Dealing with the affairs of someone who has died can be complicated and confusing at what is a difficult time emotionally.

Estate administration is an area of law where you need someone to assist who is knowledgeable and sympathetic but at the same time has a fair pricing policy. TMJ Legal Services, solicitors based in the North East of England, with offices in Durham, Hartlepool, Peterlee and Wingate and also offering appointment in Newcastle-upon-Tyne prides itself on its reasonable, fair and transparent pricing policy. Most importantily we do not charge a percentage of the value of the estate but just for the work we undertake.

Only in very limited circumstances (usually a very low value estate) can a deceased person’s estate be administered without a document issued by the court. To deal with the deceased’s assets, be they money or property or other types of investment, this document is required to show that a person/s has/have the legal authority to deal with the deceased’s estate administration. This document is called a Grant and is issued by the court, The Probate Registry. If a person dies leaving a Will it will, in most cases, be necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate. When there is no will the document is called a Grant of Letters of Administration.

Clair Dunkerley, head of our Private Client Department, is both knowledgeable and sympathic and can be contacted DDI 01429 230034 or or alternatively call 01429 235616 or 01913830111 to speak to other members of our team.

Our fees – we always reach agreement with you before we start the work

What is a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration?

This is a legal document which authorises one or more persons to deal with the property of someone who has died that is handle the estate administration.

Who takes out a Grant of Probate?

If there is a Will, the people named in the Will as Executors apply for a Grant of Probate.

If there is no Will, relatives of the deceased apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration which is the equivalent of the Grant of Probate.

It is only when a Grant of Probate/Grant of Letters of Administration has been obtained that the executors/relatives can close accounts, deal with investments and sell property.

If you only need a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration and do not require help with the estate administration we are happy to assist. Our cost for this service is usually about £400 plus VAT and court fees.

What needs to be done?

Set out below is a list of some of the matters that need to be dealt with following a death:-

In most cases the family take care of the funeral arrangements

If an estate has a value of less than £5,000.00 or if all assets are held jointly and therefore pass by survivorship, for example to a surviving spouse, a Grant will not usually be required.

How long does it take for an estate to be administered?

Time scales vary according to the value, assets and general complexity of the estate.

We can assist in making an application for a Grant of Probate/a Grant of Letters of Administration. We can also assist in the administration of an estate. We provide a sympathetic and personal service to suit individual needs. We are experts and we can guarantee that we can offer estate administration at a fixed fee that will be less than that charged by banks and the legal department of a nationally know funeral director. Furthermore we do not ask you to sign a power of attorney in our favour and consequently you always remain in control. If you are approached by your bank or funeral director it would be to your advantage to have a discussion with us before you enter into a commitment. That discussion will cost you nothing.

Clair Dunkerley is head of our Private Client Department and can be contacted on her direct dial 01429 230034 or email

If you would like to make an appointment to consult a solicitor regarding an estate please do not hesitate to call on 01429 235616 or contact Clair Dunkerley. We are more than happy to see you for a free preliminary consultation. You can make an appointment to see a solicitor at any of the following offices:-

Home visits can be arranged.