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Probate & Estate Administration

When you lose someone close to you, it is a difficult time and dealing with the paperwork to apply for probate can seem daunting. At Walsh West;

Our probate team can help and guide you through the process of administering an estate including attending to any legal requirements.


Our probate team are here to: -

  • help administer any size of estate, from the simple to the very complex.

  • handle all the administration, or just part if you want to do some of the work yourself.

  • complete and submit the probate and inheritance tax return to cover the legal requirements and ensure the correct tax is paid.

  • help you if your loved one dies without a will

What is Probate ? -  How Long Will it Take?

A Grant of probate (where there is a Will) or a Grant of Letters of Administration (where there is no Will) is the legal order issued by the court to enable the executor or administrator to administer the estate in accordance with the Will or laws of intestacy. 


If the deceased owned a property in their sole name or as tenants-in-common or held assets with financial institutions typically worth £5,000 or more although some banks and building societies increase their individual thresholds. Probate enables them to close bank accounts, sell shares, sign sale contracts, and transfer documents for property.


Once the value of the assets and liabilities of the estate are known, the application for probate can be made.  If the estate only requires the shorter IHT205 HMRC form, it can be sent direct to the probate court and the grant is usually issued in 4-5 weeks, although there may be delays in the current circumstances. 

If the full IHT400 HMRC form is required, this together with any initial inheritance tax due must be sent to HMRC first and a receipt obtained which can add a further 4-5 weeks onto the timescale


Walsh West Estates & Probate Lawyers offer a range of fixed fee and time-based services depending on the activities required. 

In the majority of cases we charge a fixed fee for this service which depends on the complexity of the estate.

Please see our pricing page for more information or call us anytime for a no obligation pricing consultation, free of charge.

THE STAGES OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION VARIATIONS 2022_edited_edited_edited_edited.jpg

What is Estate Administration - How Long Will it Take?

The 12 Stages of Estate Administration

1. Assemble data for the Inheritance Tax Return

2. Advertise for creditors

3. Raise Funds for payment of Inheritance Tax

4. Making the application for a Grant on your behalf

5. Issue of the Grant — collection of assets

6. Payment of debts and Distribution of Legacies

7. Interim Distribution of Residue

8. Financial and Taxation Advice to the PRs and Beneficiaries

9. Agreeing the Inheritance Tax Position

10. Further interim distributions

11. Estate Accounts and Tax Returns

12. Completing the administration

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 and 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.


Contentious & Non-Contentious Probate - What is the Difference?

The unfortunate passing of a loved one can cause a wide range of difficulties for families,  in some cases there is reason for dispute, in this event the probate matter becomes 'contentious' and a claim may be made.


Contentious Probate refers to where there are disputes associated with how a deceased individual’s estate is dealt with and administered after their passing. 


  1. A claim against the validity of the Will 

  1. A claim that the Will does not make sufficient provision for the claimant 



Non-contentious probate is where there are no disputes against the will.


In the case of non-contentious probate, Walsh West Estates & Probate Lawyers are accredited to carry out this work for you. Should the matter become contentious we will halt work and assist and guide you with obtaining the help of a solicitor or 'litigator' to deal with the dispute, the estate remains on hold during the period of any such claim. Once the claim has been dealt with the administration of the estate can be continued and finalised.

Walsh West Estates & Probate Lawyers is authorised and regulated by CILEx Regulation to provide probate legal services. If we carry out both: probate or letters of administration work, and estate administration work, we are authorised and regulated by CILEx Regulation for the part of the work relating to probate or letters of administration work. The estate administration work is carried out by the accountancy firm Walsh West Chartered Certified Accountants which is authorised and regulated by ACCA. You can talk to us if you need more information about this.


We have Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) which covers all work that we provide. This insurance ensures that you do not lose out financially in the unlikely event that the firm makes a mistake.

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