Transparency

Legal Practices in England and Wales such as Woolliscrofts Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Under the SRA Transparency Rules all such legal practices are required to publish information on prices and services in respect of specific types of legal work undertaken by them – including Probate work.

WHY WOOLLISCROFTS SOLICITORS ?

Woolliscrofts Solicitors are your friendly local Solicitors who are proud to have been serving individuals and families throughout Staffordshire, Cheshire and beyond for over 100 years. We have offices in Hanley, Tunstall, Wolstanton, Stone, Staffordshire and Alsager.

We are committed to excellent levels of legal service, client care and the delivery of value for money legal services by our dedicated teams of specialist Probate Lawyers and their support staff.

You will find us easy to talk to and we won’t baffle you with technical legal jargon.

Unlike some other Solicitors Practices Woolliscrofts Solicitors do NOT charge what is often referred to as a “Value Element” – usually expressed as a percentage of the value of the Estate- unless the deceased actually appointed us in their Will to act as a Professional Executor.

WHO DEALS WITH PROBATE WORK AT WOOLLISCROFTS SOLICITORS ?

To view details of the Private Client Team here at Woolliscrofts please CLICK HERE.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO COMPLETE MY PROBATE MATTER AND WHAT WILL IT COST ?

The answer to this question very much depend upon the nature and extent of the work which the Executors / Personal Representatives of the deceased actually wish Woolliscrofts Solicitors to assist them with or undertake on their behalf.

Insofar as obtaining a Grant of Representation from the Probate Registry is concerned, from the point at which Woolliscrofts have been provided with all of the instructions and information required in order to enable us to undertake the preparation of the necessary formal documentation (the timeframe for which is obviously in the hands of our clients) and the we are in a position to submit all of the necessary formal documentation to the Probate Registry, in our experience the Probate Registry take somewhere in the order of 3 months for respond to the application.

Grant Only Instructions:-

In some cases Executors or potential Administrators merely wish Woolliscrofts Solicitors to obtain a Grant of Represenation from the Probate Registry – upon the basis that they intend to deal with other aspects of the administration of the Estate of the deceased by themselves (other than perhaps to instruct our Property Department to deal with any sale or transfer of the home of the deceased if appropriate).

If a valid Will exists which can be provided to (or is already held by) Woolliscrofts Solicitors and the Executors appointed in that Will choose to instruct Woolliscrofts Solicitors to merely apply for a Grant of Probate from the Probate Registry on their behalf, then Woolliscrofts Solicitors offer a Fixed Fee arrangement for such matters provided that they are straightforward (for example, the Will is not contested, the value of the Estate of the deceased falls below the Inheritance Tax Threshold and the Short Form of Inheritance Tax Return, Form IHT 205, is appropriate to the matter, there is no dispute in the case of multiple Executors as to which Executors should apply for the Grant of Probate and there is no need for the renunciation of any non-proving Executors or the like) and no unforeseen issues arise. In these cases, the Professional Fee of Woolliscrofts Solicitors for the work undertaken by us would be £600 plus VAT plus Disbursements. “Disbursements” are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Court Fees – and we handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

The Disbursements involved in a straightforward Grant Only case (which would be the same with any firm of Solicitors) would include:-

-       The fee for swearing of the Oath for Executors before an independent Solicitor – of £7 per Executor;

-       The Probate Court Application Fee (as at December 2018 the amount of this fee is £155 – however, you can check for any changes to that figure by visiting the Wills, Probate and Inheritance section of the Government (GOV.UK) Web Site – which can be viewed by CLICKING HERE  or by contacting Woolliscrofts Solicitors); and

-       The cost of any additional Official Copies of the Grant of Probate which may be required (as at December 2018 this cost is 50 pence per copy required in addition to the one copy included within the Probate Application Court Fee - however, you can check for any changes to that figure by visiting Wills, Probate and Inheritance section of the Government (GOV.UK) Web Site – which can be viewed by CLICKING HEREor by contacting Woolliscrofts Solicitors);

