probate assistance

We could complete probate for you – often at no cost.

probate administration assistance

As probate administration must be sorted at a time when you could do without it, we have made it really simple for you.

There are several categories for you to consider. Did the person die with a Will, without a Will, was the estate solvent or insolvent and what service you require from us, certificate only or full estate administration?

If there was a Will then you apply for Probate. If not, then you apply for Letters of Administration as the person has died intestate.

Whether you apply for Probate or Letters of Administration they both allow you to do the same things and allow you the same authority to administer the estate.

To keep this simple we will just refer to everything as Probate from now on.

The probate administration process makes it possible for the sale or transfer of anything owned by the deceased including property, so the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries.

This can involve notifying and communicating with many different organisations like banks, insurance companies, estate agents, lenders and so on, with the aim of finally arriving at an estate value in order to calculate taxation and any inheritance which may be due.

Executor’s duties can be extensive.

The normal duties involved in probate are:

  • Register the death (get extra copies of the certificate).
  • Find out if there’s a will.
  • Check what the estate is comprised of and review all the assets and the presented liabilities, (SPEAR’s referral solicitor can advise you on how to identify potential liabilities). If it turns out that this is a minor estate with net figure under £5k (no fees apply).
  • Apply for Grant of Representation
  • Apply for a Grant of Probate or letters of administration
  • Place an advert in the London Gazette (strict time limit applies.)
  • Sort out any liabilities (SPEAR’s referral solicitor to verify the alleged liabilities and put on notice time line, verifying documents, legal action application to the court Part 8 seeking declaration).
  • Sort out the assets, cash, property, businesses, any collections and so on and liquidate whatever can be converted readily into cash.
  • Establish and record all liabilities, credit cards, loans, maybe even bailiffs, confirm these debts are good and true and settle them.
  • Sort out inheritance tax liability.
  • Complete the numerous IHT forms following the advice from the 32 page or 90-page notes issued by HMRC on how to fill out the IHT forms.
  • Sort out the distribution to the beneficiaries.

Save time. Avoid expensive mistakes

Whether you are an Executor or an Administrator of an Estate, you will have a significant amount of responsibilities to deal with during the Probate process, which could take up to a year to complete. You will also be personally responsible for any mistakes made.

If we do end up having a chat on the phone we could discuss the fact that nearly every single person in the UK that hasn’t gone through Spear Legal to complete probate has actually done it wrong and could be liable for paying out monies to creditors who are not entitled to it.

Our estate liability reduction service fits in during this period and focuses on the liability side. For more details click here.

An executor is also expected to keep records, complete legal forms and abide by the intentions of the deceased or the intestate rules.

You could do all of the above and more yourself at a time when you could do without it, or you could do what most people do which is to allow us to do it alongside you or instead of you making sure there are no expensive mistakes and and estate liabilities are minimised.

Choose from various probate administration options below

Certificate only service

We offer both probate and estate administration services. Our probate service is as far as we are concerned unbeatable in the UK. It’s a very cost-effective option if the estate is fairly simple. This is the most straight forward service we provide and is literally to acquire the Certificate of Probate or the Letters of Administration

These are the official documents the Probate Registry issues when someone dies. Gaining access to these certificates can be a complex process involving the Inland Revenue and the UK Probate Court. Most people find it useful to have expert advice to carry this out.  These allow you now to administer the estate by yourself.

Our fixed fee of £550 plus VAT and Disbursements only changes if for example, there are assets overseas worth more than £100,000 or the total estate is valued at over £650,000 or gifts worth more than £150,000 were given in the last 7 years.

Estate administration

If things are a little more complicated and you just want things sorted as quickly as possible, our full estate administration service may be a better choice for you. Below is the list of work we carry out in a typical estate administration.

  • Working out tax
  • Dedicated probate specialist
  • Preparing probate and tax forms
  • Verify the legitimacy of liabilities writing off any that are not. 
  • Submitting the application
  • Posting you the grant of probate
  • Tracking down paperwork
  • Speaking to banks
  • Property valuation
  • Dealing with stocks and shares
  • Contacting pension providers
  • Closing bank accounts
  • Claiming on life insurance policy
  • Selling or transferring the house
  • Gathering assets in one place
  • Paying taxes
  • Distributing funds to beneficiaries

Because of the service we carry out 95% of the people we speak to wish us to do the full estate administration. To find out more click here.

Insolvent estate administration

If an estate has more liabilities or debts than assets and cannot fulfil it’s duties to pay the liabilities, then the estate is considered insolvent. The estate still has to be administered correctly and responsibly. This means all assets, as minor as they may be, must be established and documented. The same process must happen for liabilities or debts.

There may be a vast amount more liabilities than assets, or no assets, the estate must still complete probate. Most executors or administrators just fail at this point as there are no benefits to them and there is no incentive to complete the process correctly, potentially leaving them liable for the debts.

Every single creditor or liability must be sorted individually and signed off. This is also at a time when you could probably do without the hassle for obvious reasons. You are not liable for any shortfall the estate has, but if you are the executor or administrator and you sign off the probate incorrectly then yes, you are liable for any debt a creditor pursues.

We have seen many people that have signed off on an insolvent estate and been personally liable for a debt that wasn’t dealt with correctly.

Fortunately, our focus is completing Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration on insolvent estates.

In a five minute phone call we can let you know how to do this yourself if you wish or we could complete this on your behalf and all work is carried out by a licenced Insolvency Practitioner, experienced in all matters of debt.

In a lot of cases it will not cost you, or the estate, any money for us to complete the service on your behalf.

Yes you did read that right, if we take you on as a client there is a big chance it will not cost you a penny and we will complete the process of acquiring Probate or the Grant of Letters of Administration for you.

Competitive fees

Our probate service fees are very competitive before you include the potentially huge contribution to this fee from our Reduction Service. We start from as little as £550 plus VAT and Disbursements for the simple probate certificate only, and this includes the Government Probate Registration Fee.

For full estate administration we charge 1.5% of the total estate. In reality, in most cases our probate service doesn’t actually cost anything even if you allow us to do the full estate administration. 

As part of our probate service we provide a completely unique service of reducing the liabilities of the estate. Click here to find out more.

So, for example, let’s say our probate fee is £2640 for a full estate probate service including estate administration. The estate has £9500 of liabilities or debts. Let’s say our reduction service department reduce these liabilities to £5500, writing off £4000, the estate is £3040 better off after our fees for the reduction.

If we take this £3040 and minus the £2640 fee for probate, you can see that not only have Spear completed a professional probate service that hasn’t cost you a penny, Spear has actually paid you £400 for allowing us to do the probate service for you.

We believe we are the only company in the UK that provides this specialised service.

The completed grant of probate will be signed, sealed and delivered to your door.

Allow us to help you get this right by calling 0330 8080 453 or contact us.

Time frames

It is difficult to give a precise estimate of the length of time any of our processes take. In a straightforward case it is possible to get the permission form the Probate Registry between six and eight weeks after the application. The next stages can often take much longer and depend on the complexity of the estate.

If the estate includes property to locate and sell, or shares and financial investments to value, it may take longer than an estate which simply consists of cash in a bank account.