Wills, Probate & Taxation

Help from our will & probate solicitors

Let us organise your assets and reduce the burden of tax. Our will and probate solicitors in Newbury can visit you in your home – and make sure that your estate falls into the right hands.

Protecting your legacy

Horsey Lightly will guide you through the administration of your estate, from start to finish. Our experienced team provide specialist advice on all aspects of:

  • Will writing
  • Trusts
  • Inheritance tax planning
  • Capital gains tax
  • Lasting powers of attorney
  • Living wills
  • Elderly care issues
  • Care for the vulnerable
  • Estate administration for probate purposes

Discover more about what our solicitors for the elderly and vulnerable can do for you>>

Why do I need a will?

If you die without making a will, your assets may be distributed in accordance with the law rather than your wishes. Whether your instructions are simple or complex, our will and probate solicitors in Newbury can make sure that your will is right for you and your beneficiaries. 

Without a will and careful inheritance planning:

  • Your family do not automatically inherit
  • Guardianship of children under 18 may be unclear
  • Your home may be sold without your consent and the proceeds used for care home fees
  • Your loved ones could be liable for a 40% tax bill
  • A gift for a child, friend or charity may not reach them

Expert Trust Planning

Trusts are a highly effective way to pass wealth onto the next generation. They can also provide valuable tax relief. Our people really understand how to get the best out of every type of trust on offer. Whether you want to protect your assets for your future or for someone else, we can provide all the guidance you need.

Have you recently lost someone?

If you are a beneficiary looking for answers, we can help. Or, if you want to apply for the right to deal with the affairs of a deceased person, we can guide you through everything to do with probate.

 Probate Fees

Typically our fee for applying for a Grant, collecting and distributing the assets in an estate as in the example below would be in the region of £5,000 plus VAT @ 20% and disbursements.   Likely other costs are listed in the table below.

Our typical fee assumes:

  • There is a valid Will.
  • There is no more than one property.
  • There are no particularly valuable or specialist personal chattels (e.g. paintings, jewellery, classic vehicles).
  • There are no more than two or three bank or building society accounts.
  • There are no other intangible assets (e.g. shares, bank accounts, building society accounts, National Savings products).
  • There are no more than three adult beneficiaries, based in the UK whose addresses can be identified.
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets and no claims against the estate.
  • There is no Inheritance Tax to pay and the Executors do not need to submit a full Inheritance Tax account to HM Revenue and Customs.
What is included What is not included
  • Review the will
  • Identify the Executors or Administrators
  • Review all paperwork
  • Identify organisations and contact them for the required information
  • Preparation of the Inheritance Tax Account
  • Preparation of the Oath
  • Applications to the Probate Registry for the Grant
  • Place statutory adverts
  • Collect in estate assets
  • Arrange payment of estate debts / legacies
  • Arrange Inheritance Tax clearance
  • Finalise estate income tax matters and obtain clearance
  • Preparation of administration accounts for approval
  • Arrange final distribution
  • Sale of the deceased’s property.
  • Variation of the Will / Intestacy Rules
  • Preparation of complex tax returns
  • Providing specific advice about which assets to keep / sell
  • Home or other visits away from our offices
Other Costs

  • Probate application fee, currently £273 plus £1.50 per court sealed copy of the Grant.
  • Oath fees - currently £5 per Personal Representative plus an extra £2 per document, per Personal Representative.
  • Copies of Land Registry title entries for properties. £3.60 each.
  • Bankruptcy searches (£2.40 per beneficiary, per distribution).
  • A notice in the London Gazette, £83.40 to protect the Personal Representatives against claims from unknown creditors.
  • A notice in the local newspaper, price varies but usually circa. £90-100.
  • Travel costs. Mileage is charged at 45p per mile plus VAT @ 20% and is charged if we visit you or other third parties away from the office. Travel costs may also include any train and bus fares incurred plus VAT @ 20% .
  • Electronic identity verification searches - £12 per UK national search or £15.00 per international search.
  • RICS property valuation fee, typically in the range of £500-£1,000 including VAT.
  • Chattels valuation fee, typically in the range of £300-£1,000 including VAT.
For sending money by Telegraphic Transfer £40.00
For sending money by Faster Payment £10.00
For sending money by BACS No charge
All prices +VAT at 20%

Below is a non-exhaustive list of factors which would increase our fee
 Factors which may decrease our fee
  • Provision of incomplete or inaccurate information
  • Failure of organisations to provide accurate information.
  • The need for us to organise and collate the source paperwork provided to us.
  • The length and number of meetings with you and others
  • Lengthy and frequent correspondence with you and others
  • A review by HM Revenue and Customs into the Inheritance and/or Income Tax returns
  • A claim against the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • A claim relating to the validity of the Will
  • The partners being appointed as Executors in the Will
  • Uncooperative beneficiaries
  • Where the estate includes shares held in a certificated form - particularly where there may be missing share certificates
  • Where there is a private company in liquidation
  • Where we are required to regularly update creditors and/or manage their expectations
  • Where there are any trust arrangements

  • The provision by you of correspondence from relevant organisations with accurate figures.
  • The estate not requiring a full Inheritance Tax account IHT400.
Typical timescales and key stages:

  • From receipt of instructions to application for Grant of Representation: between 2 months for simpler estates and 7 months or more for more complicated estates although this timescale varies significantly depending on the nature of the estate and whether Inheritance Tax will be payable.
  • Receipt of the Grant of Representation to the distribution of the estate:  approximately 4-7 months. This timescale varies significantly depending on various factors. The following is not intended to be an exhaustive list of factors but are possible examples:
    • The nature of the estate
    • Whether Inheritance Tax clearance is required (please see below for more information about this). 
    • Whether there are any claims made against the estate either by creditors or by those who feel that adequate provision has not been made for them (please see below for more information about this).
    • Whether or not all of the beneficiaries can be identified and located.
  • Notice period for claims by creditors: A minimum of two months from the date that the notices are placed in the London Gazette and the local newspaper(s).
  • Notice period for claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975: Six months from the date of the Grant of Representation, although this can be extended.
  • Inheritance Tax clearance where Inheritance Tax was due: HM Revenue and Customs would not expect an application to be made until at least 12 months has passed since the date of death.

The Wills, Probate & Taxation Team

Carl Wheeler
Carl Wheeler

Chartered Legal Executive

Helen Cartwright
Helen Cartwright

Paralegal Secretary

Recent News for Wills, Probate & Taxation

Wills for Unmarried Couples

The most obvious problem that unmarried couples face when making Wills is that spouse exemption for Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes will not apply on the first death in the way that it would for a married couple or civil partners.  Instead the only allowance that will be available on first death is the individual IHT Nil Rate band (currently £325,000).  The value of any assets in excess of that amount will be chargeable to IHT at the rate of 40% subject to any reliefs that might be claimed for business or agricultural assets eg shares in a trading business or agricultural land.

Read more on Wills for Unmarried Couples

Wills for Couples with Young Children

When couples have young children ie teenagers and pre-teens it is always better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to their Wills. This is because it is simply impossible to know at that age whether children are likely to be sensible with money when they get to 18, 21 or 25, the common trigger ages of inheritance. Certainly 25 is a much more sensible age for inheritance than 18 but it may still not be the right age, especially if either a lot of money is involved or the child is still pursuing the follies of youth.

Read more on Wills for Couples with Young Children

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