Executors appointed under a valid Will are responsible on the death of the testator for ensuring that the terms of the Will are followed in all respects. Statutory rules set out what must be done in the event that there is no Will. The family may wish to alter the effect of the Will, or of the statutory rules.
The Executors’ duties are to deal with the deceased’s assets (bank accounts, shares and life policies for example) and debts which have to be settled. The Executors must also arrange for the Revenue to be informed of the value of the estate and must pay any assessed Inheritance Tax due on the estate.
We can assist the appointed Executors with the burden of the paper work, we accept appointments as Executors and thereby take on the responsibility. In either role, we are alive to the needs of the recently bereaved and the, sometimes competing, interests of the beneficiaries.
We advise on variations of a Will after death, and post-death tax or estate planning, which may save tax or distribute assets to better effect. In the first instance, please ask for Ann Astbury, Ian Wessels, John Glass or Scott Walker for an interview or advice.
FIXED FEES FOR PROBATE
Tassells now undertakes probate work for a fixed fee. The advantage of this is, that our clients will understand from the outset what the legal fees will be, whilst the traditional method based on recorded time was never entirely predictable.
How does it work?
When instructed in a probate matter, whether or not the deceased has left a will, we will carry out all the usual work for a fixed fee of 2% of the value of the estate, subject to a minimum of £1,000*. This means finding out about the asets, preparing an Inheritance Tax account, if one is needed, obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, collecting in payments from various places, paying off any debts and making distributions to the beneficiaries. In other words, the full professional service that we have always offered our clients.
Are we competitive?
We believe so. Some banks offer fixed fees, but these are usually in the range of 3-3.5% of the value of the estate. When making comparison, you should also bear in mind that the work we do is carried out by fully qualified legal staff with specialist training and expertise, unlike some of our competitors.
Is there any small print?
Yes. We aim to be completely transparent about our terms of business, and in this context the fixed fee covers all the work we would ususally expect to do in connection with a probate matter. Sometimes, however, there are complications. For example, it could be discovered that the deceased had asssets overseas, or a disappointed relative wants to challenge their entitlement (or lack of it). If something like this arises, we can probably deal with it on your behalf, but we would charge additional fees, which would be fully explained to you at the time.
There are some expenses incurred in almost every probate matter. these will apply whoever carries out the work, and we will itemise these for you as soon as we know what they wil be.
*We would charge, as part of our fixed fee, fees of £7 per name, where we need to carry out identity certification checks on beneficiaries, and £30 on any occasion when we send a payment by telegraphic transfer.