
Sangeet advises clients on Wills, estate and tax planning, trusts, probate and estate administration, including advice on inheritance tax, capital gains tax, Deeds of Variation, Court of Protection work and contentious probate matters. She assists clients with all aspects of Court of Protection matters and Powers of Attorney, including Lasting and registering Enduring Powers of Attorney.
She acts for a wide range of clients in different circumstances, from business owners, farmers, the elderly, retired and parties to a divorce.
Sangeet undertakes notarial work and advises clients on all notarial matters. She is also fluent in a number of languages to include Malay, Indonesian, Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi and Gujerati.
Sangeet is based at our Collier Row office.
What the Clients Say :
Following the death of two close family members, I was recommended to F. Barnes by a friend who had also used them on two different occasions. I cannot praise Sangeet and her team highly enough for all the excellent work and assistance offered especially at such a sad time. Sangeet was extremely friendly and helpful with all my concerns and queries and dealt with both probates in a very professional and timely fashion and relieved a great deal of stress for me. My husband and I are now returning to see her in the near future to prepare our own Wills and would personally recommend this firm to anyone. Jill Thompson
Paul qualified as a Solicitor in the UK in 2010 and joined the Probate team of F Barnes after years of dealing with various probate matters.
Paul studied law and qualified from University College London with LLB Hons in 2008. He is due to start the process of obtaining Diploma in Trusts and Estates with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
Paul advises clients on wills, estate and tax planning, trusts, probate and estate administration, including advice on inheritance tax, Deeds of Variation, Living Wills and Court of Protection work matters. He assists clients with all aspects of Court of Protection matters and Powers of Attorney, including Lasting Powers of Attorney.
He visits clients in the comfort of their homes and in care homes to take instructions
Paul is also fluent in Yoruba language and is based at our Romford office.
Kaylee completed her law degree at City University, graduating with LLB Honours. Kaylee went on to complete the Legal Practice Course at BPP University Law School. Kaylee qualified as a Solicitor on 1st March 2018.
Kaylee Justham joined the Family Department at F Barnes in May 2016. She also joined the Wills & Probate department in 2017.
Kaylee works at all three offices assisting with and conducting her own caseload. She regularly attends Court on family matters and specialises in drafting Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney for clients under the supervision of Sangeet Tatem.
Before joining F Barnes Kaylee worked as a paralegal in the Family Department at Attwater Jamesons Solicitors for two years.
Kaylee is based primarily at our Romford office.
What the clients say:
In dealing with our LPA, we found Kayleigh to be both congenial and professional. All correspondence was dealt with expediently and we were very satisfied with the service provided. Anne-Marie and Julian (and Grant) Matthews
Cathy is currently training to be a Chartered Legal Executive with Obsidian Training Ltd and is an Affiliate member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. She has already completed her Level 3 in Introduction to Law & Practice, Client Care, Legal Research, Land Law, Conveyancing, Law of Contract, Law of Tort, Law of Wills and Succession and Probate Practice. She is currently undertaking her final subject, Criminal Law in order to complete her qualification of Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice.
Cathy has enjoyed working at F. Barnes for many years and originally joined the firm in 1991. She is assisting the team in our Wills and Probate Department under the supervision of Sangeet Tatem
Cathy is based at our Romford office.