Thank you for looking at our probate services. Coping with the death of a loved one can bring a mixture of emotions and having to deal with the legal side of their death can often be overwhelming and confusing.

If the deceased person did not leave a Will or if there is substantial wealth and property involved, the sense of burden can increase. Where there is a Will the Executors will need to apply for the grant of probate, which will give them the legal right to administer the estate. Where there is no Will, if it is found to be invalid, or if it does not specify an Executor, an Administrator will need to be appointed.

Having compassionate, experienced legal advisors can make the difficult situation much easier on you and your loved ones.

Why Us

We have an experienced team who can assist you with every aspect of the probate process, reducing the administrative burden and advising sensitively on key decisions which need to be made when managing an estate. We are aware that administering an estate comes at a time of grief and high emotion, and that most people do not know the processes and legal requirements involved.

We will give you a clear time frame of how long the process should take and will keep you and any beneficiaries advised throughout.

You will have the confidence that you are our priority, with our aim being that any member of the team is available to speak with you when you need some clarity and certainty at any stage in the process. We feel this provides reassurance and gives you an outlet for any concerns that you may have. Fees are generally paid out of the estate, so it is unlikely for you to have to fund the administration.

The department is equipped with modern computer technology and programs which allow the smooth and efficient administration of an estate from start to finish.

Our team

We have a large department specialising in all aspects of probate work.  Ian Lipscombe is the partner in overall charge of the department.  Ian has wide general experience of legal practice and can identify issues arising and their solutions across a broad spectrum of legal disciplines.  Ian’s charging rate is £290 per hour plus VAT

The day to day management and guidance of the department is in the hands of Brian Vandervilt.  Brian has extensive experience in dealing with the administration of estates and is a full member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners.  Brian’s experience has been gleaned over 50 years working in this field.  Brian’s charging rate is £250 per hour plus VAT

We have two solicitors who deal with estate administration work, Serena Welch and Susan Shuttle.  Both have experience in other legal disciplines and find that their wider perspective helps them be more effective in their administration work.  Their charging rate is £270 per hour plus VAT

To complete the team we have two highly experienced probate executives, Nicky Smith and Julie Smith.  Both have many years’ experience and a warm and friendly way of dealing with clients and beneficiaries throughout the process.  Their charging rate is £200 per hour plus VAT

Time Scales

On average, probate for the typical estate will take between 3 – 12 months. Generally, the time taken to obtain the Grant of Probate will take between 3 - 6 months, followed by the collection and distribution of the assets which can take between 4 -12 months. The range takes into account handling everything from straightforward estate through to more complex estates.

Key Milestones

With every matter there are key milestones, which may vary according to individual circumstances. They may be as follows:

  • Applying for Grant of Probate
  • Obtaining Grant of Probate
  • Settling Liabilities
  • Collecting funds ready for distribution
  • Finalising the tax position of the estate
  • Distributing funds
  • Producing Estate accounts

We aim to keep you informed as milestones are reached, or if problems arise that may cause delay


Please see our Pricing Page for more information. 


If you would like to discuss your matter, please contact Ian Lipscombe or Brian Vandervilt for a free, no obligation chat today.