Rainer Hughes

Contested Wills

Not every Estate proceeds happily from commencement to completion, with all the Beneficiaries entirely satisfied with the result.

Sometimes someone has been excluded from a Will and either disputes the validity of such Will or submits a claim against the Estate. Sometimes Executors take every opportunity to extend the period of time of their Executorship or take wrong decisions about how to manage the Estate.

Often this is because either they or their Solicitors are not experienced with particular complicated issues that commonly arise.

Rainer Hughes are well experienced in resolving disputes with Estates and have a considerable knowledge of the ACTPAS procedure for identifying issues and resolving them without having to incur the enormous expense of court proceedings.

However, if such a resolution is unachievable then the Rainer Hughes Private Client Team are renowned for adopting a robust approach on behalf of the clients and have a consistent record of success.

Key Experience

Successfully Contested a will on behalf of an individual whose father’s estate involved complex personal and commercial interests

Acted for a high net worth individual in preparing Trusts and Estates to protect the assets of the family.

Obtained an emergency power of attorney for an individual whose life was at risk.

Mediated a dispute in relation to a trust between siblings, negating the needs for court action.

This section of the website outlines pricing and charges for our Wills and Probate Department’s services.

 

Rainer Hughes are supporting the Solicitors Regulatory Authority’s (SRA) drive to improve transparency in legal services by helping people to understand the services available and the costs involved.

 

Should you have any queries in relation to pricing, please do not hesitate to contact us for further information on 01277 226644 or by email : info@rainerhughes.com

 

We will always give you an individual quote at the start of your transaction, which will take into consideration your personal circumstances and any factors which may affect the transaction.

 

This section of our website aims to help you understand the likely costs of using a Solicitor for your Will and Probate Matter.

 

Will(s)

We offer a fixed fee service for all basic Wills :

 

Fee ( excluding VAT )

TOTAL ( including VAT @20% )

Single Basic Will

£ 300.00

£ 360.00

As part of our fixed fee we will :

  1. Initial consultation
  2. Preparation of your draft Will
  3. Any revisions required
  4. Meeting to execute your Will (including suppling a suitable witness)
  5. Copies of your executed Will
  6. Storage of your original Will

Our specialist Will Solicitors are available to see clients at short notice. We offer free home visits to clients who are unable to personally attend our offices due to ill health within a 1-mile radius of the Shenfield office.

If your circumstances are more complicated or you require a home visit outside of the 1-mile radius, we will discuss the matter with you and confirm costs with an actual quotation.

We make no separate charges for the storing or retrieval of original documentation but an administration charge currently of £35.00 plus VAT@20% of £7.00 (Total including VAT: £ 42.00) will be charged for despatching original documentation directly to yourselves or to other Solicitors, once we have had the appropriate document to release the original documentation.

 

Deed of Variation

If a Beneficiary wishes to redirect their entitlement by way of a Deed of Variation, our fees will be :

 

Fee ( excluding VAT )

TOTAL ( including VAT @20% )

Deed of Variation

£ 800.00

£ 960.00

As part of our fixed fee we will :

  1. Initial consultation
  2. Preparation of the draft Deed of Variation
  3. Any revisions required
  4. Meeting to execute the Deed of Variation (including suppling a suitable witness) or posting the Deed of Variation to all relevant parties for signature
  5. Copy(s) of the executed Deed of Variation
  6. Storage of the original Deed of Variation

We make no separate charges for the storing or retrieval of original documentation but an administration charge currently of £35.00 plus VAT@20% of £7.00 will be charged for despatching original documentation directly to yourselves or to other Solicitors, once we have had the appropriate document to release the original documentation.

 

Deed of Trust or Gift

If you wish to provide a deed of trust or gift, our fee will be :

 

Fee ( excluding VAT )

TOTAL ( including VAT @20% )

Deed of Trust or Gift

£ 400.00

£ 480.00

As part of our fixed fee we will :

  1. Initial consultation
  2. Preparation of your draft Deed
  3. Any revisions required
  4. Meeting to execute your Deed (including suppling a suitable witness) or posting the Deed to all relevant parties for signature
  5. Copies of your executed Deed
  6. Storage of your original Deed

If your circumstances are more complicated, we will discuss the matter with you and confirm costs with an actual quote.

