Probate and Estate Administration Costs

Probate and Estate Administration Costs

Estate Administration costs

We understand that dealing with the administration of an estate is an emotional and stressful time and we aim to give our client’s peace of mind by guiding them through the process. Every estate is different and once we understand the nature of the estate we will be able to provide a quote to assist.

All our matters are partner supervised and our solicitors are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) so you can rest assured that the estate will be dealt with in the highest quality.

We are able to assist with:-

  • Applications for a Grant of Representation; and
  • Full bespoke estate administration.

You can see what is included in each service below:

 

‘Grant only’ Application

Full Estate Administration

  Initial face to face or telephone meeting with a STEP qualified solicitor.

X X

  Advising you in the effect of the Will and on the role of executors.

  X

  Gathering details of the assets and liabilities of the estate.

  X

  Calculation of Inheritance Tax (if applicable).

  X

  Preparation of the application for the Grant of Representation based on information you provide.

X  

  Preparation of Inheritance Tax return based on the information you provide.

X  

  Prepare the relevant HMRC Inheritance Tax account, advise on the extent of the inheritance tax
  liability and raising funds to settle such liability based on our enquiries.

  X

  Prepare the application for the Grant of Representation based on our enquiries.

  X

  Arrange of the signing of the documentation and HMRC account.

X X

  Submit the application for the Grant.

X X

  Arranging the payment of Inheritance Tax due (if any) and submitting forms to HMRC.

X  

  Provide you with the original and office copy Grant of Representation.

X X

  Write to all beneficiaries to confirm entitlement.

  X

  Arrange for the placing of Statutory Notices unless otherwise instructed.

  X

  Arrange for the encashment/transfer of assets.

  X

  Collect estate monies in our client account.

  X

  Arrange payment of funeral account and estate liabilities.

  X

  Finalise deceased’s tax affairs for the tax year of death and collect any repayment or arrange 
  payment of liability.

  X

  Advise you in relation to the transfer of any specific legacies.

  X

  Liaise with HMRC regarding the value of the estate, any inheritance tax reliefs, inheritance tax and 
  obtain clearance.

  X

  Make interim distributions to beneficiaries.

  X

  Deal with the estate’s income tax position.

  X

  Prepare full estate accounts.

  X

  Make distributions to the beneficiaries.

  X


We offer a free initial advice meeting with one of our specialist solicitors, please contact us using the details below and we will be able to help you.

Applications to obtain a Grant of Representation

We are able to help you obtain a Grant of Probate (if there is a Will) or a Grant of Letters of Administration (if there is no valid Will in place) in order for you to administer the estate yourself.

We will guide you through the completion of the required application forms and help you to arrange for the inheritance tax to be paid (if required) so you can be confident that matters have been dealt with correctly at that stage.

This is a good option where you have the knowledge and experience to deal with the banks, building societies and property yourself and have the time to do this.

How we will help you?

We will undertake the following on your behalf:

  1. Prepare the relevant HMRC Inheritance Tax account and application for the Grant of Representation based on the information that you provide
  2. Arrange of the signing of the documentation and HMRC account
  3. Submit the application for the Grant
  4. Arranging the payment of Inheritance Tax due (if any) and submitting forms to HMRC
  5. Provide you with the original and office copy Grant of Representation.

Our prices:

Type of Application Simple

Complex

Our prices

Fixed fee of £1,000 plus VAT £1,500 to £6,000 plus VAT

Factors

Estate requires the completion of form IHT205

The deceased was resident in the UK at the date of death


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Estate requires the completion of IHT205 and IHT217 or the completion of form IHT400.

IHT payable may be payable

The deceased was resident in the UK at the date of death

The estate has sufficient liquid funds in the estate to pay IHT

Timescale

8 – 10 weeks 8 – 20 weeks


Disbursements

Disbursements are minor expenses which will have to be paid during the administration period; in most cases the following disbursements will be incurred:

Disbursement

What is it? Price (£)

Probate Registry Fee

Fee payable when application made to Court

£155 plus £1.50 for each sealed copy (VAT is not charged on this)

Inheritance Tax (IHT)

A tax levied on the value of the estate above the allowances

This is charged at 40%. We will be able to calculate this for you


Next steps

If you would like to contact us for a no-obligation meeting to see how we can help you obtain the Grant of Representation, please get in touch using the details below.

