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wills and probate

Meet Our Private Client Team

Jeremy Cuff Equity Partner and Head of Private Client : Jeremy qualified as a Solicitor in 2004 and deals with all aspects of Private Client work including will writing, drafting of Lasting Powers of Attorney and applications to the Court of Protection. He is assisted by Jenny Thorne who has been with the firm for over 9 years . Jeremy has overall supervision of the Private Client Team

Shanice Bulmer – Head of Probate: Shanice is a qualified Probate Practitioner and has been with our firm for 6 years and can assist with all aspects of estate administration including settling of Inheritance Tax, applications for Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration and Deeds of Variation. Shanice is assisted by Amelia Brooks and Lindsay Gibbs who is undertaking her Probate Practitioner qualification.

At Cuff & Gough we deal with all aspects of what is referred to as Private Client work. Typically we advise those who don’t wish the government to decide who will inherit from their estate. These issues are addressed by putting a Will in place which will make the best use of the Inheritance Tax free sums available.

You may also be concerned about what might happen if you become unable to manage your affairs due to physical or mental incapacity. Such concerns are often alleviated by putting in place what is known as a Lasting Power of Attorney. We deal with applications to the Court of Protection to authorise someone to deal with the financial affairs of an individual who no longer has mental capacity and had not previously put a Power of Attorney in place.

These areas of the firm are run by Jeremy Cuff.

Estate Administration – Key Stages and Services

Here at Cuff and Gough we understand how difficult it is to lose a loved one. Our Probate department is a small team that will help guide you and your family through the legalities of dealing with the estates administration. Whilst we pride ourselves in offering good legal and practical advice throughout the administration process, we know how important it is that your matter is dealt with sensitively. The probate team work closely with their clients and our clients are known by the team by name.

The probate process begins by identifying the appointed executors or personal representatives and the type of probate application that needs to be applied for. The first step in the work required to administer an estate is gathering the assets and liability information, we do this by writing to all of the known assets and liabilities institution, we then use this to complete the Inheritance Tax forms. We would then settle any immediate tax falling due from the deceased accounts. We then prepare the grant application and arrange a meeting with the executors to approve and sign all the documents before lodging them with the court. Once the grant is obtained, we deal with transferring or cashing in the estate assets as instructed by the executor, paying debts and settling legacies, preparing a comprehensive set of estate accounts which detail all monies in and monies out and how the distribution calculation has been made. We will also advise on the Statutory Notices which are available to provide protection for the Executors. When dealing with the final Income Tax calculation where required for the estate, this would be an added disbursement as we would recommend an accountant to carry out this work. Our fees are payable by the estate only, there are no upfront fees and bills raised once the estate is in receipt of funds.

On average, applications where Inheritance Tax is payable will take 5 weeks with HMRC and then a further 16 weeks with the Probate Registry. Once the grant has issued the timing of gathering in the assets will depend on the types of assets in the estate and whether any statutory notice periods are being observed by the Executors

No two Probate transactions are the same. We are required to publish prices for Probate work in relation to uncontested cases where all the assets are in the UK. This includes estate where there is a Will, where the intestacy rules apply, taxable and non-taxable Estates. However, the exact cost would depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts the costs will be at the higher end.
We will handle the full process to you.
Our fee estimate would be on the basis of an Estate where:
• There is a valid Will.
• There is no more than one property.
• There are a disclosed number of bank and building society accounts.
• There are no other tangible assets.
• There are a confirmed number of beneficiaries.
• There are no disputes between the beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise then this may lead to an increase in costs.
• There are no claims to be made against the Estate.

Cuff & Gough Probate Fees – 23rd October 2023
1. To obtain the Grant only. No Inheritance Tax payable – from £1,500 + VAT
2. To obtain the Grant only. Inheritance Tax payable – from £3,500 + VAT
3. To deal with all aspects of the Estate from the start leading to the issue of the Grant only our fees are typically 0.5% of the gross value of the Estate but will vary according to complexity.
4. To deal with all aspects of the Estate from the start to finish, our fees are typically 1% of the gross value of the Estate but will vary according to complexity.
5. A Deed of Variation – £600 + VAT

Disbursements are costs related to your matter but are payable to third parties such as court fees. We handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Typical Disbursements might be as follows:
Probate Application Fee – £300
Court Sealed Copies of the Grant of Probate – £1.50 per copy
Bankruptcy Searches – £2 per search
Statutory Notices in the London Gazette and a local newspaper – £200-300 depending on cost of local advertising (these notices are intended to provide the Executor with protection from any unknown creditors or claimants).

Please note that disbursements do not attract VAT.

Shanice Bulmer, who is a qualified Probate Practitioner, is Head of the Probate Department at Cuff & Gough LLP.

Cuff & Gough Legal Fees for Wills/LPA/Court of Protection work
1. Single straightforward Will – £300 + VAT
2. Pair of straightforward Wills – £500 + VAT
3. Single LPA – £500 + VAT + registration fee payable to Office of the Public Guardian (typically £82)
4. Pair of LPA’s £700 + VAT + registration fees for each LPA
5. Pair of LPA’s for a couple i.e. 4 in total – £1000 + VAT + registration fees for each LPA
6. Court Appointed Deputy application – £950 + VAT
7. Trust Deeds – £350 + VAT

You will never receive an unexpected bill in respect of the work we carry out for you.

Please note that any reference to VAT is at the rate applicable at the time of the transaction, currently 20%, unless otherwise stated

We like to speak with our clients at the outset so that we can provide you with a detailed fee estimate. Please call Jeremy Cuff or Shanice Bulmer on 01737 851 827.