Minimise probate costs and maximise your estate

The administration of an estate following a death is a heavy burden at a very difficult time. The process can take anything from a few months to several years to fully complete, and to do the job correctly requires specialist knowledge of law, tax, and accounting matters.

In addition the Executor will have many other demands placed on them; for example, mediating between beneficiaries, rehousing animals, deciding who gets what personal effects, the list goes on….

Unfortunately, it is often the case that these very real legal complexities and emotional strains are underestimated.  Disputes between beneficiaries and Executors are commonplace, and the non-professional Executor can find this intimidating, especially as they can be held personally liable for mistakes made in the administration.

Sutton McGrath Hartley is a multi-disciplinary firm of professional advisers you can rely on throughout the process. Our team includes Solicitors, Chartered Accountants and Chartered Tax Advisers, all under one roof. We therefore provide a ‘one stop shop’ for the legal, accounting and taxation advice that you will need throughout the estate administration.


Fixed fees

Furthermore, we offer a fixed fee service which means you will not receive any unexpected bills once the administration is complete. You will know from the beginning what our charges are, giving you peace of mind.

We tailor our service to suit your specific requirements to ensure efficiency and that any unexpected delays are minimised. Our rates are typically 40% – 60% less than the large providers of these services and significantly less than most other firms of solicitors.

Finally, on completion of the estate administration, our in-house financial advisers can assist any beneficiaries with financial planning and taxation advice following receipt of their inheritance.

For those below the Inheritance Tax threshold, we also offer a solution to potentially avoid probate costs completely.

By placing assets such as your property into trust during your lifetime you will be able to continue to use and benefit from the assets as you already currently do but will have successfully transferred them out of your estate during your lifetime. By doing this you may be able to eliminate the need to obtain Probate during the administration of your estate, making it possible to avoid Probate fees altogether.


Lifetime trusts also come with many other benefits.

  • They can protect against your assets being used to contribute towards care fees. Assets held in trust for a certain time are considered outside of your estate. This “ring-fencing” is what provides the necessary protection.
  • They provide immediate access to assets and funds held within them for your loved ones following your death because long delays to apply for Probate are avoided.
  • Your assets are more likely to go where you intended. If you feel a claim may be made against your estate by someone you do not wish to include in your Will then holding your assets in trust will add a further level of protection. Claims against your estate cannot include the assets you have placed into a lifetime trust, except in very limited circumstances.

Sutton McGrath Hartley is a multi-disciplinary firm of chartered accountants, financial advisers and lawyers offering comprehensive financial expertise for all business, personal and family interests. Our specialist Wills & Probate department can help with wills, trusts and estate planning. To discuss your requirements please contact Ben Schofield on 01709 872106 or

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