How To Cut Probate Costs (Contact us!)
Three cunning practices which can dramatically increase you probate costs (and they are really common.) So avoid them and cut probate costs dramatically. Maybe enough to buy a new car!
1) Responsibility Allowances. Some firms will add as much as 1.8% of the total value of the gross estate ON TOP of their normal hourly rate. Take a couple of example to show the effect. Just to be clear, you pay the full rate for the work, then a large – sometimes very large – bonus for nothing at all.
a) A straightforward estate of £1m – average fees might be (say) £5000 to cover all the work done. The responsibility allowance could be as much as £18,000 – bunce, pure profit. We fully accept that more senior staff may be needed for larger estates, but £18,000 for nothing is just plain wrong.
b) A straightforward estate with just one asset and a few bills to pay, gross value £100,000. Average fees might be between £600 and £1,200. Responsibility allowance could add £1,800 for no good reason, more than doubling the bill. Grrr.
2) The second sneaky practice – charging on a “time unit” basis. It is standard practice elsewhere though we don’t do it. A 30 second call counts as a unit, which is 6 minutes. So if the hourly rate is £240, you pay £24 for £2 worth of work. Not just once, every time the staff doing anything, it will be rounded up to the next 6 minutes. So 9 minutes costs £48 not £36, and the same thing happens on every single piece of worth which doesn’t exactly fall into a multiple of 6 minutes. Lots of extra costs.
3) Sneaky practice three is not quite so widespread, but it can be expensive. With some firms, the receptionist (so friendly and chatty) all and other staff are charged out at the same hourly rate as the person in charge of your case.
And of course we don’t charge as much as £240 an hour even for our tax barrister
We find that our friendly and co-operative approach to dealing with an estate after death typically results in a cut probate costs / probate fees of around 75% – as well as being a great relief to family executors who don’t really have the experience of a probate lawyer. In the end both executors and beneficiaries can lose out – which may result in probate claims rather than low probate administration fees.
We have seen cases where folk have tried to avoid probate lawyers costs and accidentally triggered needless 6 figure tax charges in Last Wills designed to save tax!
If you do feel that you need some help, our job is to keep the cost of probate fees as low as possible. Contact us to find out how to cut probate costs.
Using The Probate Department to cut probate cost after a death will probably save thousands of pounds will be available for the benefit of your chosen beneficiaries if we help you to cut probate costs.
Our fees are based on a simple hourly rate in most cases. We will quote a flat fee based on full disclosure of the case, if that is your preference. We will deal with as much or as little of the probate work needed to wind up the estate as you wish. The more work the family do, the lower the probate costs!
In terms of additional hidden charges, we only charge for significant things which we have to pay out. We don’t charge for letters or phone calls (we might charge if they are overseas!) or stamps. We will charge for Court Fees, Registrars fees, and specialist work like conveyancing and mileage.
Provided you are within reasonable reach of our main bases in Hastings, Eastbourne, Burgess Hill and Worthing we can easily come to see you to get the details. We can provide a similar service in most parts of England and Wales. And that can be outside of office hours if that makes life easier.
If you haven’t had a quote for probate from the executors appointed in your Will and they are professionals – you should obtain one immediately, before it is too late, you are dead and they are in sole charge – and it is too late to renegotiate the fees! Some charge a “responsibility allowance” of as much as 1.5% plus VAT of the entire value of your estate. Plus their hourly rate which could be three times ours.
If you have appointed ludicrously expensive professionals (they aren’t all!) or (worse) banks, why not contact us immediately for a Codicil to put your family back in charge, and able to negotiate cut probate costs (preferably with us!) You can still use the same bank or solicitors, but the family will appoint them after death and the family will then be in charge, not the professionals.
For friendly professional probate help contact us here.