We make no separate charges for the storing or retrieval of original documentation but an administration charge currently of £35.00 plus VAT@20% of £7.00 will be charged for despatching original documentation directly to yourselves or to other Solicitors, once we have had the appropriate document to release the original documentation.

 

Lasting Power of Attorney

Our firm can provide both Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney and Health and Welfare Power of Attorney.

We charge the following fixed fees for Power of Attorney

 

Fee ( excluding VAT )

TOTAL ( including VAT @20% )

Single Power of Attorney

£ 600.00

£ 720.00

Two Power of Attorneys

£ 800.00

£ 960.00

 

Disbursements 

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

The following is a summary of likely disbursements that you will incur when dealing with a lasting power of attorney.

 

Government Fees

Single Power of Attorney

£ 82.00

Two Power of Attorneys

£ 164.00

Certified Copy

£ 35.00

The above disbursements do not incur VAT. As part of our fixed fee we will :

  1. Initial consultation
  2. Preparation of your draft Lasting Power of Attorney(s)
  3. Any revisions required
  4. Provide certification and witnesses for the Donor
  5. Posting the Lasting Power of Attorney(s) to the relevant Attorney(s) for signature
  6. Submitting the Lasting Power of Attorney(s) to the Office of the Public Guardian for registration
  7. Notifying persons to be told
  8. Sending the registered Lasting Power of Attorney to the Donor for safe keeping

 

Applying for the Grant of Probate and managing the distribution of assets.

No two Probate cases are the same. They are as individual as the person whose estate is being administered.

 

Grant Only Probate Fees

 

Fee ( excluding VAT )

TOTAL ( including VAT @20% )

A simple estate which uses the IHT205 form based on the value of the estate and assets comprised in the estate (ideal

for a surviving spouse)

£ 1,200.00

£ 1,440.00

An estate which uses the IHT205 and IHT217 (Transferable Nil

Rate Band Claim from a former spouse or civil partner)

£1,600.00

£ 1,920.00

A full Inheritance Tax return is

required using form IHT 400 and accompanying schedules

£2,400.00

£2,880.00

A full Inheritance Tax return is required using form IHT 400 and accompanying schedules and

Inheritance Tax is payable

£3,200.00

£3,840.00

 

 

As part of our fixed fee we will :

  1. Provide an initial consultation - Clients will need to provide us with a full list of the assets and liabilities in the estate. We will require date of death valuations for all assets and a list of all gifts made in excess of £3,000.00 made within the last seven years
  2. Prepare draft IHT documentation
  3. Prepare Executors Legal Statement (or Oath for Letters of Administration – if there is no Will)
  4. Process the application to HMRC and Probate Registry
  5. Provide the Executor(s) or Administrator with the sealed Grant of Probate Please note the following are NOT included in our Grant only service:
  6. Obtaining the date of death valuations
  7. Transferring or selling any land or property
  8. Dealing with Income or Capital Gains Tax matters which occurred before death or during the period of the estate administration
  9. Dealing with assets of a pre-deceased spouse
  10. Administration of a Trust or registration of a Trust with HMRC
  11. Correspondence with beneficiaries of the estate
  12. Locating missing beneficiaries
  13. Foreign assets
  14. Contentious Probate Matters such as disputes between Beneficiaries on the division of assets or claims being made against the estate

We will advise on a more accurate quote once we are aware of your circumstances.

