Private Client Department

Charis Muir - Solicitor & Partner

Charis is the head of the department and has over 16 years' experience in Private Client work.  Charis joined the firm in 2001 having worked for a number of different law firms in the South East.  Charis specialises in both taxable and non-taxable estates including those with a foreign element.

Harald Gardiner - Solicitor

Harald qualified as a solicitor in 1988 and has specialised in Private Client work for over 15 years'.  Harald has worked in the Dover/Deal area for most of his career, having previously worked in Oxfordshire.   Harald is particularly skilled at dealing with high value complex estates.

Isobel Povah – Solicitor

Isobel qualified as a solicitor in March 2015 and since qualification has specialised in Private Client work.  She has become skilled at dealing with all aspects of Private Client work and has dealt with both taxable and non-taxable estates.

Zara King - Solicitor

Zara qualified as a solicitor in July 2019.  Before joining the firm in 2018, Zara graduated with a 2:1 in Law from the University of Southampton and went on to complete her Legal Practice Course with distinction.

Stephanie Somers - Chartered Legal Executive

Stephanie qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in 2017. Before joining the firm, Stephanie graduated from the University of Winchester in 2012 with a Law Degree.

Private Client Fees

Probate and Estate Administration

Our fees in relation to obtaining grants of probate (or letters of administration) and full estate administrations are based on the amount of time spent by legal staff undertaking work on your behalf. Our hourly rates are detailed within our standard terms and conditions. Where less than one hour of work is involved, we calculate the time spent in units of 6 minutes (10% of the hourly rate). Telephone calls (made and received) are recorded in units of six minutes. Routine letters and emails written are counted as six minutes, and letter and emails received as three minutes.

Each estate is unique, and as a result it is difficult to provide a clear projection of the likely overall cost. A straightforward estate usually takes between 15 and 30 hours to administer and we estimate that our fees will fall between £3,000 + VAT and £8,000 + VAT. A straightforward estate is one in which the following applies:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible or foreign assets
  • There are no more than 4 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries in relation to the division of assets
  • The estate is not liable for any inheritance tax
  • There are no claims made against the estate

The estimates provided are an indication only and individual circumstances may lead to the costs falling below or above these thresholds. For example, if there is only one beneficiary and no property, our costs will be considerably less, whereas if there is no Will, or the estate is taxable, costs may be at the higher end of the range. We will keep you informed in relation to costs as the matter progresses and can provide a revised estimate of total fees where unforeseen events occur or circumstances change.

In addition to our fees, there are costs associated with estate administrations which are payable to third parties. This includes but is not limited to:-

  • Probate application fee of £273;
  • Statutory notices, which protect against unexpected claims from creditors, ranging from £150 - £200 in most cases;
  • Fee for copies of the Grant document at £1.50p per copy;
  • Fees in relation to the sale of shares if held by the deceased;
  • Fees in relation to any conveyancing. Please see our Conveyancing calculator for estimates

On average, most estates are dealt with within 6-12 months. Simply obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration usually takes between 3-6 months (subject to any delays at HMRC or the Probate Registry) and collecting and distributing the assets is determined by the size and complexity of the estate. As soon as we are aware of the nature of these, we will be able to advise you further.

Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney

Wills start at £195 + VAT for a simple single Will and £250 + VAT for a couple. More complicated instructions start at £295 + VAT for a single Will and £350 + VAT for a couple, however a clear quote will be provided at the time of instruction.

Our fees in relation to Lasting Powers of Attorney will be based on whether you are looking for both Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare, or just one or the other. They are charged for as follows:-

  • An individual drafting one type - £400 + VAT
  • An individual drafting both types OR a couple drafting one each - £700 + VAT
  • A couple drafting both types each - £1,000 + VAT

Our costs cover an initial meeting to draft and execute the Lasting Powers of Attorney, for us to provide a certificate of capacity, and for us to liaise with the Office of the Public Guardian in relation to the registration of your documents. The Office of the Public Guardian charge a separate registration fee of £82.00 per document, however there are some exemptions and remissions available dependent upon your circumstances.

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