150 Years Experience
Freeman Johnson has more than 150 years experience in helping people handle their wills and probate matters. By taking care of your interests now, you can guarantee that your loved ones will not have to experience the added pain of being disinherited or receiving no financial support.
Fortunately, this firm is filled with experienced wills and probate solicitors who can offer expert guidance and assistance across wills, trusts and estates. Freeman Johnson can assist with the following in North East England:
- Wills and estate planning
- Probate & administration of estates
- Advance directives
- Lasting powers of attorney and Court of Protection
- Inheritance tax planning
The death of a loved one is an extremely distressing and confusing time that also brings up an array of important duties and decisions. In such instances, you can turn to Freeman Johnson for will and probate solicitors to help you deal with the deceased’s estate and financial matters.
Your estate solicitor can take responsibility for informing all necessary companies and providers that your loved one has passed away. They will quickly provide you with an accurate breakdown of the assets and liabilities for the estate. Papers will then be drafted to apply for probate to gather the assets, discharge the liabilities and pay any legacies to beneficiaries.
Freeman Johnson can also deal with estates when a person has not left a valid will and has died intestate. The process is similar to the one listed above, but our will and probate solicitors can also seek out the unknown family of deceased loved ones and ultimately resolve the situation.
Lasting powers of attorney
Freeman Johnson can also assist in the planning of lasting powers of attorney to ensure that your financial and property decisions are taken care of. These documents can be drawn up for use at a later date, but you can also request assistance for immediate registration with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Please request a home visit from a power of attorney solicitor if you are unable to come to our offices. Call today on 01325 466221 to book your appointment.
Costs Probate Uncontested
Obtaining a Grant of Representation and dealing with an administration of an estate can be complicated; it can take several months, and in complex cases can take over a year to ensure everything is done properly. At Freeman Johnson we offer a complete estate administration service to deal with everything for you. Every estate is different, and so it can be very hard to quantify probate costs. The work can vary from very straightforward estates with only one or two small value assets and one beneficiary, to complicated estates where there is inheritance tax to pay, multiple beneficiaries and assets held with numerous organisations as well as property and land to sell or transfer.
Our usual fee when we are asked to obtain a Grant of Probate only and when no full Inheritance Tax Return requires to be completed and submitted to HMRC, and all financial information is supplied by the Executor is in the region of £450.00 plus vat. An application for Probate where a full Inheritance Tax Return is required to be submitted to HMRC is in the region of £800.00 to £1,000.00 plus vat. Please note these figures are for obtaining a Grant of Probate only and do not include the administration of the estate.
Disbursements which are payable on an application for Probate (ie costs payable to third party) Probate fee £155.00 and office copies of the Grant of Probate £0.50 per copy.
This cost information is a general indication of costs based on our experience. On a straight forward estate fees are based on our hourly rate plus vat.
Partner Helen Thompson £225.00 per hour plus vat.
Solicitor with more than four years experience Jane Taylor £188.00 plus vat.
Solicitor with less than four years experience Sarah Hall £188.00 plus vat.
We estimate our costs for a straightforward estate where there is no inheritance to pay, no shares to be sold or transferred, no creditors to pay, no trust to be established and no dispute will take no more than 16 hours work.
This is based on an estate in which there are no more than three bank accounts; no more than one property in the sole name of the deceased; no debts; no likelihood of the estate being insolvent; no significant lifetime gifts; no shareholdings; no dispute between the beneficiaries on the division of the assets; no inheritance tax payable and the Executors do not need to submit a full IHT return to HMRC; nor is there need to use the transferable nil rate band or residence nil rate band; no other intangible assets; no claims made against the estate; no agricultural or business element to the estate; no foreign element to the estate.
Where the assets in an estate are likely to be of a high value or the estate is more complex then we may add a value uplift based on no more than 1% of the liquid assets in the estate plus vat and 0.5% of the value of the property in the estate plus vat.
The disbursements will include the Probate fee, office copy fees, bankruptcy search fee £1 per beneficiary, Section 27 Trustee Act notice fee (this protects the Trustees against creditors) so estimated in the region of £300.00 to £400.00. Land Registry fees £30.00 to £400 depending on the value of the property and whether it has been registered before. Higher valued unregistered property can cost up to £680 and over £1M even more. Land Registry search fees £3.00 plus vat, copy Death Certificate and any other Certificates required £10.00 each Certificate.
The following factors are also likely to increase the cost of your matter:-
Not having all of the paperwork available or having incorrect information that needs investigation and correction.
Third parties not corresponding to our communications promptly.
Dealing with unusual or complex assets or items.
We would be able to give you details of our costs estimate once we have all the information available regarding the estate.
Contact the wills & probate team
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any wills and probate questions. You can read staff profiles on all of our wills and probate solicitors below:
Please contact us at any one of our four UK offices here.