Probate Services for Accountants
Our new Probate Service for you and your clients
Clarke Bell is authorised by the ICAEW to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales.
This is very good news for a lot of Accountants.
Accountants do sometimes assist their clients with producing information for probate, but many are concerned that they might be drifting into prohibited areas. In fact, an Accountant was recently disciplined and fined for undertaking probate activities while not authorised to do so.
However, many Accountants do not want to become authorised to do probate work for a number of very good reasons including:
• the time and resources it takes to complete the application process
• the necessary training, compliance and Professional Indemnity issues
• they do not anticipate sufficient demand from their clients to make it worth while
• a potential negative reaction from local solicitor firms who refer clients to them
• it doesn’t fit in with their current business strategy.
We have the ideal solution for you
Clarke Bell have the necessary probate accreditation, so you don’t need it.
By working together, we would ask you to deal with the tax matters (as we do with our Members’ Voluntary Liquidation service). You would charge your client a fee for this work and would be able to ensure that your client’s tax planning strategy can be carried out in the way you and they intended – without the intervention of a solicitor / bank.
Since 1994 we have been helping Accountants and their clients with Corporate and Personal Insolvency matters. We are now extending our services to include non-contentious probate matters because it perfectly matches our expertise in dealing with liabilities and distributing assets in a professional and timely manner.
We strongly believe that we can provide a better alternative to solicitors, banks and unregulated self-proclaimed ‘probate experts’, and at a considerably lower cost.
Our probate fees
Our probate service covers the whole of England and Wales as the process is done remotely using emails and a Client Portal (as with our liquidation processes).
The Probate Process
• In your client meetings when you discuss IHT plans, ensure that in their Will they have named a trusted individual (such as a family member) as an executor.
(In many instances people are encouraged, by the solicitor, to name the solicitor who drafted the Will as their executor. That solicitor will then be very unlikely to relinquish the probate role, since it tends to be a highly profitable source of work for them.
It is possible for a solicitor to be replaced as executor if the beneficiaries get them to sign a Deed of Renunciation. This must be done before the solicitor commences the probate.
• Upon the death of your client, the executor delegates their duties to Clarke Bell. (We do not want to be nominated as executor.)
• We then (as applicable):
– obtain the Grant of Probate
– realise the assets and liabilities to make the necessary distributions as per the Will
• The IHT / CGT / other tax planning will be completed by you, the client’s trusted Accountant
If the matter becomes contentious at any stage, we would refer it to a probate solicitor.
Wills and Probate Checklist
It is designed to help guide anyone through the probate process in England and Wales.
The next step?
Contact us (on 0161 907 4044 or [email protected]) if you would like to discuss our probate service and how it can ensure that your clients get the tax planning strategy that you and they had intended, at a fair price.