The charges involved in probate/administration of estates vary dependent on the individual circumstances of each case so we would always suggest that you contact our probate department who will give you a better idea of the actual costs involved. We are happy to be as involved as you need us to be in dealing with the administration of the estate from simply obtaining the grant of probate/letters of administration to dealing with the whole administration of the estate or anything in between.
FIXED FEE – APPLICATION FOR PROBATE/LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION ONLY
If you simply need us to deal with the application for probate/letters of administration, then we can do this on a fixed fee basis. We would need a list from you of all the assets and liabilities and values for each as at the date of death. Our service would only include preparing the tax form for inheritance tax purposes and the probate application and providing you with the grant once received. Any amendments required to the inheritance tax once signed and submitted would be charged for separately and if you require a clearance application for inheritance tax to be made again this would be charged for separately.
If the estate is not subject to inheritance tax and only requires an IHT205 form (no Trust assets, no gifts and no foreign assets over certain amounts) then our fees are £550 plus VAT. If the estate requires an IHT205 and a transferable nil rate band application, then our fee will be £650 plus VAT. In addition to both these there will also be disbursements as below.
If the estate is subject to inheritance tax or a full inland revenue IHT400 account is required, then our fees will be between £1,200 plus VAT and £1,800 plus VAT and disbursements as below.
FULL ADMINISTRATION SERVICE
Unfortunately, we are not able to offer this type of work on a fixed fee basis we instead we charge on an hourly rate (which for our probate solicitor is currently is £215 plus VAT per hour) but we can provide an estimate to you once we have more detail of the individual estate.
To give you an average our fees for a simple non-taxable estate tend to start in the region of around £2,000 to the £3,000 and for a straightforward taxable estate would start at around £3,000 to around £4,000 plus VAT in each case. These fees would apply where there is a valid will, there are executors appointed that are surviving and are happy to apply for probate, there is only one property, no foreign assets, no business assets, no farming assets, no lifetime gifts, only five bank accounts, only two share holdings, no more than five beneficiaries who are all known, living and you can provide addresses, no income tax or capital gains tax returns are required, no potential disputes and no potential claims against the estate.
We would then handle the administration of the estate from start to finish which would include for instance notifying any banks, building societies, share companies etc. of the death and establishing the information needed to produce the paperwork for probate, establishing any liabilities details of which you would provide, producing the paperwork for probate as above and obtaining the grant of probate to the estate, arranging to close or transfer the assets (excluding the house which would be charged for separately), paying any liabilities, placing trustee act advertisements if needed (disbursements, see below), paying out the estate to the beneficiaries.
For more complex estates the fees can vary so we could provide you with an estimate of fees for the work required on an individual basis.
DISBURSEMENTS IN ALL CASES
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to a third party for instance probate court fees, land registry fees etc.
|Verification of Identification of Executor/Administrator||£5.40|
|Probate Court fee||£155.00 (if the estate is over £5,000)|
|Office Copy of the Probate||£1.50 per copy required|
|Land Registry Bankruptcy Search – recommended for each beneficiary ||£2.00 per search|
|Trustee Act advertisements – if needed||We use an outside Agency and would cost in the region of £250.00 plus VAT|
If the deceased died without leaving a will or died without leaving a valid will then the intestacy rules would determine who the beneficiaries are and who can apply to deal with the administration of the estate. Therefore, it depends on the complexities of the matter and who the potential beneficiaries are as to the costs involved in dealing with this. It may also be necessary to employ the services of a tracing agency if it is unsure as to who the beneficiaries in fact are or those beneficiaries need to be traced.
The cost of selling or transferring any property held within the estate is not included within our probate prices. We are more than happy to assist you with this and would suggest that you contact us directly if you would like a quote or look at the conveyancing page for more information.
On average the time taken to obtain a grant of probate if we are dealing with literally obtaining the grant of probate from the time that you provide us with a list of assets and liabilities, we usually have the paperwork with you within a week and once signed and forwarded to the probate office if there is no inheritance tax to pay and no IHT400 has been required then normally probate would be granted within three to four weeks of that. If an IHT400 has been required, then the timescale would be more in the region of eight to ten weeks possibly longer.
If we are instructed to deal with the whole of the administration of the estate, then an average estate generally takes in the region of three to twelve months to deal with again depending on the assets in the estate and the complexities involved.
The above is a guidance as to the way that we calculate our fees but if you would like to speak to us, we can then provide you with an individual estimate or confirmation of fixed fee for our services and of course go through any general queries that you may have about how to administer the estate and what is involved.
Our head of department, Daniele Marks has been a probate and wills solicitor for in excess of twenty years and so has many years of experience in this area. She is also a member of STEP (the society of trust and estate practitioners) and of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) having sat many exams to gain entry to both of those organisations.
As a firm are also very proud to hold the Lexcel Accreditation which is issued by the Law Society. This involves our firm being audited annually to ensure that high standards of client care are maintained.