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Probate Services

Probate Services – What is it?

Probate Services refer to the financial and legal matters that arise when someone dies. Probate is the process of administering the deceased’s estate – so this can include identifying and organising their assets and money and distributing them according to the person’s wishes.

Who Needs Probate Services?

At some point in our lives, almost everyone will be affected by the process of probate – whether as someone who inherits, or who is called upon to deal with a loved one’s affairs after they have died. The process of probate can, of course, be a stressful one, since it is often handled by people who are grieving, and if you are in a blended or a complex family, or if the deceased has a financial interest in a business, difficult disputes can easily arise. So, it is important to get sound, impartial guidance from professionals. This can take the heat out of the situation and it can allow families to grieve under kinder circumstances, while the worry of the practical matters is dealt with by those with expert knowledge and experience.

 Why choose us

Alun Evans from our Haverfordwest office has completed his certificate in probate and estate administration and is 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. This supports our ethos to offer complete financial planning and accounting services in the communities it serves.

All probate work is carried out through a separate company, Alun Evans.

Alun has advised clients on inheritance planning for many years, and he is familiar with the legislation and reliefs that apply to business, farming and high net worth clients. He is adept at reviewing wills and providing detailed inheritance tax advice, as well as acting as an executor. When a family is grieving our long client relationships means we are a natural source of knowledge and understanding at a particularly difficult time.

The work we carry out in providing probate services.

We will:

  • send notifications of death to the relevant government organisations, financial institutions, utility providers and any others required
  • identify any entitlement to bereavement allowances or benefits
  • finalise the income tax and capital gains tax position of the deceased for the tax year
  • ensure the validity of the will, codicils and legacies
  • identify the beneficiaries based on the provided information
  • advise whether a grant of probate is required
  • obtain a valuation of the estate
  • prepare the inheritance tax return
  • prepare the application for a grant of probate/grant of administration
  • place statutory notices in The Gazette and a relevant local newspaper
  • obtain the grant
  • take control and gather the assets of the estate
  • pay debts of the estate, including tax liabilities
  • finalise the estate tax
  • pay any legacies
  • transfer the remaining balance to the residuary beneficiaries; and
  • prepare the estate accounts

Time frame

We will provide an initial estimate of how long the engagement is expected to take and the cost. The time and costs to complete an engagement can vary depending on the complexity of the estate and the will. Examples of factors that could affect the time and cost include delays in obtaining information from financial institutions, such as banks and insurance companies.

It is always difficult to predict how long it will take to complete this matter but as a general guide we would provide an estimate of the timeframe for this matter to be anything from 9 to 12 months, provided we do not encounter any difficulties or delays but as matters progress we would hope to be in a position to give you a more accurate timescale.

Fee estimate

Our fees are based on the gross value of the estate before deducting mortgages and liabilities, as follows:

  • 100% of the first £5,000
  • 0.2% of the balance

There may be other expenses we incur directly or indirectly called disbursements such as valuation fees or Court fees.  In addition, there will be costs of transferring property, if applicable.

Interim bills for work carried out will be provided on a periodic basis.

VAT will not be charged on Alun Evans’ fee.

Complaints

We are committed to providing you with a high-quality service that is both efficient and effective. However, should there be any cause for complaint in relation to any aspect of our service please write to Alun Evans.  We agree to investigate any complaint carefully and promptly and do everything reasonable to put it right. If the matter cannot be resolved it will be referred to a partner independent of your assignment. If you are still not satisfied you can refer your complaint to our professional body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Chartered Accountants Hall, Moorgate Place, London, EC2R 6EA. How to make a complaint | ICAEW

We will carefully consider any complaint you may make about our probate or estate administration work as soon as we receive it and do all we can to resolve it. We will acknowledge your letter within five business days of its receipt and endeavour to deal with it within eight weeks. If we do not deal with your complaint in this time, or if you are unhappy with our response, you may of course take up the matter with the Legal Ombudsman.
The Legal Ombudsman’s ability to deal with your complaint is dependent on the following factors;

  1. you must refer the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman no later than:
    • six years from the act/omission; or
    • three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint; and
  1. you must refer the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of the date of our written response.

Contact details for the Legal Ombudsman

  1. www.legalombudsman.org.uk

T: 0300 555 0333

E: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

P: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ

ICAEW probate compensation scheme

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 became aware, or reasonably ought to have become aware, of the loss.

Further information about the scheme and the circumstances in which grants may be made is available on ICAEW’s website: Probate Compensation Scheme arrangements | ICAEW

Diversity

Below is a link to our diversity survey

ICAEW Probate Diversity response template (bevanbuckland.co.uk)

 

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