Vista Partners was one of the first accountancy practices to become accredited to offer probate services.
Dealing with probate can be a complex process, coming at a difficult and sensitive time for families and loved ones. We can help make the process as stress free as possible and are happy to take on all of the work needed or just a part of it. It is completely up to you. We will tailor our service to your requirements.
We offer a free initial consultation to discuss the process of obtaining probate and to gain a full understanding of how we can help.
There are a number of processes involved in managing probate:
- The tax affairs of the deceased will need to be agreed with HMRC both up to the date of death, and for the period over which the estate is being administered. Inheritance tax returns will require completion, reliefs claimed and any tax calculated.
- An application will be made for Grant of Probate which involves listing all of the deceased’s assets and liabilities, often valuing shares and investments;
- Arranging for assets to be sold, all income due to the deceased to be received and for debts and liabilities to be paid;
- Identifying where potential tax savings can be made through a Deed of Variation;
- Calculating what beneficiaries are entitled to and ensuring those distributions are made;
- Accounting for all of the sums paid into the estate, the payment of tax, expenses and liabilities, legacies paid and distributions to residuary beneficiaries.
These vary depending on the size of the estate. It will take longer where land and property or private company shares are involved as professional valuations are needed. Nevertheless, as a rule of thumb, simple cases can be resolved within 2 to 3 months; complex cases will take significantly longer.
Please note that if there are any HMRC tax enquires on the estate, this can delay the administration of the estate beyond our control.
Every estate is different and because of this we estimate fees in advance based on the complexity of the estate and how long we think the process will take. We then select a team that has the experience and expertise needed to undertake the work.
We never base our charges on a percentage of the value of an estate.
None of us like surprises when it comes to fees. We will agree our charges with you before we start work. If something unexpected happens (such as a tax enquiry) we will let you know and agree the basis of further fees before doing the work.
In order to give you a rough idea of our likely fees we have put together a couple of case studies.
A widow dies passing her estate to her two children in equal proportions.
The estate comprises:
|Cash at bank
We would need to:
- Prepare an income tax return and agree the deceased’s tax liabilities up to the date of death;
- Apply for probate;
- Prepare Inheritance tax forms and agree the tax liability with HMRC;
- Gather in the assets and pay the creditors including HMRC;
- Prepare simple estate accounts and tax returns during the period of administration;
- Distribute the estate to the beneficiaries.
Our fee for attending to all of this work would be £6,000 including VAT.
A widower dies leaving half his estate to his four adult children and half in trust for his 10 grandchildren, contingent upon them each attaining age 25.
The estate comprises:
|Private company shares
|Cash at bank
In addition to the work required in the simple case, some important tax issues would need to be considered. Business Property Relief might be available in relation to some or all of the private company shares which can result in substantial savings in tax. It may also be possible for some of the tax to be paid by instalments. This can enable families to retain assets that would otherwise need to be sold to pay IHT.
Our fee for attending to all of this work would be £16,800 including VAT.
When we administer an estate, we normally incur small disbursements which we pass on to the estate in addition to our fees. These comprise a probate application fee (£273), newspaper notification to protect against claims from unknown creditors (£300) and £1.50 for each copy of a grant of probate.
These are as follows, excluding VAT:
All work is carefully planned so that those with lower charge rates do much of the labour-intensive work under close supervision.
Vista Partners Limited is licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales.
Vista Partners Limited holds professional indemnity insurance.
Details of our probate accreditation can be viewed at icaew.com/probate under reference number C002788597.