Probate & Estate Administration

At a time of bereavement, we can advise you what to do when somebody dies, whether or not they left a Will. We will deal sympathetically with the administration of the estate in a transparent and uncomplicate way.

Bush & Co. are authorised and regulated by the ICAEW and are able to undertake all aspects of non-contentious probate work. We have a specialist team, fully qualified to help with all areas of probate and are happy to support and guide you through the process from start to finish. We can also act as executor and provide tax planning, whether you are an existing client or are new to us.

For more information on how we can help, please get in touch.

The Team

Sunny Truran – Director and Authorised Individual for probate work

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Sunny joined Bush & Co in 1999 and was promoted to partner in October 2007. Sunny is member of the ACCA and ICAEW and is qualified to undertake probate work.

Sunny understands the sensitive and sometimes complex areas of family tax planning and advises on all areas of UK tax planning for individuals, trusts and estates.

She specialises in helping families pass assets onto the next generation taking into account family dynamics, Inheritance tax and Capital gains tax issues.

Catherine Dymond – Director and Authorised Individual for probate work

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Catherine is a member of the ACCA and ICAEW, joined Bush & Co in 2008 and became a partner in April 2014.

Catherine is a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and is qualified to undertake probate work.

Catherine advises on all aspects of probate, estate and inheritance tax matters with a sympathetic ear and personal approach.

We are supported by our experienced and highly skilled private client tax team:-

Alice Mahoney our Senior Tax Manager who is a member of the ICAEW and Chartered Institute of Taxation.

James Biggs our Tax Manager who is a member of the ATT.

Our Services

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  • Obtaining probate valuations including business valuations
  • Preparing HMRC accounts
  • Applying for probate
  • Settling the debts of the deceased
  • Paying legacies
  • Preparing inheritance tax forms and advising on tax reliefs available
  • Preparing tax returns to date of death
  • Preparing estate accounts

Our Fees

Our fee estimates are based on the size and complexity of the estate. We are happy to provide a free, no obligation initial one hour meeting to discuss your individual needs and prepare a quote based on this information. Please contact us and we will be happy to discuss options and pricing.

EXAMPLES

Scenario 1

Obtaining a grant of probate simple case with IHT 205.

  • Someone whose parent has recently died. That parent was a widow/widower, so was the last surviving parent.
  • There is a valid, non-contested will.
  • The daughter, has been named as the sole executor in the will.
  • Assets are easily identified UK assets, mainly bank accounts and these details are obtained by the executors and there are no complicating factors. Net assets worth say £250,000.
  • We need to complete an IHT 205 and apply for probate on behalf of your client.
  • The executors then deal with all aspects of administering the estate.
  • There are no complicating factors.
  • Our fees would normally range from £2,400 to £3,300 (including VAT but excluding required disbursements)

Scenario 2

Obtaining a grant of probate only (simple case with IHT payable)

  • Someone whose parent has recently died. That parent was a widow/widower, so was the last surviving parent.
  • There is a valid, non-contested will.
  • One or more children are named as executor(s) in the will.
  • Assets are easily identified UK assets (one or more properties, bank accounts and financial investments), details of assets and valuations are obtained by the executors and there are no complicating factors. Net assets worth say £1.5m
  • We prepare the form IHT 400 and apply for probate on behalf of the executors.
  • The executors then deal with all aspects of administering the estate.
  • Our fees would normally range from £3,600 to £4,800 (including VAT but excluding any required disbursements).

More complex cases

Estates with complex matters usually require a higher level of assistance and support as well as tax advice and expertise. In these more complex cases, we would be happy to provide a fee estimate following our initial consultation and assessment of the work required. Complex matters can include:-

  • Multiple gifts given away in the 7 years preceding death
  • Overseas assets
  • Farms and agricultural property and the multiple reliefs that may apply
  • Business assets and valuations and business property relief
  • Residential nil rate band and downsizing relief claims
  • Trusts created under the will
  • Tax advice on deeds of variations to wills or on appointments from discretionary trusts
  • Multiple beneficiaries and undertaking the administration of large, complex estates
  • Identification and inclusion of transferrable nil rate band
  • Significant number of separate assets and/or overseas assets to be identified and accounted for
  • Certain larger and more complex estates will require registration with HMRC and estate tax returns preparing for the administration period. This work will be subject to additional fees and will depend on the length of the administration period. 

Disbursements

  • Probate application fees are £215.00. there is an additional charge of £1.50 for each extra copy of the grant of Probate
  • Certainty Will Search – £114
  • Landmark Forgotten Financial Assets Search. This is a search of a wide range of financial institutions to identify any dormant accounts that may exist. The cost of this service is £155 plus VAT
  • Copy title are £3 each and a copy of the plan is a further £3
  • Copies of the grant of probate for a deceased spouse are £1.50 each
  • Liability Search for charges on unregistered land – £1 per search
  • Notification in The London Gazette and a local newspaper of the individual’s death to protect against claims from unknown creditors – £250 to £400

Timescales

This often ranges significantly depending on the size, value and complexity of the estate and the services required. We aim to keep clients informed on progress and timescales as the work progresses and answer queries as they arise.

The minimum time to complete a simple application for probate is between 2 and 3 months and can take a further 2 months before the grant of probate is issued. If there are assets to sell and collect this can add a further 3 to 6 months and may depend on response times of others which may be outside of our control. It can then take a further 2 to 4 months if liabilities are to be settled, including income tax for the administration period and if there are estate accounts and distributions to be made.

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Licensed by the ICAEW

We 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. Details of our accreditation can be reviewed at icaew.com/probate using the reference C003918130 and the role of the ICAEW can be found on the attached link ICAEW's Role as a regulator

Professional Indemnity Insurance

We have professional indemnity insurance which is fully compliant with the requirements of the ICAEW’s regulations.

ICAEW’s Compensation Scheme and Complaints

  • As we are authorised for the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate, in the unlikely event that we cannot meet our liabilities to you, you may be able to seek a grant from ICAEW’s Probate Compensation Scheme. Generally, applications for a grant must be made to ICAEW within 12 months of the time you become aware, or reasonably ought to have been made aware of the loss. Further information about the scheme and the circumstances in which grants may be made is available on ICAEW’s website; www.icaew.com/probate.
  • If you would like to talk to us about how we can improve our service to you, or if you are unhappy with the service you are receiving, please let us know by contacting the probate contact Director partner Catherine Dymond. We will consider carefully any complaint that you may make about our probate services as soon as we receive it and will do all we can to resolve the issue. We will acknowledge your complaint within five business days of its receipt and endeavour to deal with it within 8 weeks. Any complaint should be submitted to us by letter.
  • If we do not deal with it within this timescale or you are unhappy with our response you may of course take the matter up with our professional body ICAEW and the Legal Ombudsman. Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman should be made within six years of the act or omission or within three years of you becoming aware of the issue, and in either case within six months of our written response to your complaint to us. The contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are:
  • Letter: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
    Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
    Tel: 0300 555 0333

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Registered Office: Bush & Co Limited, 2 Barnfield Crescent, Exeter, Devon EX1 1QT

Registered to carry on audit work in the UK; regulated for a range of investment business activities; and licensed to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Company Number: 09017205

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