Probate Solicitors in Stockport and Cheshire
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Whilst grieving a loved one, having the responsibility of sorting out their estate can be extremely overwhelming. This is completely normal, but our friendly team are here to help guide you through probate matters in a sensitive but efficient way, so that you can focus on what really matters.
At Mounteney Solicitors, we offer simple and clear explanations, however complex the situation. We understand that your estates can be large, with assets abroad, properties to sort out and beneficiaries in different countries: that’s why we are here to alleviate the pressure on you and your family through providing unsurpassed advice.
We offer fixed fees, so you always know where you stand and there will be no surprises, so contact us if you need help with a probate related matter with our offices in the Stockport area
What is Probate?
Probate is used to describe the process of dealing with the property, money and assets of a person who has died. It involves proving that a will is valid and then confirming that you have the authority to deal with that person’s estate. This will give you a grant of probate, which is a legal document that allows the executors to begin dealing with the deceased person’s estate in terms of how this will be distributed if there is a will.
We understand that this may be a difficult and daunting time for you, but we are here to support you in every step along the way.
What Happens if Someone Dies Without a Will?
If your loved one passes away without a will, do not worry. Our team are specialised in dealing with these cases to ensure they can be sorted. Instead of applying for probate, you will apply for letters of administration. This is usually made by the person closest to the relative, such as a husband or wife followed by any children over the age of 18. We can provide in-depth advice around this application process.
The Probate Process
Whilst the probate process is complicated, we will ensure that we take on most of the responsibility to help the process run smoothly.
There are 5 main phases, as outlined below:
- Phase 1 involves identifying all of the deceased assets, such as property and investments, as well as their debts. This will determine how much the estate is worth.
- Phase 2 includes paying inheritance tax to HMRC, and we will do our best to keep this to a minimum. The application for a grant of probate will then be made.
- Phase 3 occurs once the grant of probate has been issued, and involves selling the deceased’s assets, settling their debts, paying any estate administration fees, and paying any remaining income or capital gains tax to HMRC.
- Phase 4 involves preparing estate accounts for payments to beneficiaries and sending these to the executor for approval.
- Phase 5 is the final stage and is when the assets are transferred to beneficiaries provided there are no challenges to the will, however if there are challenges do not worry. Our team are experienced in resolving these so that the matter can be settled in a timely manner.
How Long Does Probate Take?
We understand that you want this process to be dealt with as fast as is possible, and that’s why our team will work hard to act swiftly through the phases. Submission of the application can be completed within a day, or faster if necessary and gaining the grant of probate will usually take around a month. The whole process on average takes between 6-12 months depending on individual circumstances.
How our Probate Services can Help You
We have a dedicated team who are highly experienced in dealing with estates of different degrees of complexity. We have experience ranging from smaller estates to more complex matters involving foreign, business and agricultural assets.
We understand that this is a challenging time, and our aim is to lift the weight off your shoulders through providing high quality advice given by our friendly and approachable legal advisors.
We will approach your matter with delicacy at all times, with our full solution which offers:
- Advice on the probate process throughout.
- Applications to a grant of probate (if there is a will) or letters of administration (if there is no will).
- Calculations of inheritance tax and liaising with HMRC to file the tax return and deal with any issues surrounding tax.
- Management of the deceased’s finances including selling property and settling debts.
- Distribution of the estate between the beneficiaries of the will or in the case of no will, under the rules of intestacy.
We are here for you, and we will explain things in a clear and concise manner to make best use of your time. We appreciate the difficult situation and aim to make the process as easy as possible.
We understand that costs can be high which is why we keep them to a minimum. Our fees are cheaper than others locally with our charges being proportionate to the value that we provide to you. We want to make this as affordable as possible for you so you can get the most out of our service. Our aim is to be up front with any legal costs, which is why our fees are fixed, starting from £840. Some customers may also be able to reclaim the VAT charged.
Different costing bands are as follows:
- To extract probate for ‘excepted estates’, i.e. lower value estates valued under the Inheritance Tax threshold, or over that limit with spousal exemption, including submitting the relevant tax form (but without any estate administration) we charge £700 + VAT = £840 plus the Government grant fee for Solicitor extractions (currently £277.50).
- To extract probate for estates valued over the Inheritance Tax threshold, including submitting the relevant tax form (but without any estate administration) we charge £1,500+ VAT = £1,800 plus the Government grant fee for Solicitor extractions (currently £277.50).
- Where we administer the probate itself, our fee for obtaining the Grant of Probate, completion of the appropriate tax forms and administration of the estate is generally 1% of the estate (net, plus VAT) plus the applicable Government grant fee (see above). Our fee may vary depending on the assets held within the estate.
Get in Touch
Having been established for 18 years, our specialists are on hand to help with any probate-related queries you may have through providing our services from our offices in Stockport. You can count on us to deliver you the best service to ensure that your family is treated with respect throughout the process under such difficult circumstances. Don’t hesitate to get in contact today to begin the probate process for polite, unsurpassed and valuable advice. every step along the way.