Specialists in Probate in Stockport, South Manchester & North Cheshire.

We understand how difficult it is when a loved one passes away.  At B J McKenna, we can help make the process as stress free as possible for you.  We can take on the handling of the deceased’s affairs giving you the time to grieve.

Below is a guide to how we can help.

When it is necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, certain steps usually need to be taken by or on behalf of the Personal Representatives. Below are the main stages relating to the service that BJ McKenna and Co Solicitors will provide.

1. Value the estate – We will write to all of the financial institutions where the deceased held accounts to request the date of death balances. It is important to obtain the correct figures so that we accurately report to HMRC and if the estate is taxable, that we pay the correct amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT).

2. Asset and liability search – We can undertake a full asset and liability search to check whether the deceased had any other accounts you are not aware of. The cost of this is £185 plus VAT. This ensures that we do not miss any assets or liabilities and that we report the correct value of the estate.

3. Prepare the application for Grant of Representation – We will prepare the Probate Application and submit the application to the appropriate Probate Registry, together with the Will, if there is one, and the appropriate Inheritance Tax account.

4. Inheritance Tax – We will calculate whether there is any IHT payable if there is any IHT to pay, we would liaise with the personal representatives regarding the best way to settle this and then arrange payment.

5. When the Grant is received – The Grant, once issued, is submitted to the various organisations with whom assets are held in order to start the process of winding up the deceased’s estate. This includes closing the deceased’s bank accounts, selling any shares and closing down any investments. At this point we would also make the arrangements to sell any property the deceased owned. If any of the beneficiaries would like any accounts or assets of the deceased transferring to them in lieu of their share, we would be able to arrange this at this stage.

6. Trustee Act Notices – We can also submit Trustee Act Notices under s27 Trustee Act 1925. This is a process where you as an Executor for the estate place an advert in appropriate newspapers (the London Gazette and a paper local to where your father lived) asking for any potential creditors, or those who think they might have a claim on the estate, to come forward. The notices last for 8 weeks and if anyone does come forward they are dealt with as any normal creditor. Once the notices expire if a previously unknown creditor comes to light and the estate has been distributed you, as the executor, will not be personally liable for that debt. It does not prevent any creditors from pursuing beneficiaries under an estate, you however, will only be liable to pay back any share of the estate you have inherited as a beneficiary and will have the same liability as the other beneficiaries. If a creditor comes to light after the estate has been distributed and you have not placed the relevant notices then you would liable for the full debt regardless of what you have inherited or what you are able to recover from the other beneficiaries. The notices can be done quite simply for a fee of around £200 + VAT.

7. The liabilities of the estate are paid – Once we have gathered in the estate monies, all the liabilities will be paid.

8. Inheritance Tax Clearance – Confirmation is obtained that tax is paid up to date and there are no outstanding HMRC claims.

9. Tax affairs for the administration period – often an estate is required to submit a tax return for the administration period to report any income received or any capital gains during the administration period. We would be able to deal with this on your behalf and ensure that all taxes are settled.

10. Informing Beneficiaries – Beneficiaries to the estate are notified of their entitlement and asked to prove their identity. Bankruptcy searches and ID checks are performed in relation to them.

11. Estate Accounts – Formal Estate Accounts are prepared to identify the assets and liabilities of the estate which are sent to you as executor to approve. The estate accounts are also distributed amongst the residuary beneficiaries for them to see how their inheritance has been calculated and for them to approve and raise any queries they may have.

12. Distribution – The distribution of legacies and the residue takes place, in accordance with the terms of the Will or the rules of intestacy.
If instructed to deal with your matter BJ McKenna and Co will essentially take over the role as Personal Representative for the estate. While you will remain the Executor or Administrator, we will carry out all of the duties, on your behalf, which are associated with that role.

You can rest assured that your matter is in the safe hands of a skilled professional in this area who will be looking after your best interests as the Personal Representative.

If you have any questions whatsoever regarding the procedures involved in this matter, please feel free to contact us.


Wills & Probate


The costs of instructing a Specialist Probate Lawyer at BJ McKenna and Co Solicitors is generally deducted directly from the estate and therefore you are not personally liable for our fees, except in cases such as insolvency.

In order to give you some guidance as to how we charge for our time, everything we do is charged to our system. There are no hidden charges, and we aim to be transparent with how we charge for the work. We use a case management system called Proclaim which keeps a record of all letters, emails, telephone calls and any other actions in relation to your file.

Proclaim is really helpful as it means that everything is stored electronically and automatically recorded to the system. This increases accuracy in our billing and also ensures that we have everything properly recorded to our system. It means that we can be more efficient when dealing with the file and we can quickly identify and resolve any issues.

Every time we work on your file the time taken is recorded. As with all legal work the minimum unit is 6 minutes, and each unit has a cost of £27.50. All communication between us is chargeable.

We produce interim invoices periodically. When we produce an invoice, this is based on a billing guide which is exported from our proclaim system, and it lists all of the chargeable units. We review the billing guide to check for accuracy and errors. Although in accordance with our terms we are entitled to charge for every item recorded, we feel that it is fairer to go through these guides and remove certain items at our discretion. For example, a simple acknowledgement of an email.

Our quote is based upon providing you with updates periodically, however, if you would like more regular updates, we will be happy to deal with this however, please note that this will incur additional costs above our initial quotation. For example, if you contact us several times per day or week, this of course incurs additional time on your matter and is charged accordingly. It is more time and cost effective if we correspond less frequently but in more detail. For example, rather than emailing several shorter emails as and when you think of a query, it may be worth gathering your queries and sending one larger email at the end of the week with all of your queries. We would then only need to respond to your one email rather than several smaller emails.

We will also incur disbursements on your behalf such as Land Registry search fees of £3 per copy, ID checks at around £5.40, Court fees of £273 plus £1.50 per copy.

We will review with you the estimate of the total charges after the Grant has been obtained and periodically thereafter. Please note that interim invoices will be processed as the matter progresses and we will provide you with a copy for information.

Dealing with the affairs of someone who has died can take a long time. It is not unusual for it to take up to a year, perhaps longer if matters are not straightforward.

Many organisations may be involved in the process, for example, banks, building societies, insurance companies and HMRC. The estate cannot be dealt with until all claims to it have been received. Individuals have six months from the date when probate was granted to make claims against the estate.

Other matters affecting the time taken are: whether the financial affairs of the person who died were in order; what the person who died owned and where it is; whether the person who died had an interest in a business; what the will or the rules of intestacy say; whether there are any legal disputes (claims against the estate or claims by the estate) and whether inheritance tax needs to be paid. Also all HMRC files must be are closed and matters relating to income tax, benefits and pensions finalised. Arguments between family members, beneficiaries or personal representatives can delay matters. Disagreements must be sorted out before the affairs of the person who died can be settled.

You will, of course, be kept informed of progress throughout, the reasons for any delays will be explained and you will be advised if any additional, unforeseen work becomes necessary.


Get In Touch

Use the form below to send us a message or call us on: 0161 432 5757