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Trusts and Probate

Trusts and Probate Services at Bishop Fleming Chartered Accountants

When someone dies it is an emotional and overwhelming time for the family. They may feel unable to deal with the legal and administrative issues that require due care and attention.

Download our Estate Planning and Probate Brochure here.

Bishop Fleming Bath Ltd. is licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales.

Matters to think about will include registering the death, making the funeral arrangements, completing government forms and applying for a Grant of Probate.

As this is a stressful time, loved ones often choose to hand everything over to an experienced and professional team who can deal with all the necessary matters in an efficient and compassionate manner, and in accordance with the law.

Probate is the process of administering the estate of a person who has died and ensuring its distribution to those who will inherit, after discharging any debts and liabilities.

Bishop Fleming has the necessary knowledge and experience to handle all stages of Probate:

  • assembling all the information regarding the assets and liabilities of the deceased;
  • preparation of all tax returns and applying for Grant of Probate;
  • preparation of estate accounts;
  • organising the assets, discharging liabilities and expenses; and
  • allocating the estate to those who are to benefit.

The work involved in administering an estate will depend on the complexity of the case, the terms of the will and whether any inheritance tax is due.

Bishop Fleming’s probate team will always put you first and ensure that matters are resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible, keeping you advised at all times.

Please contact a member of our Trusts and Probate team to find out how we can help you with probate services.


Key Estate Planning and Probate FAQ's

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​​​​​​​What is probate?

Probate is the process of administering a deceased estate. This includes ascertaining assets and liabilities of the estate, paying debts or liabilities, and distributing the estate under the terms of the will.

As part of this, there could be Income Tax returns to deal with, as well as the Inheritance Tax return. Executors also have a statutory duty to provide the beneficiaries with Estate accounts


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When is probate required?

Probate is generally required for all estates. Probate would not be required for low value estates (under £5,000 and no land property or shares included), estates where all assets are owned jointly (as joint tenants) with another person and so pass under survivorship rules and if bank balances are under £5,000, as most banks will allow access with a death certificate and a copy of the will.

However, some will have different rules, so it is best to always check.



We will complete all relevant tax forms and send them to HMRC.
This will involve identifying and valuing the assets of the deceased to ascertain whether any inheritance tax is payable.

The estate of the individual may also owe other taxes, such as income tax or capital gains tax.
We will establish what needs to be paid and negotiate with HMRC on your behalf.

Removing the stress
As well as dealing with all the tax issues, we will also remove the stress of administering the estate, including gathering in property, bank accounts, share certificates, insurance policies and any business assets.

As part of our service we will determine what bills need to be paid, including utility bills, credit cards, loans, etc. We can also assist with arranging for property to be sold.

Passing on the inheritance
Once all the tax and administrative issues have been dealt with, we will arrange for the estate to be passed on to the beneficiaries in accordance with the Will, or where there is no Will, in accordance with the laws of intestacy.


Diversity Statistics

Licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales. Details of our probate accreditation can be viewed at under reference number C003088558. Accredited probate firm name – Bishop Fleming Bath Limited.  The probate regulations can be found at As part of our registration we are required to publish diversity related information to Bishop Fleming Bath Ltd. Our current statistics can be found here.





Thank you very much for your excellent guidance over the recent Probate application – I have absolutely nothing I can add to “a first rate service with timely receipt of the Probate lodged.

Frank Bristow


We invited Bishop Fleming to give us advice on what steps needed to be taken to apply for Probate. We were kept informed on progress throughout the whole process and was completed within the budget provided. There are many complexities associated with inheritance tax, but the professional advice from Bishop Fleming helped us navigate this to the satisfaction of all concerned.

Richard B Jones

Pricing & Fees

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How much does Probate cost?

In our experience no two estates are ever the same and there is no such thing as a “typical” estate. We charge our fees on a time spent basis as we consider this fairly reflects each individual estate and will reflect both the complexity of the assignment and the amount of our involvement required.

Our hourly rates range from £85 per hour for a Tax Associate to £342 per hour for a partner. We will discuss your individual case with you and based on this we will provide you with an indicative level of fees and in certain circumstances we will agree a fee cap with you so that you can have certainty over costs.

Typically, our fees for simply obtaining a grant of probate based on all of the information being provided to us by the family with an estate containing a main residence, 2-3 bank accounts and a share portfolio are likely to start from around £3,500 plus vat.

We usually find the average costs of handling the full process for a simple estate, including the administration, and preparation of a full set of Estate accounts is likely to be in the region of £11,500 - £15,000 plus VAT.

This would include:

  • Completion of the IHT400 and supporting schedules
  • Application for grant of probate
  • Running a client bank account and collecting in funds
  • Preparation of formal Estate accounts 
  • Distribution of the Estate and paying legacies to the beneficiaries.

In addition to our fees there are other costs associated with obtaining probate. We will either request these amounts directly from you, or we can disburse them on your behalf and add them to our fees. These will be expenses such as:

  • Probate application fee £273*
  • Copies of sealed grants £1.50 per copy*
  • Placing a notice in the Gazette £107 plus vat*

*Prices current as at 1 June 2023

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How long does it take?

We usually find that obtaining grant of probate can take anywhere in the region of 3-6 months and sometimes longer.  This will be largely dependent on the availability of information from third parties.

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Do you offer free consultations? A fixed fee? Free quote?

We will always have an initial meeting /phone call to ascertain what work is required etc.  This is free and no obligation.  Following the initial consultation we would then provide a fee estimate based upon your particular circumstances. – We do not tend to give fixed fees due to the intricacies and differences to each case, however we can agree a fee cap with you.  

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Do you use a price calculator or case studies to help communicate the costs?

Rather than use a price calculator or case studies to communicate our costs, we use experience and similar cases to provide an estimate of fees which we would discuss with you as part of our engagement.



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