 

Full Estate Administration

We can handle the full process for you. This service will include:

  1. Initial consultation
  2. Obtaining date of death valuations for all assets held within the estate
  3. Obtaining date of death valuations of all liabilities within the estate
  4. Communicating with Personal Representatives, Legatees and Beneficiaries
  5. Prepare draft IHT documentation
  6. Prepare Executors Legal Statement (or Oath for Letters of Administration – if there is no Will)
  7. Process the application to HMRC and Probate Registry
  8. Complete Statutory Notice (if required)
  9. Realise all assets and liabilities within the estate 10.Obtain suitable ID for all beneficiaries
  10. Make interim distributions (if applicable)
  11. Finalising income tax affairs of the deceased for the estate administration period and issuing tax certificates to Beneficiaries (if required).
  12. Submit IHT corrective accounts and obtain an IHT clearance certificate 14.Finalisation and distribution of the estate

Our firm charges for this service based on an hourly rate :

Fee Earner

Charge Per hour*

( Excluding VAT )

TOTAL per hour

( including VAT @ 20% )

Partner

£ 400.00 + VAT

£ 480.00

Associate Solicitor

£ 350.00 + VAT

£ 420.00

Paralegal

£ 165.00 + VAT

£ 198.00

*The rates are subject to review at the end of each calendar year.

As a guide, our fee for a full estate administration ranges from 6 hours of Solicitors time, i.e. £2,100 plus VAT (Total including VAT : £ 2520) for a straightforward estate not consisting of complex assets.

 

Disbursements 

Disbursements are costs related to Probate matters that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Disbursements that are additional to Probate services stated are :

Fee

Fee

Fee with VAT

Probate application Fee

£ 155.00

No VAT

Further copies of documents

£0.50

No VAT

Swearing of the Oath per Executor

£5.00

£2.00 (per Will and Codicil)

No VAT

Land Registry Search

£6.00

No VAT

Asset Search

£155.00

(approximately)

£186.00

(approximately)

Statutory Notice – Protects against unexpected claims from

unknown creditors

£200

(approximately)

£240.00

(approximately)

If there is no Will or the estate consists of share holdings (stocks and bonds) there will be additional costs and this will range depending on the estate. A more accurate quote can be provided once we have received further information.

Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

On average estates are dealt within a 6 – 15 month period. Where Inheritance Tax is payable to HMRC, estates cannot be concluded until a HMRC Clearance Certificate is received. A HMRC Clearance Certificate cannot be applied for until the first twelve months after the date of death.

These are expenses incurred by us in undertaking the work we do for you and are charged in addition to our fees.

 

Advice

General Advice is charged at the below rates :

Fee Earner

Charge Per hour*

( Excluding VAT )

TOTAL per hour

( including VAT @ 20% )

Partner

£ 400.00 + VAT

£ 480.00

Associate Solicitor

£ 350.00 + VAT

£ 420.00

Paralegal

£ 165.00 + VAT

£ 198.00

*The rates are subject to review at the end of each calendar year.

 

Our Probate Team

Our experienced Wills and Probate team is led by Michael Casson, with over 42 years’ experience in this area.

Our team have experience in all aspects of Probate and we dedicate ourselves to ensuring our knowledge stays up to date, in order to give you the best service possible. They have between 5 and 20 years of experience in the area. We always make sure that junior solicitors and members of staff are supported and supervised appropriately so that the quality of advice is not affected, regardless of who is working on your case.

We also employ Paralegals who do much of the day to day work on cases.

Although they are not legally qualified, they have between 4 and 6 years' experience and have received extensive training within our firm and work under the direct supervision of a Solicitor with at least 5 years post qualification experience.

We have a proven track record in achieving successful outcomes for our clients. The team includes:

Michael Casson – Associate Solicitor – 43 years experience of conducting Probate and trust work

Amanda Wright – Paralegal – 7 years experience

Linda Carey – Rushmer – Legal Secretary – 7 years experience

Ellie Gibson – Administrative assistant – 2 years experience

[ all names should link to profiles – except for Lindas, as she does not have a profile]

For further information, please contact us on 01277 – 226644 or email info@rainerhughes.com and we will be happy to assist you.

We look forward to assisting you with your Will and Probate Matter.