Probate and Intestacy
The death of a loved one is likely to be one of the most challenging periods you will face in life. The last thing you may want to go through at this emotional time is the complexity of dealing with probate. As expert probate lawyers we are here to shoulder some of the burden and stress of undertaking probate, providing you with more time to grieve.
If you are named as an executor in a Will our team is on hand to help guide you through the probate process and assist with the administration of the estate.
If a loved one has died without a Will we can advise who is entitled to administer their estate and help make sure the correct family members receive their entitlement under the intestacy rules.
If you would prefer not to deal with matters yourself, we can take away the worry and pressure of administering the estate and apply for probate or letters of administration on your behalf.
Our Head of Private Client, Simon Lofthouse will usually be the lawyer nominated to assist with your matter and will be your point of contact on a day to day basis. Simon is likely to be assisted by other members of our team to keep our costs as low as possible. Advocate Barbara Corbett or Advocate Nicholas Le Quesne will be nominated as the supervising partner on your matter should you require further help.
We offer a 30 minute free information session in order for you to understand your position and determine what services you may need.
There are certain fees that are payable to the Government of Jersey. You can find details of those fees here:
Work undertaken during the administration of an estate
Typical services and tasks we can assist with:
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer 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 necessary valuations of all assets and liabilities in the estate
- Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
- Complete the probate application and arrange for any stamp duty to be paid
- Draft a power of attorney if applicable
- Draft the oath to be sworn
- Arrange and attend an appointment with the Probate Registry
- Obtain the Grant of Representations and send copies to you
- Deal with the executors’ tax position
- Prepare estate accounts
- Collect and distribute all assets in the estate
Factors that may increase costs:
- Registering the death, arranging the funeral, clearing the house
- Hunting for details of the assets and liabilities in the estate
- Tracing beneficiaries
- Dealing with a high number of beneficiaries
- Dealing with assets held abroad
- Dealing with lots of individually certificated shareholdings
- Settling tax liabilities
- Disputes over the estate including légitime and dower claims
- Dealing with pension fund and insurance policy death benefits
- Setting up trusts in the will - e.g. for infant children or vulnerable beneficiaries
- Assisting with tutelle applications for minor beneficiaries
- Dealing with creditors
How we calculate our fees
It is often difficult to give general guidance on how much it will cost to deal with the administration of an estate. Although some cases may look similar certain factors can drastically affect the time we need to spend dealing with matters. As such, it is important that you provide us with as much information as you can about the estate when we are first instructed so that we can be as clear as possible about our costs. We will provide a questionnaire to assist you with providing this information.
We always aim to be completely transparent with the costs we charge. So there are no surprises at the end of the process we want you to know what the anticipated costs will be at the outset of a matter and by regular updates as we progress. It is important that you also understand and agree the scope of the work we will undertake and the work which falls outside of our retainer.
Where we are able, we would usually offer two fee options to obtain a Grant of Representation and administer an estate.
Option 1 - Hourly Rate
This is the simplest option. You pay us for the time we spend doing the job on the basis of our usual hourly rates. We will provide you with an estimate to the likely cost we think will be incurred before we start working for you.
Option 2 – Fixed Fee
This option provides more certainty as we will provide you with a fixed figure to complete the work. The value of our fee under this option may be more or less than the costs incurred on a strict time spent basis under the hourly rate option. Our fees under the fixed fee option would only be increased if circumstances were to arise which we have previously agreed would be excluded from the scope of the fixed fee. These circumstances would usually be unlikely to arise and will be explained to you before we start working for you.
We may be able to provide a fixed fee quote which will not increase under any circumstances. This may be where the circumstances are straightforward, or we are instructed to deal with a simple aspect of the estate administration.
We are happy to agree to undertake only certain elements of the process - e.g. the work up to obtaining the Grant of Representation - and to set our fees according to that.
Contact Simon Lofthouse for more information. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 00 44 1534 733030.