Probate Services
Johnston Wood Roach now offer probate as a service to our clients. Find out more about this service below.
We understand that losing a loved one can be a difficult and distressing time, especially when trying to handle their legal and financial affairs. As an ICAEW accredited and licensed firm for probate (firm number CO11003648), we are here to help.

What is Probate

The legal process which validates a deceased persons will and grants the authority to administer their estate is called probate. The estate is administrated either by the named Executor or next of kin.

Where there is no will, the assets of the estate are distributed in accordance with intestacy laws. The probate process can take between 6-12 months, depending on the size of the estate and whether there are delays in collating information or delays with HMRC’s processing times.

The main steps to completing probate

Each situation is different but will follow the 5 main steps:

  1. Identify in detail assets and liabilities such as property, bank accounts, shareholdings and debt. From this we will prepare an Inheritance Tax Return ensuring that we claim all reliefs that are available to the estate under legislation.
  2. Calculate the Inheritance Tax liability. The current Inheritance Tax threshold is £325,000 and we will be able to identify whether there are any further allowances which will increase this. Completing all applicable Inheritance Tax forms and submitting the return to HMRC, the return must be submitted to HMRC by the end of the 12th month after death.
  3. Applying for the grant of probate. The executors or administrators of the estate must apply to the Probate Registry and provide details about the deceased, applicants and the value of the assets.
  4. Once the grant has been received, the estate needs to be liquidated. This means that assets due to the estate will be collected and liabilities will be collected. This is also the stage that income tax and capital gains tax matters need to be dealt with.
  5. The estate is distributed in accordance with the will. Where there are pecuniary, residuary or specific requests we will deal with this in the correct manner. Where there is no will, the estate will be distributed in line with legislation.

How Johnston Wood Roach can help

We can provide assistance during the probate process in a number of ways, whether you need help with the whole process or help in one area:

  • Applying for the grant of probate
  • Obtaining professional valuations (fees payable to valuation firm)
  • Calculating Inheritance Tax payable
  • Obtaining details of the estate including assets and liabilities
  • Preparation of Estate accounts
  • Preparing tax returns outstanding to the date of death
  • Advising when Inheritance Tax reliefs or exemptions are available and making applications where necessary
  • Preparation of the relevant forms which need to be submitted to HMRC
  • Advising on variations to the will which may result in potential tax savings
  • Calculating Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax liabilities where these arise on the estate
  • Preparing tax returns when required during the administration process

4 reasons to choose a licensed accountancy firm for probate

  1. If the deceased was a client of ours, we will likely have some of the financial information and background details to enable us to carry out the process as smoothly as possible. If the deceased was not a client of ours previously and the existing accountant is not licensed to carry out probate work, we can still deal with the probate application.
  2. We have expertise in dealing with accounts and tax on a daily basis and we continuously keep our knowledge up to date meaning you can have confidence in us to handle the process for you.
  3. Accountants are used to collating lots of information and making the necessary calculations, which will reduce the amount of time it takes to compile necessary information.
  4. Our fees are not calculated based on a percentage of the value of the estate regardless of the work involved, instead our fees are based on an hourly rate, the complexity and the amount of work.
  5. We understand that this may be a difficult and distressing time for you and will always ensure that we are sensitive to your needs and emotions. We will treat your legal and financial affairs in the strictest confidence and always be attentive and responsive.


We offer free, no obligation quotes as each estate is different. The below is an indication of our fees:


Executors provide all information and valuations

We collate all the information

Preparation of probate application form (PA1P) and Inheritance Tax forms 205

£750 + VAT

£1,500 + VAT

Preparation of probate application form (PA1P) and Inheritance Tax forms 400 plus supplementary schedules. Calculating IHT liability and arranging payment

£1,050 + VAT

£2,100 + VAT

Regulatory and complaints information

  • If we are unable to meet our liabilities to you, you may be able to seek a grant from ICAEW’s probate compensation scheme. Applications must normally be made within 12 months of the time you become aware, or reasonably ought to have been aware of the loss. Information about the scheme can be found on the ICAEW’s website at
  • We aim to provide the highest quality service. If at any time you feel we could improve our service or if you are unhappy with the service that you are receiving, please let us know by contacting Kate Wood, Head of Legal Practice, either by telephone on 02394 215152 or email
  • We will consider any complaints or comments carefully. We will acknowledge your letter within 5 business days of receipt and endeavour to deal with your complaint within 8 weeks.
  • If we do not deal with your complaint within the above timescale or if you are unhappy with our response you may take the matter up with the Legal Ombudsman and the ICAEW. Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman should made within 6 years of the act or omission or within three years of you becoming aware of the issue, and in either case within six months of our written response to your complaint to us. The contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are as follows;
  • Telephone: 0300 555 0333
  • Write to: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6167, Slough, SL1 0EH

Contact Johnston Wood Roach Today to discuss your Probate Situation

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