Why choose us for Probate work…
(At the moment this service is restricted to existing clients and their families)
To build upon our vast experience in Inheritance Tax Planning we are now authorised to offer probate services to our clients. Directors Sara Crowther and Jonathan Crowther will be happy to take care of your Probate and Estate administration work.
We understand how difficult it can be to handle someone’s legal and financial affairs, particularly at a time when you’re likely to be coming to terms with the death of someone close. But don’t worry, we’re here to help, providing as much or as little support as you need to get things done.
Crowthers Accountants limited are 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.
We are one of only a few qualified accountancy firms in the country who are licensed to carry out probate work. This, combined with our expertise in all areas of accounts, tax and estate administration, means you can have total confidence in us handling the whole process for you.
What services we offer…
Throughout this process we are always sensitive to the Executors and family needs and emotions.
As accountancy and tax specialists we’re used to gathering and calculating financial and tax related information. In doing so, we can reduce the amount of time it takes to compile the necessary information. By speeding up the process we can help you to keep the costs down, leaving more for the beneficiaries – Quicker process = reduced costs.
It typically takes between 6 and 12 months to obtain a grant of probate, with the timescales being effected by matters such as:
- Collating all the relevant information about the estate from yourselves which can be more challenging if the deceased did not keep detailed records of their assets;
- Ensuring that all executors are happy to carry out their responsibilities (as if they wish to renounce this can add time to the process) and have adequate time available to do so;
- Identifying and communicating with the beneficiaries of the estate;
- Liaising with other external advisers, such as valuers, estate agents, accountants and financial advisers;
- Where the estate includes land and property, this tends to increase the timescales for the process;
- If there are overseas assets these can also extend the timescales;
- Where the estate does not require an inheritance return to be submitted, the process will be much quicker as HM Revenue and Customs may take up to 12 weeks to review the return; and
- Processing times by the Courts and Tribuals Service Centre which are often in excess of 30 days – we will complete the application for a grant of probate using MyHMCTS service wherever possible (there are some cases where this service cannot be used).
We will carry out our work in a timely manner, once all of the documentation from you and third parties is available. We will liaise with you to give you an indication of likely timescales of the service and any likely affecting factors.
Where we believe that the probate is contentious or will potentially become contentious, we will immediately cease work on the matter and refer you to a solicitor who will be able to progress the case for you. If the probate does become contentious, it is highly likely that the process will be significantly extended.
If you would like more information about the Probate process this can be requested via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our value for money promise…
Our fees are calculated on the basis of time spent on your affairs, the levels of skill and responsibility involved, the importance and value of the advice provided to you, and the level of risk.
Our hourly rates for the purpose of calculating these fees (exclusive of VAT) are:
- Director – £250 per hour;
- Manager – £120 per hour;
- Assistant – £80 per hour; and
- Secretarial support – £40 per hour.
In addition, we may charge disbursements including:
- Probate application fee (currently £215);
- Additional copies of the grant of representation (£1.50 per copy);
- Notary or commissioners costs to swear the oath; and
- Travel, accommodation and other expenses incurred in dealing with your affairs.
The services we can provide include:
- Review the Will, codicils and legacies to ensure that they are valid and prepare affidavits where necessary;
- Ascertain who the beneficiaries are;
- Identify the composition of the estate and ascertain whether a grant is needed;
- Value the estate;
- Prepare any inheritance tax return;
- Finalise the income tax and capital gains tax position of the deceased at the date of death and prepare the tax return for this period;
- Prepare the papers for application for a grant of probate / grant of administration;
- Ensure the appropriate oaths are prepared and taken;
- Obtain the grant;
- Finalise the estate tax; and
- Prepare estate accounts.
We will liaise with you to assess which services you require and will then be able to offer you an indication of the likely cost of our services. The fees for a simple estate are likely to start at approximately £2,000 (exclusive of VAT).
If the estate is more complicated, for example, there are a large number of assets to consider, a number of assets to value and a number of inheritance tax reliefs to consider, then our fees will be substantially greater. Once we have a comprehensive understanding of the estate and the services you need, we will advise you up-front of the estimated cost.
If it is necessary for us to carry out work that is outside the scope of the engagement currently in place with you, we will advise you of this in advance. Any additional work will result in additional fees being charged.
We will keep you informed of our costs in relation the probate work and liaise with you if the costs are likely to be greater than our initial estimate.
We would therefore like to point out that it is in your interests to ensure that the information you provide us with when we are estimating our fees is accurate and if you are unsure of anything then please do let us know.
How we handle any complaints…
For details of our complaints handling procedures and regulatory information please see these notes.
Diversity Statement …
As an accredited probate firm, Crowther’s Accountants are required to monitor the diversity of our staff and publish the findings of the monitoring on our website.
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission states it is important that firms do not breach workers’ or applicants’ confidentiality or reveal anything which might enable someone to work out information about another person which was provided in confidence.
Crowther’s Accountants are a small firm and the Directors are concerned that individual members of staff could be identified from the summarised results that we have collated. For this reason, only the less sensitive data is disclosed below:
For more information please contact:
Sara Crowther or Jonathan Crowther