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Probate

We offer fixed fees for Wills, Probates, and Lasting Powers of Attorney. Please enquire for details.

Introduction

As part of our professional rules, we aim to ensure that anyone wishing to use our services has the information they need to make an informed choice of legal services provider, including understanding what the costs may be.

We offer fixed fees for obtaining a Grant of Probate and winding up the Estate. 

Our Probate Department covers all aspects of dealing with a person’s assets after they have died, as well as assistance with probate and inheritance tax matters. At all times we seek to provide help after somebody dies.

Personal Representatives are the people named in the Will to act as the Executors, or the “next of kin” of somebody who has left no Will. Being a personal representative has heavy responsibilities and can be legally difficult. This is quite apart from the fact that after the loss of someone close to you, dealing with these matters may prove personally distressing.  With this in mind we can relieve you of the burden of “getting probate” to help you to ensure that the wishes of the deceased person are followed. We can give advice on all aspects of winding up a deceased person’s estate, including selling the house or transferring it to the persons entitled.

Dealing with a deceased person’s tax can be complicated and is often a specialist’s job. We can advise on the payment of Inheritance Tax, and deal with the Income Tax affairs of a person both before death and in the period of the administration of the Estate.

We can offer professional advice to Personal Representatives so that they can be sure that they comply with their duty to all the people mentioned in the Will.

It is sometimes possible to save a considerable amount of Inheritance Tax after a person has died by means of changing the effect of the Will or the intestacy. This needs specialist advice which we are happy to provide.

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HMRC’s Trust Registration Service (‘TRS’)

IMPORTANT UPDATE – Trustees need to act promptly to avoid financial penalties

New rules have been introduced as part of the UK’s implementation of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD), which extend the scope of the Trust register to all UK and some non-UK trusts, whether or not the Trust has to pay any tax. There are only a few specific exclusions and therefore if you have any form of Trust structure in place then it is really important to check what needs to be registered as such Trusts must be registered by 1st September 2022.

This could include Trusts set up during your lifetime e.g. Family Protection Trusts or Trusts contained in a Will of someone who has already died. 

Where there was a Trust in a Will of someone who has already died the Trust will then have begun and it may need to be registered. These can include, but are not limited to:

 

  • Property Trust giving a right of occupation e.g. where a now deceased spouse or partner has provided to the survivor the right to live in a property for the rest of their life or a life interest where someone is entitled to a right to income. These types of Trusts are sometimes set up for things like care fee protection and remarriage.

  • Discretionary Trust or a Flexible Life Interest Trust. These type of Trusts may have been set up to protect certain assets being used to pay for care fees, to ensure certain assets go to your intended beneficiaries if your spouse were to remarry after your death or to protect an inheritance being left to a reckless beneficiary. 

  • Trusts which impose age stipulations of beneficiaries, even these may need to be registered. 

  • If you were named as an Executor in a Will you are also likely to have been named as a Trustee in their Will too. Here is a helpful information sheet which also includes some useful links to the gov.uk website [INFORMATION SHEET].

Why instruct McKeag & Co Solicitors?

McKeag & Co has been helping clients throughout the North East for over 100 years. At McKeag & Co we offer a complete Estate administration service to deal with everything for you. 

From our conveniently situated offices in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, our approach to clients is one of understanding, empathy and efficiency.

The death of a loved one, family member or friend can be an extremely distressing and confusing time that also brings up an array of important duties and decisions for the Personal Representatives. In such instances, you can turn to McKeag & Co to help you deal with the deceased’s Estate and financial matters.

Your specialist Probate Solicitors can take responsibility for informing all necessary companies and providers that the deceased has passed away. They will 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 Estate’s assets, discharge the liabilities and pay any legacies and inheritances to beneficiaries.

We have a wealth of expertise in dealing with the administration of an Estate and obtaining Grants of Probate or Letters of Administration. McKeag & Co can also deal with Estates when the deceased has not left a valid Will and has died intestate  which is when they have not made a will  . The process is similar to that above, but our specialist Probate Solicitors can also seek out the unknown family of deceased loved ones and ultimately resolve the situation.

You can be assured of an excellent service by virtue of the fact that we have achieved the Law Society Lexcel quality standard.

