Probate and Administration of Estate Fees
Obtaining a Grant of Representation and dealing with the administration of an estate can be complicated and time-consuming, and every estate is different. This is why we offer two levels of service, so as to accommodate the individual circumstances of as many clients as possible.
Obtaining the grant of probate on the basis of information provided by you
For this service we charge for the work carried out on an hourly basis of £200 per hour plus VAT, together with a charge for standard letters and telephone calls of 1/10th of the hourly rate. From experience we know that our bill for work, correspondence and telephone calls is very likely to be in the region of £600 to £700 plus VAT.
Dealing with the administration of an estate
There is a considerable difference between a basic straightforward estate (say consisting of a property and a couple of bank accounts (where all the paperwork is in order), which will be passed onto 2 or 3 children and an estate where there are inheritance tax matters to be dealt with (i.e. the estate exceeds the current single nil rate band of £325,000) but the estate also contains shares, a number of investments bonds and property (or properties) which may need to be transferred to a beneficiary or sold (and perhaps one beneficiary wants to buy out other beneficiaries) as well as a mixed make-up of beneficiaries of say a number of relatives, friends and charities, whereby nobody is familiar with the deceased’s financial affairs and sometimes even the executors distrust each other and do not work well together. Clearly the first estate will be quicker and cheaper to administer than the second estate, which will be considerably more time-consuming and expensive.
In the first instance we find on average the work (including letters and telephone calls) will cost in the region of £1,500 to £3,000 plus VAT
In the second instance we would estimate the work (including letters and telephone calls) would cost in the region of £3,000 to £10,000+ plus VAT
Please note that the above are estimates and based on our hourly rates which are reviewed every year in January.
The following assumptions were made for the above estimate in respect of the first estate;-
- The person who has died is resident in the UK
- There is a valid Will appointing executors who are UK domiciled and resident
- There are no ambiguities in the will
- All assets are known
- The whereabouts of all beneficiaries are known and they are UK resident
- Any property is residential property and registered in the deceased’s name with H M Land Registry
- There are no intangible assets (e.g. patents, trademarks and copyrights)
- There are no assets abroad
- There are no trusts created in the will
- There are no outstanding creditors of the estate except in relation to the funeral arrangements
- There are no disputes between the beneficiaries or with or between the executors
- There is no need to submit a full Inheritance Tax Account (form IHT400) to H M Revenue & Customs.
- The estate does not have to submit an income tax return on behalf of the estate
- The deceased’s lifetime income was taxed under the PAYE system
- There are no claims made against the estate.
- The will is not being varied
If your matter does not meet the above criteria, please give us a ring or make an initial appointment to discuss – we can provide a more accurate estimate once we know the facts and have a clearer picture
Disbursements are costs related to the matter which are payable to third parties, such as court fees. The most common disbursements are set out below:
- Probate application fee currently of £155 (subject to changes in 2019)
- Additional sealed office copies of the grant of probate are currently £1.50 each
- Bankruptcy land charges department search fee of £2 per beneficiary
- Trustee Act Notices in the London Gazette and a local paper to protect the executors from unknown creditors – approximately £250, depending on where the deceased lived.
Experience and qualifications
Our probate fee-earner is a solicitor with over 12 years of experience of dealing with probate matters and she is supported by a probate legal assistant with over 4 years experience.
On average we find that obtaining a grant of probate only (whereby you provide the information), once we have the information, the process generally takes 4 to 8 weeks, provided you respond in a timely manner to any communication from us.
The administration of an average basic estate generally takes somewhere between 3 and 6 months, again assuming you respond in a timely manner to communications from us.