In cases where the matter is suitable for the kind of Fixed Fee Grant Only Application arrangement described above other than the fact that a Full Inheritance Tax Return (Form IHT 400) is required, Woolliscrofts Solicitors would be happy to offer a similar arrangement in respect of other aspects of a Grant Only Application but would need to provide an additional Costs Estimate in relation to further Professional Charges of Woolliscrofts, and additional Disbursements, involved in the preparation of the Full Inheritance Tax Return and any necessary additional schedules to that longer form of Inheritance Tax Return – in addition to which the appropriate amount of any Inheritance Tax due would also need to be paid to HM Revenue and Customs. In such cases Woolliscrofts Solicitors can give you a Costs Estimate once provided with relevant additional information. CONTACT US for a competitive tailored estimate of our charges.

If there is no Will (or the whereabouts of any Will which may exist is unknown) or, for example, any of the other factors mentioned above as making the matter inappropriate for the Fixed Fee Grant Only application arrangement offered by Woolliscrofts Solicitors, the amount of the additional Professional Charges of Woolliscrofts, and any necessary additional Disbursements, could range significantly depending upon the particular circumstances of the individual case. In such cases Woolliscrofts Solicitors can give you a Costs Estimate once provided with relevant additional information. CONTACT US for a competitive tailored estimate of our charges.

Cases where Woolliscrofts Solicitors are instructed to assist with other aspects of the administration of the the Estate of a deceased:-

In other cases, the Personal Representatives of a deceased (Executors or Administrators) choose to additionally instruct Woolliscrcofts to assist them with some other aspects of the administration of the Estate of the assist or, alternatively, request that Woolliscrofts fully administer the Estate on their behalf. Naturally, in these cases the exact cost, and length of time taken for work to be completed, will depend upon the individual circumstances of the matter – such as, for example, which aspects of the administration of the Estate the Personal Representatives actually wish Woolliscrofts Solicitors to deal with on their behalf, the nature and number of assets included within the Estate of the deceased and how easily they can be identified, traced and recovered, the number of beneficiaries involved and other factors as to whether or not any disputes arise.

In cases involving an undisputed readily available valid Will, only one beneficiary and no home to be sold or transferred costs would be at the lower end of the range of possible costs. If there is no Will, are multiple beneficiaries, a home - or possibly even more than one real property - to be sold or transferred, multiple Bank and / or Building Society Accounts, Shareholdings (Stocks and / or Bonds), other intangible assets, disputes between beneficiaries and claims against the Estate, costs would be at the higher end of the range of possible costs involved.

In these types of case:-

- the Professional Charges of Woolliscrofts Solicitors would be calculated on a Time / Costs basis having regard to the actual amount of time expended by us in undertaking the work which we have actually been instructed to do – by reference to an agreed Hourly Rates and time being charged in units of six minutes;

-       Additional Disbusements to those already mentioned above in relation to Grant Only Application Instructions would again depend upon the particular circumstances of the matter;

-       Woolliscrofts Solicitors can provide a Costs Estimate once we have appropriate information upon which to base an assessment of the work and expenses likely to be involved. CONTACT US for a competitive tailored estimate of our charges.

For the reasons mentioned above, rather than attempting to set out details of specific cost and timescale indications for each and every scenario which could be involved, such as, for example, pre-empting factors which could potentially arise or the possibility of clients failing to follow our advice, some indicative examples of matters previously dealt with by Woolliscrofts are provided below:-

PLEASE NOTE:

-       The Costs Information given here is general and, therefore, indicative only. If you contact the team here at Woolliscrofts Solicitors we will be able to give more precise and personalised information to you, which we will be happy to confirm in writing to you and which would, in any event, be confirmed in an Engagement Letter in the event of you deciding to proceed to instruct Woolliscrofts Solicitors to act on your behalf.

