Probate Law, Essex

Probate Solicitors based in Waltham Abbey

When an individual dies and leaves property, money and possessions, otherwise known as their estate, somebody close to the deceased (known as the executor) will need to deal with the administration of their estate.

We appreciate that when someone close to you passes away and you and your family are experiencing bereavement it can be a very confusing, upsetting and stressful time. We understand that probate and the administration of your loved one’s estate may not be at the top of your list during this difficult time however, we are here to help make the process less painful.

At Kayson Solicitors, we are here to provide you with sensitive but professional advice to help you settle your loved one’s estate. During these trying times, we recognise that you need someone to hold your hand through the legal process to help alleviate any stress and confusion that you may have.

By seeking professional help, we can guide you smoothly through the administration process to ensure the administration is carried out in accordance with both the will and the law.

Our probate solicitor Mr Grahame Reynolds qualified as a solicitor in 1978 and has been actively practicing in this field since qualification with over 40 years’ experience.


What is probate?

Probate refers to getting permission from the court to carry out the wishes within someone’s will. Probate is also the legal process of transferring property owned by the deceased to family members or the named beneficiaries (inheritors) via the executor.


The process

In order to settle the deceased’s estate, you need to obtain what is known as a ‘Grant of Probate’. The Grant of Probate is a court issued document demonstrating the executor’s entitlement to deal with the deceased’s estate. What form this takes will depend on whether a will has been written or not.

If the deceased left behind a will and appointed an executor (sometimes more than one executor is named), that person will need to get what is known as a ‘Grant of Probate’.

If a will does not exist, the next of kin can apply for what is known as a ‘Grant of Letters of Administration’.

The process of applying for the grant and the document you need to manage the deceased’s estate is often generically referred to as ‘probate’.

Put simply, and in order, the executor’s role and the process of dealing with probate involves:

  • Gathering any assets, e.g. money left in bank accounts, shares and investments
  • Paying any bills and debts
  • Distributing what is left of the estate according to the will


How long does probate take?

Provided there are no complications, it normally takes between four and eight weeks to obtain a Grant of Probate after you’ve submitted the application.

Preparing your application usually takes between two and four weeks depending on the volume of assets comprised in the estate.

Therefore, from the point of instructing us, the process to obtain Grant of Probate should take between six to twelve weeks. However, please note that there may be additional information/documentation that the Probate Registry Office require which may slightly delay matters.

Once you have obtained the Grant of Probate, the length of time it takes to settle one’s estate depends on the estate’s complexity. An estate that includes property to sell or multiple shares and investments for example, will take longer to deal with than an estate simply comprised of money in a bank account. We estimate that it can take anywhere from 6 months to 18 months to wind up an estate.


What to do next?

We offer all our clients a free consultation that fits your schedule with our out-of-hours consultation service during the evenings and weekends as well as normal business hours. Whether you wish to visit our offices personally or whether you believe that you would benefit most from a home visit we are more than happy to help.

Please note that we are also able to take your instructions regarding wills and probate matters entirely remotely by e-mail, telephone and video calls. We are here to help and explain what needs to be done, how long the process will take and the costs involved.

If you have any queries or you wish to book a free consultation with our probate expert, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0203 876 7136 or email and we are more than happy to advise you.

How is the cost of probate split?

The cost of probate is split between the fixed costs (application fee for probate) and the variable costs, which are the solicitor’s legal costs.


Fixed fee

The probate application fee in England and Wales is that payable for applying for a grant of probate which depends on the value of the estate.

The fixed fee can range from £155.

If the value of the estate of the deceased person is over £5,000 (once the funeral costs and debts have been paid), there is a flat-rate fixed fee of £215 for applications made by an individual; or

£155 for grant of probate applications made by a probate solicitor or probate specialist.


How is the cost of probate split?

The variable fee can range from around 2% to 5% of the value of the estate. For an estate worth £100,000, the variable costs will range from £2,000 to £5,000 plus VAT.

Our solicitor’s fees are calculated as between 2% to 5% of the value of the estate, plus VAT. Therefore, if your estate is valued at £500,000 then the solicitor’s costs will range from £10,000 – £25,000 plus VAT. Therefore, with VAT at 20% this will increase these costs to £12,000 and £30,000.

As solicitors we charge either an hourly rate, fixed fee or can charge a fee that is a percentage of the value of the estate.

We charge anything from £250 plus VAT per hour to £300 plus VAT per hour.

Following your initial consultation, you will be advised in writing as to whether our fees will be based on an hourly or fixed rate.

Please note there may also be additional disbursements that arise; most notably probate application fee (as mentioned above) and postage fees for lodging your application by special delivery (usually under £10).

What next?

Once you have obtained Grant of Probate the executors are now able to administer the
deceased’s estate.
If the estate includes residential and/or commercial properties that the executors seek to
transfer to beneficiaries or sell on the open market, we have a separate conveyancing
department within our firm that would be able to assist with such transactions.
Please note our fees for conveyancing range between £1250 + VAT – £2500 + VAT
depending on the value of the property.