About our fees


Obtaining a Grant of Representation and dealing with an administration of an Estate can be complicated; it usually takes several months, and complex cases can take over a year to ensure everything is done properly. 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. However, to assist our clients, we have set out below an indication of the likely costs involved in Probate and administration of Estate matters along with an indication of the potential timescales.

Estate Administration: Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets
 

What the service includes
 

We will:


•    Provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate Solicitor to work on your matter
•    Identify the legally appointed Executors or Administrators and beneficiaries
•    Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
•    Identify and valuation of assets and liabilities
•    Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application and liaise with all relevant organisations
•    Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
•    Draft a Legal Statement for you to sign
•    Make the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf
•    Obtain Grant of Probate and office copies
•    Deal with closure of accounts (or arranging to transfer to beneficiaries if possible), collect in Estate funds
•    Pay any liabilities
•    Prepare a final Estate Account and distribute the Estate to the beneficiaries.

Application for Grant of Probate only

 

What the service includes

 

We will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate Solicitor to work on your matter

  • Identify the legally appointed Executors or Administrators and beneficiaries

  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require

  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application

  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms

  • Draft a Legal Statement for you to sign

  • Make the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf

  • Obtain the Grant of Probate and securely send copies to you.

 

The main charges are to the Probate fees and LPA fees

We can help our clients through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on their behalf. Our typical costs below assume that we are instructed to seek Grant of Probate only, that no full Inheritance Tax Return requires to be completed and submitted to HMRC, and all financial information is supplied by the Executor.

Grant of Probate / Letters of Administration only

Cost: £625.00

VAT (20%): £125

Total: £750

Full return to HMRC and Grant of Probate / Letters of Administration only

Cost: £1,250.00

VAT (20%): £250

Total: £1500

Please note the above indicative figures are for obtaining a Grant of Probate only and do not include the administration of the Estate.

 

How long will this take?

It is difficult to estimate with any precision how long such a matter will take but, on average, such applications are usually dealt with and finalised within 8-16 weeks.

During the current environment, Probate applications are taking longer than expected and as such we will keep you updated as the matter progresses and upon any substantive updates from the Probate Registry.

Our Probate Team

Our Probate Solicitor is Roisin O’Donnell. Roisin is a Dementia Friend and also an Associate Member of the Solicitors for the Elderly.

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Roisin has a wealth of experience in this area of law and understands from personal experience how difficult the process can be, especially if you feel like you might not have the time to deal with administering an Estate or the emotional headspace to deal with the responsibilities involved. Roisin would be more than happy to have a discussion with you to talk through the process and then you can decide whether you require any assistance.

 

Please contact Roisin on 07709 716 629 or email her at Roisin.O’Donnell@mckeagandco.com.

Roisin O'Donnell

Solicitor

Roisin has been working in Wills and Probate since 2014 and qualified as a solicitor in 2018, she joined McKeag & Co in 2021. Roisin is an Accredited Member of Solicitors for the Elderly.

Roisin works mainly on Probate matters but does also do  some  writing  of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney 

Jane Hucknall

Solicitor

Jane qualified as a solicitor in 1993 and joined McKeag & Co upon the merger of her former firm (Brennan and Partners) in 2022. Jane has worked in a variety of areas throughout her career but has been specialising in Wills and Probate since 2004.

 

Jane works both on probate matters and on will writing and lasting powers of attorney. Her time is split fairly evenly between both areas  

Molly Williamson

Solicitor

Molly joined us in 2021 she has now completed a training contract with us and qualified as a Solicitor in March 2024

Molly works mainly on Will Writing and Lasting Powers of Attorney . In addition she does work,  both herself and assisting the partner in charge, on the recovery of the payment of care home fees 

Rubi Watton

Administration Assistant

Rubi provide assistance to the entire Wills and Probate department 

Chris Thomson

Partner and Head of Residential Conveyancing

Chris oversees the Private client and Property Departments and is a qualified solicitor. He first joined the firm in 2004 straight out of Northumbrian University and qualified as a solicitor with the firm in 2007.  

Chris spends the majority of his time working on Residential Conveyancing  but  as head of our private client department also provides assistance and supervision to our Wills and Probate team 

McKeag & Co have been established on Tyneside for over 100 years and during this time have been successful in obtaining millions of pounds compensation for people who have suffered abuse.

Call Us on (0191) 213 1010 to arrange an initial free consultation or alternatively contact us online.

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