-       In the examples below we have obviously changed names and some other details to protect client confidentiality.

-       Woolliscrofts Solicitors always invite prospective new clients to establish contact with us in order for them to be able to outline their particular circumstances and requirements to us and to enable us to provide an appropriate Costs Estimate. CONTACT US for a competitive tailored estimate of our charges.

SOME TYPICAL EXAMPLES OF WHAT WOOLLISCROFTS SOLICITORS HAVE CHARGED PROBATE CLIENTS IN RESPECT OF MATTERS WHERE WOOLLISCROFTS SOLICITORS HAVE BEEN INSTRUCTED BY EXECUTORS TO DEAL WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE ESTATE IN ADDITION TO OBTAINING A GRANT OF PROBATE FROM THE PROBATE REGISTRY:-
 
 
A SIMPLE CASE – ELSIE SMITH: We charged £650 plus VAT for our Estate Administration work in addition to Disbursements, the amount of which would be the same regardless of choice of Solicitor


When Elsie died her husband Peter asked us to sort out Probate to her Estate. Despite their being no Will, this was a simple matter, handled by an experienced specialist Legal Executive. We were able to sort out the entire matter in just under three months from being instructed. Our bill was just £650 plus VAT and Disbursements.

The reasons the bill was relatively small were:-

  • No Inheritance Tax was payable
  • There was just one bank account in Elsie’s sole name
  • Peter was the sole beneficiary. No trusts or other complexities were involved
  • Peter was prompt and well-organised in responding to our requests for papers and information

In addition to the Professional Charges for the time spent by Woolliscrofts Solicitors in dealing with the matter there were Disbursements (i.e. expenses paid to third parties) which amounted to £167. They would be the same at any Solicitors firm. They were made up of:-

  • Probate Application Court Fee of £155
  • Cost of additional Official Office Copies of the Grant of Letters of Administration 50 pence (per copy required)
  • Fee for swearing of the Oath for Administrator £5 (per Administrator)
  • Bankruptcy only Land Charges Searches (£1 per Beneficiary and the Deceased)


A TYPICAL CASE – SIMON SMITH: We charged £1,380 plus VAT for our Estate Administration work, in addition to the Disbursements involved which would have been the same with any Solicitor.  

Mr Smith contacted us when his brother died and asked us to deal with the administration of the estate. The matter was handled by an experienced Legal Executive. We were able to finalise all matters for Mr Smith in just over four months from when he first instructed us.

The following matters affected how quickly we were able to deal with it for Mr Smith

  • Mr Smith’s house was in his sole name, not held in trust or as tenants in common
  • No Inheritance Tax was payable
  • The Executor took responsibility for day to day household expenses until sale of the property
  • There was only one Bank Account and one Savings Account
  • There were legacies left to four people in the Will and one final beneficiary
  • No trusts or other complexities were involved
  • The Executor was prompt and well-organised in responding to our requests for papers, information and signing paperwork

In addition to the Professional Charges in respect of the time spent by Woolliscrofts in dealing with the matter, there were Disbursements (i.e. expenses paid to third parties) amounting to £186. They would be the same with any Solicitors firm. They were made up of:-

  • Probate Application Court Fee of £155
  • Cost of additional Official Office Copies of the Grant of Probate 50 pence (per copy required)
  • Fee for swearing of the Oath for Executor £7 (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy only Land Charges Searches (£1 per Beneficiary and the Deceased)


A COMPLICATED CASE – JOHN JONES: We charged £11,350 plus VAT for our Estate Administration work, in addition to the Disbursements involved which would have been the same with any Solicitor.
We were contacted by the granddaughter of Mr Jones’ step-sister, and although they were a very close knit family none of the family were blood relatives of Mr Jones and therefore not automatically legally entitled to administer his Estate. We therefore had to initially carry out research of the family tree for Mr Jones, notify close family members and then advise them and discuss who would be prepared to act as the Personal Representative This complex matter was handled throughout by an experienced Legal Executive and took several years to finalise.

