Probate and Administration of Estate Fees
The cost of administering an estate will vary greatly depending on the complexity and type of assets involved, the number of beneficiaries and their location, age and other factors and whether the deceased left a valid will. Assets can include, amongst other matters, life policies, properties including farms and land, shares and investments, foreign properties and trust assets. Each case is unique and we will deal with you as individuals with our advice tailored to your particularly needs. We will spend as much time as is necessary to discuss the estate with you to allow us to give as accurate an estimate of our fees as possible at the outset and to establish the level of support and advice which you will require.
Broadly, our service for dealing with the administration of an estate may involve the following steps:
Collecting information and paperwork regarding the estate and taking initial instructions from you; establishing the identity of the various individuals involved in the matter, including beneficiaries, executors/administrators and likely claimants;
Contacting third parties, including banks, financial institutions, utility companies, HMRC and insurance companies;
Arranging for valuations (if appropriate, for example for farmland or businesses) and determining the value of the estate including any investments/savings/shares and other assets;
Collating the information and preparing an application for a grant of representation including preparing a statement of truth for the executors and thereafter applying for a grant of representation;
Calculating any inheritance tax and applying for the appropriate reliefs and exemptions and advising on these issues throughout, arranging for payment if appropriate;
On receipt of the grant of representation, collecting in the assets, closing accounts and investments, paying liabilities and expenses and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.
We evaluate the likely costs at the outset and generally charge up to 1% of the gross estate, together with an hourly charge of £210 + VAT if additional, unforeseen work is involved. This is for our full service which would include the steps outlined above and any related work involved.
Grant of Representation only
If the personal representatives do not wish to instruct us to deal with the full administration of the estate and merely require our services to obtain a grant of representation, we offer a fixed price alternative to deal with the application for the grant of representation only. This fee would be in the region of £750 + VAT - £1,000 +VAT, depending on the quantity and complexity of the assets involved.
Additional expenses payable to third parties (disbursements) not included with our fee may include (but is not limited to) the following:
-Probate Registry fee, currently £155 (£1.50 for each official copy)
- Swearing/Oath fees (£7 per declarant)
-Land Registry registration and search fees
-Will Tracing searches, tracing agents and genealogist fees
-Executor insurance, Public notices in the London Gazette and a local newspaper
-Professional fees, including valuers, accountants, barristers.
- Taxes Including Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax (and any other applicable taxes)
If you require the sale or transfer of any land or property a separate competitive quotation can be provided on request. Please see our conveyancing section for more information.
It can be difficult to calculate exactly how much work will be involved in administering an estate in any given situation. With this in mind, we try and ensure that communication regarding fees, timescales and the ongoing work is open and transparent. We are more than happy to discuss with you any issues that appear throughout the matter and would rather talk about your concerns openly than feel that you were anything less than satisfied with the service that we offer.
A question that we often get asked is how long will it take. We aim to complete an average estate within 6-12 months of the first instruction, but there are numerous external factors that can influence the process, including recent delays at the Probate Registry and Land Registry, delays in the banks or financial institutions responding to our correspondence, completion of enquiries at HMRC, with the District Valuer or with the DWP, and delays in the sale of a property or house. As a guide, we aim to apply for a grant of representation within 3-4 months of instruction, a grant is now issued on average within 8-10 weeks of application and it may take a further few months for assets to be closed/collected. We aim to finalise matters within 12 months on most estates and, again, we would reiterate our pledge to communicate effectively with you in the event of any unforeseen or unexpected delays and to keep you updated throughout the matter.