Wills & Probate

 

Probate

Nottingham probate solicitors McIntosh Fleming & Co charge a fixed fee for getting probate unlike most other solicitors or banks (who charge either by the hour or up to 2 % of the value of the estate). We charge just £725 inclusive of VAT for an estate valued up to £300,000. We consider charging a fixed fee is the fair way as you know what it costs from the outset and a fixed fee is usually cheaper. Solicitors charging an hourly rate will always find “unexpected work” necessary whatever the original estimate. Charging a percentage of the estate is completely arbitrary as the size of the estate does not necessarily mean there is more work to do. So if you want great value at a guaranteed price what are you waiting for – call us now free on (0800) 1712215 or e-mail us at gary@nottingham-solicitors.net.

Is  probate necessary?

Even if someone is due to inherit some item of value or land, whether under the terms of a will or the rules of intestacy, unless and until the heir applies for the formal right to dispose or deal with the property, the deceased remains the recognised legal owner. This presents an obstacle to the heir of the inherited assets as he or she cannot sell, mortgage or enjoy them as their own until he or she can prove to the world that they have the lawful authority to do so. The way in which the right to lawfully deal with the inherited assets is formally proved is by obtaining an official sealed document called a “grant of probate”. The procedure to obtain this documentary proof and the subsequent disposal of the estate is called probate. The party applying for probate is the “executor” specified in the will (or in intestacy the administrator selected by the court).The chief recipients of the deceased’s property are commonly also the executors or administrators. So a probate lawyer is chosen by the executors or administrators.

Do I always need a probate solicitor?

It is not always necessary to formally prove the right to deal with the deceased’s assets. Probate is not needed:

(i)  Where legal ownership of the property or assets was joint. Here title does not pass under the will or rules of intestacy but simply by the joint owner out living the deceased. Title here automatically goes into the sole name of the survivor without the need to go through the formalities of applying for probate. So if you have say land or building society account in joint names you do not need to go to probate.

(ii) If the deceased left less than £15,000.00 there is no need to seek probate merely to withdraw this from the deceased’s bank and building accounts. This is the case with intestacy not just where there was a will.

 How quickly can you obtain Probate?

You must wait 1 month from the date of death before you can apply. In low value estates probate may only take a couple of months or so. Higher value estates or estates where there are entangled business affairs or complex investments to unwind may take a lot longer. Of course it depends on how quickly your solicitor can complete the necessary work. What you probably are unaware of is that most other Nottingham probate solicitors charge by the hour and have minimum targets to meet each day for the amount of chargeable work they record. Indeed their chances of promotion often depend on recording as many chargeable hours as they can against each estate every week. The point is that if you instruct Nottingham probate solicitors who work this way then this could delay completing the work. McIntosh Fleming believe this is not fair on the beneficiaries and the estate which is why we simply charge a fixed fee. There is no reason for us to spin out the work and indeed every incentive to complete the work as quickly as possible. The beneficiaries not only get their inheritance sorted out faster but will find that the estate has not been reduced in size by large probate bills. We believe that due to the way we work you cannot get faster or better Nottingham probate solicitors.

What is the job of the probate lawyer?

(i) Put in plain English to the relatives what the  executor/administrator does
(2) Ascertain whether the will (if there is one ) authorises you to obtain legal advice to help you
(3) Get a duplicate of the will
(4) Assist the relatives register the death and make the funeral arrangements.
(5) Obtain details of all assets and debts of the deceased
(6) Advise death to local authority , utility companies , pension company, & insurers
(7) Locate relevant documents including bank and building society books & statements; credit card details; mortgage, pension & insurance information; investment documents ;utility bills; tax records; obtain death certificate and certified copies.
(8) File tax assessment.
(9) Take account of any possible inheritance tax on the estate.
(10) Pay any debts.
(11) Advertise in local and/or national papers if cannot locate beneficiaries or believe classes of beneficiary may be relevant..
(12) Deal out  the deceased’s property as per the will or rules of intestacy.

Contact us by e-mailing gary@nottingham-solicitors.net. or ring us on 0800 1712215 .