We are here to make what we know is a difficult and stressful time, a little bit easier for you, by offering a service that combines both the legal and financial aspects of your probate and succession planning needs.

Francis James & Partners LLP


We can manage as much or as little the probate process as you require. We can apply for Probate (or letters of Administration) then administer the Estate up to the final settlement. Or we can simply apply for Probate and let you administer the Estate until closure.

What is Probate?

Probate is the process of dealing with the administration of someone’s estate after death. This is divided into several parts:

  • Calculating the inheritance Tax (IHT) and filing the IHT return and paying any IHT due
  • Apply for Grant of Probate 
  • Following the legal processes 
  • Preparing the accounts

You’ve been appointed executer of a will. Now what?

As an Executor of a will, it is your job to carry out the instructions in the will This will involve:

  • Preparing a schedule of all the assets
  • Calculating Inheritance tax forms and applying for a Grant of Probate
  • Gathering assets under your control and discharging any liabilities  (debts) of the deceased 
  • Distributing  what is left according to the will

There are specific rules that set out how you must do this.

What if no executer has been appointed?

If there is an executor names in the will, but no one is willing to act, or there is no valid will at all, an administrator is appointed by the courts to carry out these duties. This is called obtaining a letter of administration. 

How long will all this take?

It is not possible to say exactly how long a Probate will take. Much depends on how "tidy" the estate is. An Estate with lots of bank accounts (some in foreign countries) will take longer than one with just a house, bank account and some personal possessions. 

How much will this cost?

Following our initial meeting we will write to you clearly setting out our offer of Probate Work, which will include an estimate of likely costs involved, together with any actions you may take to reduce or control costs. This cost will based on an hourly rate of £175. We will also advise you of any likely expenses. We will include a formal engagement letter setting out our responsibilities to you and yours towards us together with our terms and conditions of business. 

How we can help

FJP Probate is regulated by the ICAEW. Part of the accreditation process requires that we have separate officers in the company responsible for Administration and Legal Practice. These two officers are named on all FPJ Probate Ltd stationary and contact forms. The ICAEW also requires that all accountants who carry out Probate Work are competent and properly trained. To that end we are subject to regular monitoring and inspection by the ICAEW as part of their practice assurance scheme. You can be confident that only qualified people who are subject to external quality assurance review will carry out your Probate affairs.

Further to our being part of the ICAEW practice assurance scheme, we are also covered by the Legal Services Ombudsman. We hold appropriate levels of professional indemnity insurance and are part of the Compensation Scheme. 

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