Probate

Our experience Probate Team understand that each estate is different.    We can assist with obtaining Grant or Letters of Administration to a full Administration of a deceased estate.

Once our Probate Team have all the information we can give a clearer indication of the costs involved.

Please note: There may be additional third party disbursements involved.  A full breakdown can be provided on request.   Probate Courts fees can be subject to change.

For some further guidance on Inheritance Tax:   https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax

Administration of Estate

The cost of administering the estate of an individual who has died and who leaves a Will will depend on the complexity of the estate.  We appreciate how difficult it can be to cope with this at a time of loss.

We can, if you wish, see you for a half hour free appointment to explain to you what needs to be done to sort out the estate, to answer your questions and to help, if you need it.

If there is only one beneficiary and no property with a few other assets, then the cost will be likely to be at the lower end of the range of charges for such work,

If there are a number of beneficiaries along with numerous assets, and a house or flat to be administered then the costs are likely to be rather more substantial.

Our usual charges are based on an hourly rate, divided into ten units of six minutes each, together with VAT on that charge at 20%.

The hourly rate will vary depending on the seniority of the lawyer dealing with the matter.  This can be between £180.00 and £235.00 per hour.

We reserve the right to charge a percentage of the value of the estate.

This would usually be 0.5% or the value of any property such as a freehold or leasehold house or flat owned by the deceased and 1% of the value of any other assets.

Ordinarily, we would anticipate winding up the above mentioned estate which could take, in these cases, as little as five or six hours up to in excess of twenty five hours.  This would mean a total cost estimate would be in the range of £1,175.00 up to £5,875.00 plus VAT.

These are only general guides and for more detailed information then please contact us and we would be happy to discuss this with you.

The above figures are based on the assumption that:-

  1. There is a valid Will.
  2. There is no dispute between beneficiaries on the terms of the Will.  If disputes arise, this will inevitably lead to an increase in the costs.
  3. There are no Inheritance claims made against the estate, which would be likely to increase the time required to deal with the administration of the estate.

Disbursements payable to third parties are not included in our costs-

The Probate fee of £155.00 is payable by us to the Probate Registry.  Currently the fixed fee is under review by the Government, who have indicated they will be introducing a scale of fees related to the value of the estate.    A final date for the introduction of these fees has not yet been notified by the Government.

A bankruptcy search is carried out by the Land Charges Department.  The search fee is currently £2.00 per beneficiary name.

Statutory Notices fee for posting Notice in the London Gazette and a local newspaper or journal usually comes to around £250.00 in total.

Disbursements are sums that relate to the estate but are payable to third parties.  We deal with the payment of disbursements on your behalf to make is easier for you.

Intestacy

Intestacy means there is no Will and in that case the estate is dealt with under Rules laid down by Law.  There are likely to be various costs involved which will vary depending upon the type of assets in the estate and what is required to be done in order to deal with the estate properly.  We can give a more accurate quote as to the likely charges once we have further information in respect of the estate.

When applying for the Grant of Representation (which is called a Grant of Probate when there is a Will and a Grant of Letters of Administration when there is no Will) one can apply for additional copies of the Grant which cost an extra 50p per copy.

If there is a property such as a house or flat to be transferred or sold, then the cost of such transaction is not included in the quote that we give in dealing with the administration of the estate.

If it is necessary for a Deed of Variation to be prepared and completed, that charge would not be included in the administration of the estate.

It is quite common for the cost of dealing with a Deed of Variation to be from £250.00 to £400.00 plus VAT.

In the event that there is no Will, it may be necessary to research the family tree in order to trace the correct legal beneficiaries and, indeed, the people who are entitled to apply for the Grant of Representation.

Time

Usually it will take between six to twelve months to deal with an estate.  This period may be shorter in the event that there is a small estate and no unduly complex matters arise during the administration of the estate.

That period will increase in time if, for example, there is a property to sell and therefore a buyer needs to be found. 

It is not unusual to obtain a Grant of Probate within three months of being instructed by you as the client although this will be dependent upon confirmation of the value of the assets and liabilities of the estate.

Once a Grant of Probate has been obtained then assets must be collected in and again this can take a number of weeks depending upon those holding the assets.

If we are dealing with the full administration of the estate then Estate Accounts would be prepared for the approval of the Executors before final distributions normally take place.

Fixed Fee Probates

If, as the Executor, you wish to instruct us to prepare the necessary paperwork leading to the issuing of the Grant of Probate, then we can agree a fixed fee with you.

In the event that you provide the information and the valuations of the assets and liabilities plus additional information we may require in order to complete the paperwork for you, then such paperwork can then be signed and sent to the Probate Registry.  Once the Grant of Probate is issued then our work would be done and, where there is no Inheritance Tax payable, our charges would normally be £650.00 plus VAT plus the Court fee which, as mentioned above, is £155.

If Inheritance Tax is involved, then there is a considerable amount of additional work and paperwork for the Revenue and our fixed fee would then be increased to £950 plus VAT plus the Probate fee of £155.

This assumes nothing unduly complex arises about which we are not aware when instructed.

Conclusion

There are various stages in dealing with the estate of someone who has died.  The first part is to find out exactly what the deceased person owned and owed (assets and liabilities) and various other additional information which is required by the Revenue.

Once the Grant of Representation has been obtained, then it is possible to collect together the assets and to settle any liabilities of the estate after which any tax due to the Revenue will be settled (income tax/capital gains tax) and then the remaining funds in the estate can be distributed according to the terms of the Will (or under the Law governing Intestacy if there is no Will).

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