 

‘Bespoke’ Full Estate Administration

We also assist clients in the full administration of an estate.

We understand that it is an emotional and stressful time when someone dies and we are here to guide our clients through the estate administration process.

We deal with the full administration of the estate and our specialist solicitors will undertake the following on the estate’s behalf:

  1. Advising you in the effect of the Will and on the role of executors.
  2. Gather details of the assets and liabilities of the estate.
  3. Prepare the relevant HMRC Inheritance Tax account, advise on the extent of the inheritance tax liability and raising funds to settle such liability.
  4. Prepare the Oath for the application for the Grant of Probate.
  5. Arrange of the signing of the Oath and HMRC account.
  6. Submit the application for the Grant and the HMRC account to HMRC as required and make any payment to HMRC for inheritance tax.
  7. Write to all beneficiaries to confirm entitlement.
  8. Arrange for the placing of Statutory Notices unless otherwise instructed.
  9. Arrange for the encashment/transfer of assets.
  10. Collect estate monies in our client account.
  11. Arrange payment of funeral account and estate liabilities.
  12. Finalise deceased’s tax affairs for the tax year of death and collect any repayment or arrange payment of liability.
  13. Advise you in relation to the transfer of any specific legacies.
  14. Liaise with HMRC regarding the value of the estate, any inheritance tax reliefs, inheritance tax and obtain clearance.
  15. Make interim distributions to beneficiaries if required.
  16. Deal with the estate’s income tax position.
  17. Prepare full estate accounts.
  18. Make distributions to the beneficiaries.

Our prices:

We offer various pricing options and we will offer a fixed fee where possible (subject to a minimum charge of £2,000 plus VAT at 20%).

Otherwise, our charges are calculated by reference partly to the time spent ranging from £150 - £300 (plus VAT at 20%) per hour depending on the grade of fee earner dealing with your matter) and partly to the value of the assets involved. This is normally 1.5% of the assets other than any realty in the estate which would usually attract a value addition of 0.75%.

We will give you an estimate at the initial meeting of the likely overall costs but as a guide the total bill often works out between 2% and 3% of the gross value of the estate.

For example, if an estate is worth £150,000 then this equates to a total charge of approximately £3,600 to £5,400 (inclusive of VAT at 20%).

If an estate is worth £300,000 then this equates to a total charge of approximately £7,200 to £10,800 (inclusive of VAT at 20%).

We would expect that a simple estate with:

  • A legally valid Will.
  • There is no more than one property.
  • There are accounts with no more than 3 financial institutions.
  • Inheritance Tax is not payable on the estate.
  • There are no more than 4 beneficiaries.
  • There are no disputes or claims between the parties.

would be at the lower end of this range and a case of more complexity involving multiple assets and beneficiaries will be at the high end.

Once we have provided you with a quote for the agreed work to be undertaken that price will not change, unless the original information we are given is shown to be incorrect or circumstances change.

There are no upfront costs to pay as our estate administration fees will be taken from the estate once it is funds.

Please note the prices above do not include:

  • Property management, inspection or clearance work concerning any land or property in the estate.
  • Ensuring that any property in the estate is insured that the Insurers are informed if the property is unoccupied and that any additional provisions requested by the Insurers have been complied with.
  • Estate agency or conveyancing work relating to the sale of property or land.
  • Legal work relating to the transfer of property or land.
  • Advising on and/or acting in respect of any contentious matters/litigation concerning the deceased’s estate.
  • Changes to the legislation during the course of the administration of the estate.
  • Trusts in which the deceased was a beneficiary at the date of death.
  • Trusts set up by the deceased under the Will or Intestacy.
  • Deeds of Variation for the beneficiaries.
  • Financial advice on the suitability of the disposal of assets in the estate.
  • Personal taxation of estate beneficiaries.
  • The sale or transfer of the deceased’s interest in a business or farm.
  • Costs associated with expediting any part of the work.
  • Anything other than that listed in (1) to (18) above.