Some of the reasons for the complexity and lengthy nature of this matter include:

  • Mr Jones did not leave a Will
  • There were no known close blood relatives
  • Genealogists had to be employed to carry out extensive research and relatives were located in England, Scotland, Isle of Man, Canada, Australia, numerous States across the USA and The Netherlands
  • Negotiations with beneficiaries as to who should act as Personal Representative and complex Oath prepared for the Court to explain relationship to the deceased
  • Part way through the administration of the estate, the Personal Representative unexpectedly died and a further application was made to Court to appoint another person to finalise the administration of the estate
  • Mr Jones’ property had to be maintained during the administration period and household accounts dealt with
  • Arrangements made for house clearance, property insurance arranged and special conditions for unoccupied property complied with throughout
  • Enquiries carried out to ensure all assets traced including life insurance policies and pensions
  • Over one hundred beneficiaries were identified, Bankruptcy searches arranged in all countries, contact made with all beneficiaries or their representatives
  • Ensuring safeguard insurance in place for Personal Representative against any additional beneficiaries

In addition to the Professional Charges in respect of the work undertaken by Woolliscrofts Solicitors there were Disbursements (i.e. expenses paid to third parties) amounting to £2,624.03. They would be the same with any Solicitors firm. They were made up of:-

  • Probate Application Court Fee of £155 for each application
  • Cost of additional Official Office Copies of the Grant of Probate 50 pence (per copy required)
  • Fee for swearing of the Oath for Administrator £5 (per administrator)
  • Bankruptcy only Land Charges Searches (£1 per beneficiary and deceased for UK searches but fees for searches in foreign jurisdictions vary considerably)
  • £77.75 post in The London Gazette – to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • £179.28 post in a local newspaper – to help to protect against unexpected claims

Cases where Woolliscrofts Solicitors are instructed to sell or transfer the former home of the deceased or any other real property included within the Estate of the deceased:-

In some cases:-

-       Woolliscrofts Solicitors are only instructed by the Personal Representatives of a deceased to sell or transfer the former home of, or other real property owned by the, deceased;

-       Woolliscrofts Solicitors are only instructed to obtain a Grant of Representation from the Probate Registry on a Grant Only Fixed Fee arrangement basis AND to deal with the sale or transfer of the former home of, or other real property owned by the, deceased; or

-       Woolliscrofts Solicitors are instructed to deal with the sale or transfer of the former home of, or other real property owned by the, deceased as part of instructions to also deal with most, or all, of the other aspects involved in the administration of the Estate of the deceased.

In any of those cases, similar considerations in relation to the cost of the necessary Conveyancing work will apply to those set out within the Conveyancing related aspect of the SRA Transparency information contained within this Web Site of relevance to Property Sales. CLICK HERE to view that information. 

OFFICE LOCATIONS

HANLEY - 6-10 Broad Street
TUNSTALL - Butterfield Place
STONE - 51 High Street
STAFFORD - 14 Park Street
WOLSTANTON - 13 Morris Square
ALSAGER - 20c Lawton Road

CONTACT US

TELEPHONE 01782 204000

Freephone 0800 083 97 87

Email:enquiries@woolliscrofts.co.uk

Meet Our Team

Personal Injury Team
Property Team
Family Matters Team
Wills, Trusts & Probate Team
Commercial Team

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Woolliscrofts Solicitors Ltd

Woolliscrofts Solicitors is a trading name of Woolliscrofts Solicitors Ltd (Company Number 07095267) which is registered in England and Wales.

A list of the Directors is open to inspection at the Registered Office situate at 6-10 Broad Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, STI 4EU. VAT Registration Number 278 8906 90. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

Contact Us

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6-10 Broad Street
Hanley,Stoke on Trent ST1 4EU