Derby Wills & Probate

Derby probate solicitors McIntosh Fleming & Co charge a fixed fee for getting probate unlike most other solicitors or banks (who charge either by the hour or up to 2 % of the value of the estate). We charge just £725 inclusive of VAT for an estate valued up to £300,000. We consider charging a fixed fee is the fair way as you know what it costs from the outset and a fixed fee is usually cheaper. Solicitors charging an hourly rate will always find “unexpected work” necessary whatever the original estimate. Charging a percentage of the estate is completely arbitrary as the size of the estate does not necessarily mean there is more work to do. So if you want great value at a guaranteed price what are you waiting for – call us now free on (0800) 1712215 or e-mail us at gary@derby-solicitors.co.

What is Probate ?
When someone dies their property and assets are still in the name of the deceased but obviously at some point need to be disposed of whether by being put into the name of a beneficiary or sold. Probate simply means the legal steps to take formal control of any assets or property owned in the sole name of the deceased so that they can be sold or distributed according to the will or if there is no will then the rules of intestacy.The person who seeks probate is usually either the “executor” named in the will or if there is no will a person appointed by the court as the “administrator”.The main beneficiaries are usually also the executors or administrators. So a probate solicitor is appointed by the executors or administrators.

Why do I need a Probate Solicitor?
In most cases probate will be needed but note:
1. You only need probate if there is property passing under the will or rules of intestacy. For example if a house is owned jointly with a spouse, on death the surviving spouse automatically is granted ownership of the deceased share by operation of what is known as the right of survivor-ship. So there is no need to go to probate.
2. Probate is only necessary if the estate is worth more than £15,000.00 . If not, bank and building accounts can be accessed by beneficiaries using their documentation and there is no need for you to waste any fees on a probate solicitor.Given the increase in standards of living since the war however most estates will be over this limit.
3. Even if there is no will you may still need to go to probate. As explained above if a person dies leaving no will, they are described in legal terms as “Intestate”. Generally, with intestacy there is no difference to the requirement for probate i.e. if the estate is over £15k, since somebody will still need to have legal power to deal with the estate. The term given to those dealing with the estate administration with intestacy is administrators rather than executors, who administer an estate when there is a will.
4. The executors and administrators are personally liable if they are negligent in relation to beneficiaries.

How long does it take a Probate Solicitor to get probate?
It is not legally permissible to apply for probate until 1 month after the death. Some straightforward estates can be distributed within 2-3 months of probate being granted, others can take much longer if a property sale is required before distribution or the deceased owned shares.

What does a probate solicitor do?
Probate involves but is not limited to:
(i) Informing family and beneficiaries of  your role as executor/administrator
(ii) Consider whether the will (if there is one ) allows you to obtain legal advice to assist you
(iii) Obtain copy of will
(iv) Liaise with family members about  registering the death and dealing with funeral arrangements.
(v)Start inventory of assets and liabilities.
(vi)Advise Local Authority, utility providers, pension providers, insurers of the death
(vii) Gather together vital paperwork, address book of deceased, death certificate and certified copies, cheque books, bank statements, paying in books, credit card details, building society books, mortgage details, life insurance policies, shares, bonds, pension information, household bills, tax records.
(viii) Complete a tax return if needed.
(ix) Begin to assess any inheritance tax issues.
(x) Pay off any outstanding debts.
(xi) If you believe there may be classes of unnamed beneficiaries or you cannot locate named beneficiaries or any creditors then advertise in local and/ornational papers.
(xii) Distribute the assets in accordance with the will.

Contact us by e-mailing gary@derby-solicitors.co  or ring us on 01332 518135 .