Probate is the process through which the surviving spouse and/or family members go through in order to distribute the estate of the departed individual. It is a complex process that includes several stages related to valuation, settling any existing debts and, finally, distributing the remaining assets to the family. The process is simplified when a will is in place, however, in all cases, it is advisable to work with a probate lawyer in London, for example, one of our experienced team members.
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Should I use a solicitor for probate?
While working with a probate solicitor is not mandatory, it can be tremendously helpful during the process, especially if you are in a situation in which the estate is complicated, for example, when the terms of the will are not clear, or you foresee that you will encounter issues with other family members.
Our probate solicitors in London have extensive experience and are able to assist you during this procedure. Our team will assist you during all the usual stages, starting with obtaining probate by applying for a Grant of Probate from the court.
We can handle all types of estate cases and our contentious probate solicitors in London are ready to assist in all types of probate disputes.
How much does probate cost in England?
The first step is to determine if you need to pay inheritance tax at all, according to the rules set forth by the HM Revenue & Customs. If you do need to pay the applicable fees, and you choose to work with a probate lawyer in London, then one of our solicitors will handle the application in your name.
The probate application fees are separate from the inheritance tax rates. Some of the fees are the following:
- £215 the probate application fee when the value of the estate is £5,000 or more;
- £0/no fee when the value of the estate is under £5,000;
- £1.50 for each extra copy of the probate (this may be useful if you need to send the documents to different agencies/organisations at the same time).
Understanding how inheritance tax applies, and when or if you can benefit from relief and exemption, is an important step and our probate solicitors in London can assist you. In general, the following rules apply:
- Standard tax: the standard inheritance tax value is 40%, however, it is not charged on the entire estate;
- There is no inheritance tax: if the value of the estate is below £325,000 or the individual chooses to leave anything above this value to the spouse, civil partner, charity or community amateur sports club;
- The threshold can be increased: when the individual chooses to give away his home to his children or grandchildren, the threshold value can increase to £500,000;
- The partner’s threshold: if unmarried and in a civil partnership, the deceased individual’s estate worth less than the threshold can be added to the partner’s threshold upon one’s death; this, the partner’s threshold can be as much as £1 million.
In addition to these taxes, you should also take into consideration the fees when working with a team of contentious probate solicitors in London. Our team can provide you with complete information about our fees and services upon request. It is common for probate attorneys to use a per hour fee when helping with estate administration.
Please keep in mind that these fees may be subject to change, should the current tax policies be updated. Our probate solicitors in London will always provide you with updated information upon request.
When should you contact us?
You can reach out to our probate specialists as soon as you are considering handling the distribution of the estate. We know that succession can be complex in some cases and personal wealth planning is an issue that can take careful consideration. Moreover, the tax implications are also important, especially in those cases in which the estate is of significant value.
Our probate lawyer in London is able to help you deal with the succession issues while you take the needed time to process the departure of a loved one. Disputing an estate is often the last issue one would wish to handle in the wake of a personal loss, however, it is not uncommon and there are situations in which the parties that may be entitled to inheritance do not receive fair treatment or portions of the assets.
When estate disputes require special legal assistance, our contentious probate solicitors in London can help you ensure that only the entitled parties benefit from the estate and that you can preserve your wealth. Moreover, we will help you avoid unnecessary tax as well as properly calculate the value of the inheritance tax that is to be paid.
Contact our probate solicitors in London for more information on how we can help you.