Probate and Estate Management
Easterbrook Eaton Ltd can assist in all stages of Probate and Estate Management. We appreciate how difficult it can be when somebody passes away, and we aim to provide a professional and caring service to ease the burden of the probate and estate process.
Whilst we can deal with the whole process of Probate and Estate administration, we can also assist in specific areas, or do as little or as much as you wish in a tailored service.
We offer a range of fees, including fixed fees, and will provide a quote to you upon engagement if you so wish. We will also keep you up to date throughout on our fees and the process itself, in what can be a long process.
Our fees vary according to the service provided. For a simple estate, for say a deceased leaving their half share in a family home to a surviving spouse, with one or two bank accounts in joint names, where we are not administering the estate and merely assisting with the probate and inheritance tax forms, the fees could be as low as £1,000 plus VAT. Where there are multiple accounts, or multiple assets, business interest, multiple land and property transactions, or where we are asked to call in amounts and administer an estate account for the executors, the fee could be substantially more. For this reason, if an estate is complicated we will charge on a time costing basis, with hourly rates dependent on the staff involved and their level of experience and expertise, with the Director’s fees currently at a rate of £190+ VAT per hour (subject to annual change and confirmation of these amounts will be available upon engagement). The reason for this is that there might be some variance in how many hours are required to complete this assignment, for example agreeing valuations with HM Revenue and Customs, and therefore our fees on an hourly basis in this example would be reflective of the actual time involved. We will be able to provide an estimate at commencement in these circumstances to offer a guide on our likely fees for a complicated estate. Where our fees are likely to exceed an estimate, we will offer interim invoices and advance warning so that you are aware of the situation. We do not charge a round percentage of estate values as that is not reflective of the work involved. Price transparency is something that we want to reassure our clients with at all times.
The timescale of the Probate application can vary. Typically, we would seek to have the assets and liabilities of the deceased identified and valued within 4 to 10 weeks of appointment, although this will vary depending on the complexity of the estate. We would then typically have applications for probate drafted within two to three weeks for submission. Once the forms have been sent, the wait for processing by the Probate office and HM Revenue and Customs will depend upon their current workload, but typically will be around 10 to 16 weeks. This delay will obviously be beyond our control but we will keep you informed of progress at all stages through the engagement.
There are also disbursements that you will need to pay. Typically these are probate application fees of £273 and copies of the Probate forms at £1 each. We would usually advise clients to put a statutory notice in the newspapers for claims against the estate, which vary in price but are typically £200 plus VAT each for the London Gazette and the relevant local paper (Sidmouth Herald etc.).
We are Licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales.
Details of our probate accreditation can be viewed at www.icaew.com/probate under reference number C001002600.
Probate regulations can be accessed at www.icaew.com/regulations.
Download our probate factsheet
Diversity Policy and Results
As part of our regulation with the ICAEW we conduct a bi-annual diversity questionnaire, the latest being run at the end of March 2023.
The results of our 2023 survey are very similar to those of 2021 which reflect a stable workforce and low staff turnover. We have encouraged applicants from all backgrounds to recent recruitments and have a broad range of ages working in the office. The results generally reflect and mirror the demographic profile of this area of East Devon. Nonetheless we are committed to promote a workplace based on equality and diversity, for staff at all levels and roles in the firm, and we take this ethos into all dealings with clients and other professionals in our business.
Full results can be found here:
Website Diversity Questionnaire Results