If you wish, we can assist with all aspects of the estate administration for you.
You will appreciate that the size and complexity of estates and the work we are required to do to administer these can vary substantially from case to case. To reflect this, our charges are calculated in general terms upon the basis of the time we spend working on the matter applying the hourly rate charged by the legal professional acting.
Our fees for estate administration
As a guide, we estimate our fees for dealing with the administration of an estate will be in the region of:
- Where the gross value of the estate assets for Inheritance Tax purposes does not exceed £75,000, our fees would be £1,500 plus VAT (£1,800).
- Where the gross value of the estate assets for Inheritance Tax purposes exceeds £75,000 but there is no Inheritance Tax payable upon the estate, our fees would be 1% to 2% of the gross value of the estate assets for Inheritance Tax purposes plus VAT – subject to a minimum fee of £1,500 plus VAT (£1,800).
- Where there is Inheritance Tax payable upon the estate, our estimate fees would be 2% to 3% of the gross value of the estate assets for Inheritance Tax purposes plus VAT.
Hourly fees for our Wills & Probate team
- Partner / Consultant – £335 plus VAT
- Legal Director – £300 plus VAT
- Senior Associate – £260 plus VAT
- Associate – £215 plus VAT
- Trainee Solicitor / Senior Paralegal – £180 plus VAT
- Paralegal – £135 plus VAT
Our estate administration service
As part of our service, we will usually:
- Meet with you to take your instructions and advise you regarding the estate administration.
- Agree with you what work you require us to undertake in the estate administration and what work you wish to carry out yourself.
- Consider the deceased’s paperwork you provide us with to identify the actual or potential estate assets and liabilities.
- Contact the institutions with whom the estate assets and liabilities are or may be held or owed to obtain the information and paperwork required from them.
- Collate the information we receive from those institutions into an Estate Account.
- Prepare the Probate application paperwork and any Inheritance Tax accounts required by HMRC. Claim any Inheritance Tax allowances available and calculate the amount of Inheritance Tax due.
- Meet with you to complete the paperwork and to provide you with an update regarding the estate administration.
- Arrange to pay the Inheritance Tax due from the deceased’s bank accounts.
- Obtain the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
- Once the Grant has been issued, collect in the monies due to the estate and pay out the estate liabilities.
- Contact the estate beneficiaries to check their identity and, once funds are available, to pay out the legacies/distributions due to them.
- Submit a corrective account, if needed, to HMRC to finalise the Inheritance Tax position.
- Prepare Final Estate Accounts and provide the executors/administrators and residuary beneficiaries with a copy of these.
Assuming that everything proceeds smoothly, we would usually expect to be in a position to:
- Meet with you to complete the Probate application and Inheritance Tax paperwork approximately 3 to 4 months after our first meeting where no Inheritance Tax is payable, or 4 to 5 months after our first meeting where Inheritance Tax is payable.
- To complete the estate administration in approximately a further 2 to 3 months where no Inheritance Tax is payable, or 4 to 6 months where Inheritance Tax is payable.
We may in certain circumstances be able to meet with you to complete the matter much quicker than this. Alternatively, there are many factors, such as the time it takes to sell a property, negotiations with HMRC and delays in obtaining instructions from beneficiaries or information from institutions, which may unfortunately mean that it takes longer than this to deal with the matter.
All work will be carried out either by or under the supervision of an experienced solicitor.
Additional fees may be made if we are required to:
- Collect the medical certificate, register the death or organise the funeral.
- Visit the deceased’s property for any reason.
- Deal with any foreign assets.
- Advise upon or deal with any Capital Gains Tax/Income Tax matters relating to the deceased’s lifetime affairs or those relating to the estate administration.
- Deal with the sale or transfer of property or business assets.
- Advise upon or deal with any variation of the Will or Intestacy.
- Involve ourselves in any issues regarding the validity of the Will or Codicil and any disagreements or disputes or claims affecting the estate in any way.
- Instruct genealogists to identify and/or locate beneficiaries.
- Negotiate with HMRC regarding the Inheritance Tax position.
- Assist in arranging a loan to pay the Inheritance Tax due if there are insufficient funds to pay this from the deceased’s own bank accounts.
- Deal with more than one estate property, more than 10 estate assets, more than 10 estate liabilities, more than 6 legatees or more than 6 beneficiaries of the residuary estate.
Additional fees incurred in estate administration
Expenses that are or may commonly be incurred in the administration of an estate are:
- Where the value of the estate exceeds £5,000, the Probate Registry charges a fee of £273 for issuing the grant of probate. There is also a £1.50 charge for each sealed copy of the Grant you require.
- Inheritance Tax which in general terms is charged at the rate of 40% upon the net estate for Inheritance Tax purposes after deduction of available tax allowances.
- Land Registry fees to check the property title – £3 per property.
- Certainty Will search – £114 approximately.
- Estate Search asset and liability search – £268 approximately.
- Statutory advertisements for creditors – £250 – £300 approximately.
Additional expenses may be incurred if it is necessary to instruct experts to, for example, value sell or otherwise deal with assets, such as property, personal effects, business interests and shares.
Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and possibly other taxes plus accountancy fees may need to be paid to finalise the deceased’s lifetime tax affairs and the estate administration tax position.