We offer a broad range of expertise to meet individual client needs, no matter how complex.
We understand the stress and emotion surrounding a recent bereavement. The work we will carry out will involve:
- Ascertaining the legally appointed Executors or Administrators and Beneficiaries;
- Applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, including HMRC forms (approximately 4-6 weeks for shorter applications, 6-10 weeks for longer applications);
- Arranging the payment of any Inheritance Tax due;
- Obtaining the Grant of Probate and securely providing copies to you;
- Ascertaining and collecting in the assets comprised in the Estate (approximately 1-3 months thereafter)
- Ascertaining and paying any additional tax on the Estate (approximately 2-3 weeks thereafter)
- Deciding upon and executing distributions of the Estate in accordance with the Will or Intestacy Rules (approximately one month thereafter)
Full Estate Administration
We can provide a full administration service: the collection and distribution of money, property and other assets belonging to a person following their death, where these are within the UK and the matters are not contested. Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets;
We anticipate that the average Estate will take between 11 and 33 hours work at an hourly rate between £140.00 to £300.00 plus VAT per hour and disbursements.
Total costs for an average Estate are estimated at between £3,000.00 to £9,000.00 plus VAT and disbursements.
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for Estates where:
- 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 assets;
- There are 1 to 4 beneficiaries;
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise, this is likely to lead to a significant increase in costs;
- There is no Inheritance Tax payable and the Executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC; and
- There are no claims made against the estate.
Disbursements in addition to this fee include:
- Probate application fee, currently £155.00;
- £7.00 Swearing of an oath (per executor);
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2.00 per beneficiary per search); and
- Circa £200.00 to post Notices in the London Gazette (which protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors) and to post Notices in a Local Newspaper (this also helps to protect against unexpected claims).
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Potential additional costs:
- If there is no Will or the Estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the Estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information;
- If any additional copies of the Grant are required, they will cost £1.50 (1 per asset usually);
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included; and
- Dealing with the deceased’s Income Tax affairs to the date of death and completing tax returns for the administration period.
To provide you with an accurate, personalised quote we use our fee calculator which provides the likely low and high end costs of the matter. Provided your matter progress as anticipated, your final fees should be closer to the low end estimate provided, but if matters become protracted or something unexpected arises (like dormant assets) then your final fees will likely be closer to the high end. If for any reason we expect our costs to exceed your high end estimate (for example, where a claim is issued against the Estate) we will contact you as soon as possible to update you on the additional likely costs.
You can see a breakdown of how we calculate our fees here: “How We Calculate Our Fees”
How long will it take?
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6 to 12 months. Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 6 to 20 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4 to 8 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute some or all of the assets, which normally takes 1 to 3 weeks.
Applying for the Grant only
A Grant of Probate is the document issued by the Probate Registry confirming who is entitled to administer the estate. A PR can use a solicitor to apply for a Grant to save time and access assets more quickly. The Personal Representative or Executor would do the majority of the work and our firm provide the legal expertise by, for example, completing the Inheritance Tax forms, and obtaining the Grant from the Probate Registry. We would not deal with administering the Estate once the Grant is received, for example, making distributions and collecting assets in.
This service is appropriate if the Estate is fairly straightforward, e.g.:
- There is a valid Will;
- There is no Inheritance Tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC; and
- There are no claims made against the Estate.
We can assist you with simple Grant only applications using the shorter IHT205 process for a fixed fee of £1,750.00 plus VAT and disbursement, or the longer IHT400+ process for a fixed fee of £2,000.00 +VAT and disbursements.
If the Estate has more complex features then this fixed fee may increase and will be agreed with your solicitor in advance. The increased fixed fee will be representative on any additional work which may be required in a more complex matter.
Disbursements not included in this fee:
- Probate application fee, currently £155.00; or
- £7.00 Swearing of an oath (per executor).
Potential additional costs:
- If any additional copies of the Grant are required, they will cost £1.50 (1 per asset usually)
How long will it take?
- On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6 to 12 weeks.
Where the following complex asset, trust and/or tax issues arise in an Estate, we reserve the right to charge a value element to account for the enhanced expertise required to understand, correctly report to HMRC, advise beneficiaries and defend any calculations and positions to the HMRC:-
- Taper Relief on Potentially Exempt Transfers;
- Single Grossing Up calculations;
- Double Grossing Up calculations;
- Unlisted stocks or shares;
- Business Property Relief;
- Agricultural Property Relief;
- Settled Property & Lifetime Settlements;
- The Deceased was a beneficiary of a Trust;
- National Heritage Trust Assets;
- Partially or fully secret Trusts;
- Trust which are chargeable to Inheritance Tax; and
- Double Taxation or Cross Jurisdictional Issues.
Our value element is calculated in line with Article 3 of the Solicitors’ (Non-Contentious Business) Remuneration Order 2009 and the key principles established in Jemma Trust v Liptrott  EWCA Civ 1476 with appropriate rates of inflation applied. For these cases, the following regressive fee scale is as follows:-
|Asset Type||Between||Fee %|
|Value of Residence||£0.01 or above||0.5%|
|Value of all other assets||£0.00 to £1,500,000.00||1.5%|
|Value of all other assets||£1,500,000.01 to £5,500,000.00||0.5%|
|Value of all other assets||£5,500,000.01 to £11,000,000.00||0.1666%|
|Value of all other assets||£11,000,000.01 to £17,000,000.00||0.0833%|
|Value of all other assets||£17,000,000.01 or above||0.0416%|
So, for example, if our value element applies to an Estate worth £16,000,000.00, the appropriate value element would be:-
£1,500,000.00 x 1.5% = £22,500.00
£4,000,000.00 x 0.5% = £20,000.00
£5,500,000.00 x 0.1666% = £9,130.00
£5,000,000.00 x 0.08333% = £4,166.50
Total value element chargeable on £16,000,000.00 gross Estate = £55,796.50
Our people involved in doing the work mentioned above, will include:-
Our costs are based on the assumption that the Estate is relatively simple, all based in the UK and that there are few, if any, assets that would complicate the process or lengthen our time estimates.
Our fees do not include any external costs and charges that we may incur as part of the administration (e.g. tax, penalties, repayable benefits, fees and charges). You will also be responsible for these items on behalf of the Estate.