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We can assist executors or personal representatives with the administration of estates. The key stages in this process are as follows:-
- Taking initial instructions from and advising executors/personal representatives
- Obtaining date of death values for all assets and liabilities
- Conducting searches such as a Will search and asset search and placing statutory notices
- Completing the appropriate inheritance tax form
- Preparing an Oath to be sworn by the executors/personal representatives
- Applying to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Representation
- Dealing with the assets and liabilities in the estate
- Preparing estate and distribution accounts
- Distributing the estate in accordance with the Will or the rules of intestacy and obtaining receipts
- Finalising any liability for income and capital gains tax during the administration period
The fees involved in a probate matter can vary and this will depend on the individual circumstances involved.
We generally charge an hourly rate which means that you pay for the work actually carried out. We can offer a fixed fee upon request.
Our fees in connection with the administration and distribution of a straightforward estate should range between £4,000 and £5,000 plus VAT (£4,800 and £6,000) and disbursements. This figure is for estates where a short inheritance tax form can be completed and which have:-
- One property
- Up to two bank accounts
- Up to two intangible assets that pay out to the estate (for example, life policies, shares or other investments)
- Up to four beneficiaries who have mental capacity and who are over the age of 18 or the age specified in the Will
For more complex matters, for instance with a greater number of assets or multiple beneficiaries, our fees should range between £5000 plus vat and £10,000 plus vat (£6000 and £12,000). The most complex matters, which might include foreign/business/intellectual property as well as multiple assets and beneficiaries our fees should range between £10,000 plus vat and £30,000 plus vat (£12,000 and £36,000).
If you wish to instruct us only to obtain the Grant of Representation in respect of a straightforward estate, then we anticipate that our fees should not exceed £1,500 plus VAT (£1,800) and disbursements.
Please note that the cost of selling or transferring a property is not included in this price. We work alongside our Conveyancing Team and find that it is more straightforward and more efficient if they deal with any conveyancing matter linked to the estate. They will provide information about fees if required.
There are a number of situations which would increase our costs. The following list is not exhaustive:-
- Multiple properties in the estate
- High value personal belongings
- Foreign assets
- Multiple cash assets
- More than two intangible assets (for example, life policies, shares or other investments)
- Lifetime gifts
- More than four beneficiaries
- Beneficiaries who lack mental capacity or who are under the age of 18 or the age specified in the Will
- Missing beneficiaries/defunct charities
- Intestacies where there are more than four beneficiaries or the family tree needs to be established
- Business interests including unlisted shares
- Complicated tax liabilities (including income tax and capital gains tax)
- Disputes amongst executors and/or beneficiaries
- Complex inheritance tax issues such as a gift with reservation of benefit, establishing the deceased’s domicile and taper relief
- Ongoing Trusts arising from the Will
- Claims against the estate
If any of the items listed above apply to the estate, then we will revise our fees accordingly. If any the items listed above come to light after we provide you with an indication of our fees, then we will revise it as soon as possible.
It is important that you provide us with as much information as available at the outset so that we can provide you with a realistic indication of fees.
The anticipated disbursements which are payable to third parties and in addition to our fees are:-
- Grant of Representation application fee (£155)
- Fee per sealed copy of the Grant of Representation (£1.50)
- Lang Registry search fee (£3 per property)
- Bankruptcy search fee (£2 per beneficiary)
- Swear fee (£5 per Oath and £2 per exhibit)
- Asset search fee (£162 including VAT)
- Will search fee (£114 including VAT)
- Statutory advertisements fee (dependent upon location but approximately £250 including VAT)
- Property valuation fee (from £234 including VAT)
- Shareholding valuation fee (£60 for up to six shareholdings)
- Valuation fee for personal belongings of high value
It is not possible to give an indication of the amount of inheritance tax payable, if any, until we are aware of the circumstances and value of the estate.
On average the administration of a straight forward estate should take between 6 and 12 months.
Our Wills and Probate Team
Our Wills and Probate Team is made up of solicitors, a legal secretary and an administration assistant. Our Team is supervised by a partner with over 40 years experience.
If you have any questions or would like to arrange an appointment, please contact our Wills and Probate Team.