Probate Service

Since 2014, some accountants have been able to offer probate services previously only carried out by solicitors. Dean Howard & Co Probate Limited are authorised and regulated by Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) Regulation as a CILEx-ACCA Probate Entity (3002072) to carry out non contentious probate services in England and Wales. There are several advantages to using us for probate services because we have detailed knowledge of clients’ finances and assets. It is cost effective to use accountants due to their knowledge of the clients’ tax and financial affairs and it’s expertise in completing the necessary tax forms. We understand how difficult it can be to handle a deceased’s legal and financial affairs, particularly at a time when you are likely to be coming to terms with the death of someone close. We are here to help you every step of the way.
We provide advice and assistance in connection with the whole probate process and can act as professional executors and administrators of the estate. We deal with the administration of a deceased person’s estate from registering the death to negotiating any final settlements of tax with HMRC and distribution of assets.
Dean Howard & Co Probate Limited are authorised and regulated by CILEx Regulation as a CILEx-ACCA Probate Entity (3002072) to provide probate legal services. If we carry out both probate/letters of administration work and estate administration work, we are authorised and regulated by CILEx Regulation for the probate work alone. The administration of estate work will be carried out by our accountancy firm, Dean Howard & Co Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the ACCA. You can talk to us if you need more information about this.

Our services

Dean Howard & Co Probate Limited, CILEx-ACCA Probate Entity will provide the following services:

1. Send notifications of death to the relevant government organisations, financial institutions, utility providers etc.
2. Ensure the validity of the will, codicils and legacies.
3. Identify the beneficiaries based on the provided information.
4. Advise whether a grant is required.
5. Place statutory notices in The Gazette and a local newspaper.
6. Prepare and take any appropriate oaths.
7. Prepare the application for a grant of probate or grant of administration.
8. Completing the statement of truth for Probate Registry
9. Submit application for the grant of probate to the Probate Registry
10. Obtain additional copies of the grant of probate or grant of administration.

Dean Howard & Co Limited, accountancy firm will provide the following services if instructed to administer the estate:

1. Obtain a valuation of the estate.
2. Finalise the income tax and capital gains tax position of the deceased for the tax year.
3. Calculate the inheritance tax if applicable.
4. Take control and gather the assets of the estate.
5. Pay debts of the estate, including tax liabilities.
6. Finalise the estate tax.
7. Pay any legacies.
8. Transfer the remaining balance to the residuary beneficiaries.
9. Prepare the estate accounts.

Full administration of decease estate involves:
1. Obtaining valuations for the deceased’s assets and establishing all debts
2. Co-ordinating property and asset insurance
3. Calculating the total value of the estate for Inheritance Tax purposes
4. Completing the required IHT 205 or IHT400 tax return
5. Co-ordination of the payment of Inheritance Tax liabilities and liaising with HMRC
6. Completing the statement of truth for Probate Registry
7. Applying for the grant of representation (a grant of probate where the deceased left a valid will or if not, a grant of letters of administration)
8. Administering the estate (gathering in the assets and settling the debts of the deceased)
9. Paying legacies/ transferring property
10. Dealing with Income and Capital Gains Tax liabilities of the estate
11. Preparing the estate accounts
12. Distributing the assets to the beneficiaries.

Our charges for the full administration of estate:

Value of Estate  Percentage fees  VAT  Total
Up to £500,000 1% Plus 20% £6,000
Next £500,000 0.75% Plus 20%. £4,500
Next £500,000 0.5% Plus 20%.  £3,000


Application for grant of representation only
If we are only applying for the Grant of Representation because you are going to identify the assets and liabilities within the estate, we shall be happy to prepare the paperwork needed to apply for the Grant. If all information about the estate will be provided by you, our fixed costs for this are:

Completion of form IHT 205 and statement of truth £600.00 Plus Vat (£720.00)
Completion of form IHT400 and statement of truth £850.00 Plus VAT (£1,020.00)
together with any other charges incurred that are listed below under the heading of disbursements which are payable in addition to our fees.


There are fees that are payable to third parties for other services that may be provided. You may encounter the following charges:
1.Probate Application Fee £273.00 if the estate is over £5,000.00
2. Official Copies of the Grant of Probate £1.50 per copy
3. Advertisement in the Official Gazette From £110.00

4. Advertisement in Local Paper From £80.00 + VAT (£96.00)
5. Bankruptcy Search Fee (per person) £3.00
6. Land Registry Search Fee Between £6.00 and £40.00
7. Fee for the valuation of the property £360.00
8. Fee for the sale of the property £2,500.00 + VAT (£,3000.00)

A typical example of charges with an estate valued at £500,000 will result in an estimated fees quoted below:

Net£         VAT £    Gross £
Drafting and submitting the application to the
Probate Registry by Dean Howard & Co Probate Limited
850.00 170.00 1,020.00
 Valuation and administration of the estate by
Dean Howard & Co Limited
3,750.00 750.00 4,500.00
Disbursements 3,329.00 610.00 3,917.00
Total fee £7,929.00 £1,530.00  £9,437.00

The likely disbursements we will incur on your behalf, and likely expenses in the course of carrying out our work for you are below. These will be added to our invoices where appropriate, unless agreed otherwise:

Net£ VAT£ Gross£
Probate Registry fee 273.00 0.00 273.00
Four official copies of the grant of probate 6.00 0.00 6.00
Notices in a local paper 80.00 16.00 96.00
Notice in the London Gazette 110.00 0.00 110.00
Fee for the valuation of the property. 360.00 72.00 432.00
Fee for the sale of the property 2500.00 500.00 3000.00
Total estimated other costs £3,329.00 £610.00  £3,917.00


The exact cost will depend on your specific circumstances. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end. If there are several beneficiaries, property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
Probate is not always required in every case. If the deceased had assets below £15,000 most banks will release assets subject to the completion of a small estates form. Assets held in joint names will also not need probate.

You will definitely need probate in the following circumstances:

– to sell or transfer land or property.
– to collect shares
– to make a claim on behalf of an estate eg medical negligence
– to claim under a life insurance policy
– to collect assets in a bank account if £15,000 or more

We can act as professional executors or work with the named executors in your will.

How long this type of service takes:
– On average, for simple cases we will try and conclude the estate administration within 6 – 12 months of being instructed:
– We allow 3-4 months for obtaining the Grant of Representation from the point we are instructed.
– Collecting assets then follows, which can take a further 3–4 months.
– Once this has been done, distribution of the assets normally takes a further 3-4 months.

The above time estimates are for guidance only and vary depending upon the work involved.
Large and /or more complex estates will take longer to conclude as there will likely be inheritance tax issues which will require us to liaise with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
HMRC can take up to 6 months to finalise their own position on an estate, and this increases the time it will take for us to conclude the estate administration.
Where there are one or more properties in an estate that need to be sold, there might be a delay if a buyer is not found quickly.

We are required to have professional indemnity insurance which covers all the work we provide. This ensures that you do not lose out financially in the unlikely event that our firm makes a mistake. The professional indemnity insurance covers work carried out by Dean Howard & Co Limited and Dean Howard & Co Probate Limited and is provided by Arch Insurance.
For details of our complaint handling procedures please click here

How can we help you?

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“Dean Howard & Co has offered our company a first class service, in both qualitative and quantitative terms. The staff are helpful, courteous and responsive to the needs of our service. the principal partner, Mr Dean engaged in an academic research recently. exploring the difficulties facing access to business finance for small and medium enterprises and his input were tremendously beneficial, insightful, portraying his depth of knowledge of the academic orientations in the sector. We continually recommend his services to others who require an independent, professional service.”

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