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04. Probate Services 

Probate services from abacus & Azure Ltd

abacus & Azure Ltd is a CILEX-ACCA Probate Entity, authorised and regulated by CILEx Regulation: 3001239.

We want our clients to have the confidence that, no matter what probate requirements they may have either now or in the future as an ongoing service or as a one-off requirement, we always aim to develop life-long relationships which includes looking after our client’s affairs. We recognise that bereavement can be a very difficult time and administering the estate can an onerous process but appointing a professional to act as your personal representative can ensure matters are handled promptly and correctly.

At abacus & azure we offer clear and concise advice and support covering all aspects of Estate Planning/ Administration and the probate process.

Welcoming and accessible service from seasoned accountants at abacus azure

In 2014 the Lord Chancellor extended the ability to offer non-contentious probate services to accountants. As accountants already offered trust planning and estate administration services, it is anticipated that new entrants to would increase competition and reduce costs.

abacus & Azure is honoured to be one of a limited number of firms to be authorised by CILEx Regulation as CILEX-ACCA Probate Entity, to offer these services.

When reviewing your estate we take a holistic approach, providing you with the best possible solutions and collaborate with you to ensure you feel fully engaged and involved.

We are 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 abacus Azure Ltd 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.

Our indemnity insurers are AXA Insurance UK plc who can be contacted at 20 Gracechurch St, London EC3V 0BG. Our insurance covers the work carried out by both abacus Azure Ltd and abacus & Azure Ltd.

Obtain the Grant of Probate

We apply to the probate registry for the grant of representation, the legal authority to handle the estate.  Completing probate forms and applying/filing for grant of probate/ administration; including obtaining Grant of Probate/ Administration.

Valuing the Estate

We assist in Identifying all deceased's assets and liabilities. Verifying entitlement to the estate. Valuation of business assets. Calculating the Inheritance tax liability and explaining any payments instalment options. Prepare and submit IHT forms to HMRC. Liaising with HM Revenue & Customs on behalf of the estate, including liabilities.

Administering the Estate

We offer advice, support and assistance with estate administration; Collect estate assets and settle estate liabilities, clear any estate administration expenses and account to HMRC for any fluctuations. Account for income tax and capital gains tax due to/from the estate. Prepare estate accounts for approval and distribute funds/ assets. General advice and support on the role of the estate executor/administrator. Preparing estate accounts


abacus & azure are licensed and regulated to undertake work to obtain the grant of probate. With our extended knowledge we can ensure that we offer tax advice for the beneficiaries, avoiding the common pitfalls such as safeguarding against generational IHT.

Over the course of our relationships, we have developed a real appreciation and understanding of the financial and tax affairs of our clients.

This knowledge can be very helpful when assisting and advising on probate, as we will also have a clear understanding of the deceased intentions.


Our fees are based on the estimated time and complexity of the estate based on the information provided by you, should we find that the time has been underestimated our hourly rate for handling the estate is as follows:

  • Partner £180.00+ VAT (20%) £36 = £216

  • Senior £120+ VAT (20%) £24 = £144

  • Junior / administrator £45+VAT (20%) £9 = £54

Our typical fees for simple estates with no more than 5 assets are as follows (Complex cases will be quoted on a case-by-case basis) our fees are based on time spent, level of skills requires and complexity of the estate.


Our fees range from £1,080 to £5,400 plus VAT at 20%.

  • The price for a straightforward estate requiring 6 hours work will be £1,080 + VAT £216 = total £1,296.

  • The price for other work for estates still below the Inheritance Tax threshold; with no Inheritance Tax payable and requiring up to 10 hours work will be £1,800 + VAT £360 = total £2,160.

  • The price for estates that are above the Inheritance Tax threshold but below £2million in size will be £3,600 + VAT £720 = total £4,320.

  • The price for estates between £3million to £5million will be £5,400 + VAT £1,080 = total £6,480.

  • The price for estates above £5million, the fee will increase by approximately £1,080 per £million of Estate depending on the complexity.

The following work is typically involved in your price:

  1.  Obtain the Grant of Probate;

  • Preparing the grant of representation and applying to the probate registry

  • Receiving the grant of probate

  • Copies of the grant of probate (fixed fee provides one additional copy only)

  • The process of applying for the grant should be completed within 3 to 4 months.

2.  Valuing the Estate

  • All processes in 1 above as well as the following

  • Placing newspaper notices

  • Reviewing paperwork including death certificate and will

  • Obtaining valuations of the estate's assets and liabilities

  • Calculating inheritance tax owed

  • Calculating gross and net values of the estate

  • Notices in Gazette and local papers

Administering the Estate; our fees range from £2,999 to £4,999 plus VAT (20%) and Typically involving:

  • All processes in 1 & 2 above as well as the following

  • Advise re finding lost assets

  • Preparing administrators' oath

  • Paying debts and liabilities of the estate

  • Paying legacies to beneficiaries

  • Processing and handling the estate tax

  • Distributing the residual estate

  • The process of administering an estate should be completed within 3 to 12 months.

Additional costs

There are also costs that have to be paid to other organisations, known as disbursements. Where applicable VAT is included at 20%.

  • Probate application fee (£273 plus £1.50 for extra copies)

  • Swearing of the oath (£5 per document and £2 each for exhibits subject to VAT (20%))

  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per name searched) 

  • Placing a notice in The London Gazette (between £80.00 and £109.20 plus VAT (20%)

  • Placing a notice in a local newspaper (between £80.00 and £109.20 plus VAT (20%)

Potential additional costs

The list below gives an indication of work which might need to be carried out at an additional cost. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information about your specific situation.

  • there is no will or it has been altered after signature

  • executors have died or refuse to act

  • the estate consists of shareholdings (stocks and bonds)

  • additional copies of the grant are required

  • dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

  • work required if inheritance tax is payable, including preparing full inheritance tax account, submission to and dealing with HMRC

  • there are missing beneficiaries

We also offer a Will writing service, Estate Planning and LPA’s

abacus & Azure offers a bespoke Will writing service tailored to your personal situation, taking the time to understand what you intend to achieve and exploring with you the best ways to achieve your objectives for all those you leave behind. These are priced on application.

We see your Will as your last opportunity to be heard and take every possible step to ensure that the Will is legally binding and covers all eventualities. We then encourage you to book a quick periodic review every three to five years to consider any changes in circumstances.


abacus & azure are authorised and regulated by CILEx Regulation to provide non-contentious probate 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 estate administration work will be carried out by our accounting arm abacus azure Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the ACCA. You can talk to us if you need more information about this. Our professional indemnity covers all of the work we provide. This ensures that you do not lose out financially in the unlikely event that our firm makes a mistake.

For more details please see our:

 Many Years of Accumulated Practice

Request a Price Quote

For a free, no obligation consultation please call abacus accountants Islington on 0844 050 2293 or 0203 740 6877. We will be delighted to introduce you to our efficient and friendly service and explain how we can bring real benefits to your business.

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