If applicable, we will price these and any other requirements separately for you.

When necessary, and with consultation with you, we will obtain such additional advice as is required from appropriately qualified third parties.

Disbursements

During the administration of the estate, there are likely to be disbursements that must be paid.

Disbursements are minor expenses which will have to be paid during the administration period; in most cases the following disbursements will be incurred:

Disbursement

What is it? Price (£)

Probate Registry Fee

Fee payable when application made to Court.

£155 plus £1.50 for each sealed copy (VAT is not charged on this).

Inheritance Tax (IHT)

A tax levied on the value of the estate above the allowances.

This is charged at 40%. We will be able to calculate this for you.

Bankruptcy Searches

Searches made for each beneficiary at the Land Charges Department.

 

£2.00 per person per search (VAT is not charged on this).

If the beneficiaries are located outside the UK the fees are substantially higher.

Trustee Act Notices

These are adverts placed in a local newspaper and the London Gazette to protect the estate from claims from unknown creditors.

Fees range from £150 - £250 (VAT may be payable at 20%).



Unclaimed asset search

A search of the unclaimed assets registers to ensure that all of the deceased’s assets are located.

From £165 (VAT may be payable at 20%).


Family Tree Verification

If the deceased did not leave a Will, we recommend that at family tree verification is undertaken to ensure that the correct administrators and beneficiaries are located. No charge for initial check, fees from £100 (plus VAT at 20%) if investigation required.



How long will the process take?

It is very hard to accurately provide a timescale for the administration of an estate as there are so many variables that can affect this.

An administration of an estate usually takes between 6 months and a year but if the matter is more complex, it may take longer. We will always keep you updated as to progress during the administration of the estate.

However as a guide we would expect the followings:

 Months 1 and 2

  • Review of the estate and clarification of issues (if any)
  • Advising you in the effect of the Will and on the role of executors
  • Gather details of the assets and liabilities of the estate
  • Arrange payment of funeral account

Months 3 to 5

  • Prepare the relevant HMRC Inheritance Tax account, advise on the extent of the inheritance tax liability and raising funds to settle such liability
  • Prepare the Oath for the application for the Grant of Probate
  • Arrange of the signing of the Oath and HMRC account
  • Submit the application for the Grant and the HMRC account to HMRC as required and make any payment to HMRC for inheritance tax
  • Obtain the Grant of Representation
  • Write to all beneficiaries to confirm entitlement

Month 6 to 12

  • Arrange for the placing of Statutory Notices unless otherwise instructed
  • Arrange for the encashment/transfer of assets
  • Collect estate monies in our client account
  • Arrange payment of estate liabilities
  • Finalise deceased’s tax affairs for the tax year of death and collect any repayment or arrange payment of liability
  • Advise you in relation to the transfer of any specific legacies
  • Liaise with HMRC regarding the value of the estate, any inheritance tax reliefs, inheritance tax and obtain clearance
  • Make interim distributions to beneficiaries if required
  • Deal with the estate’s income tax position
  • Prepare full estate accounts
  • Make distributions to the beneficiaries

Please note that claims can still be made against an estate in the six months following the issuing of the Grant of Representation. The likelihood of such claims will have to be considered before any distribution of the estate is made.

The above is only guidance as to the likely timescale to administer an estate, if circumstances are straightforward (for example there are only a couple of bank accounts in the estate or there is no property) we may be able to complete the administration sooner. We will always keep you updated as to progress.

Next Steps

If you would like to contact us for a no-obligation meeting to see how we can guide you through the Estate Administration process, please get in touch using the details below.

Call us on 0203 507 1609.

Alternatively please use the form below to get in touch.

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