PROBATE AND ESTATE ADMINISTRATION PRICES
The prices stated below relate to Estates where there is no dispute regarding the Will or any other matter and there is no claim anticipated against the Estate by a dependent under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975.
GRANT OF Probate / Letters of Administration Applications ONLY
When someone dies, unless the Estate is very small, it is necessary for one or more persons to apply to the Probate Court for authority to sort out the Estate. If there is a Will and the Executors are available to act, the authority given by the Court will be a Grant of Probate. If there is no Will or there is no Executor available to act, the authority given by the Court will be a Grant of Letters of Administration which will normally be made to one or more of the persons entitled to the Estate. The persons authorised to deal with the Estate by the Grant of Letters of Administration are known as Administrators.
Our service will include:-
- Meeting with the Executors or proposed Administrator of the Estate to discuss what the application involves and advising them about this;
- Preparing all necessary forms relating to the application;
- Arranging for the Executors to sign the application forms;
- Submitting the application forms to the Probate Registry;
- Sending the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration to the Executor or Administrator.
We charge a fixed price for this service as follows:-
|Type of Matter||Our Fixed Price|
|Where there is no inheritance tax to pay and it isn’t necessary to complete an Inheritance Tax account IHT400||Price £650.00 Vat £130.00|
|Where an inheritance tax account IHT400 is necessary but there is no inheritance tax to pay||Price £1,400. Vat £280.00|
|Where an inheritance tax account IHT400 is necessary and there is inheritance tax to pay||Price £1,600 Vat £320.00|
ADMINISTERING THE ESTATE AND APPLYING FOR PROBATE / LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION
We are able to deal with all aspects of the administration of an Estate including the following:-
- Meeting with the Executors or proposed Administrators in order to establish what is involved in the Estate and to advise on the administration process and the duties and responsibilities of an Executor and Administrator;
- Contacting banks, building societies and other financial institutions with a view to establishing the assets of the Estate and obtaining valuations;
- Notifying pension providers;
- Contacting any creditors of the Estate to provide timescales as to when payment of any outstanding debt will be made;
- Obtaining valuations of properties and shareholdings;
- Preparing the application for the Grant of Probate / Letters of Administration;
- Preparing the inheritance tax account IHT400, calculating any inheritance tax that has to be paid and agreeing with you as to how payment is to be made;
- Registering the Grant of Probate with Banks, Building Societies and other financial institutions in order that accounts and investments can be encashed or transferred;
- Paying the debts of the Estate including the funeral;
- Notifying the beneficiaries of their entitlement;
- Dealing with any matters raised by HM Revenue & Customs in relation to the inheritance tax account and obtaining inheritance tax clearance (if there is tax to pay);
- Dealing with the income tax and capital gains tax affairs of the Estate during the administration process and settling any outstanding income and capital gains tax liability;
- Paying any legacies or dealing with the transfer of any assets specifically gifted to a beneficiary by the Will;
- On the completion of the administration of the Estate, preparing a detailed set of Accounts and making payments to the beneficiaries entitled to the Estate.
Our charge for dealing with the aspects of the Estate detailed above will be based on the time that we spend on the matter. Our hourly charging rate for this type of work is currently £185 plus VAT.
We take a flexible approach to assisting Executors and Administrators and appreciate that every Estate is different. We understand that in many cases, our clients may not require all aspects of the service detailed above but will simply require assistance on certain matters. When we are asked to assist, as soon as we have sufficient information from you as to what you would like us to do we will be able to ascertain how much time we are likely to spend on the matter. We will then provide you with a clear estimate of the expected overall fee that is specific to your matter. Additionally, in some cases, we are able to offer our clients the option of a fixed fee.
We anticipate that our fee for dealing with both the administration of the estate and the application for the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration will be within the following ranges:-
|Type of Matter||Our Range of Professional Fees|
|Category 1 Dealing with the administration of the Estate & the application for the grant where there is no inheritance to pay||Depending on what you ask us to do and the size and complexity of the Estate this will normally involve between 12 and 38 hours of work and our fee would range from:- £2,220 + Vat of £444 (i.e. £2,664 in total) to £7,030 + Vat of £1,406 (i.e. £8,436 in total)|
|Category 2 Dealing with the administration of the Estate and the application for the Grant where there is inheritance tax to pay||Depending on what you ask us to do and the size and complexity of the Estate , this will normally involve between 35 and 75 hours of work and our fee would range from:- £6,475 + Vat of £1,295 (i.e. £7,770 in total) -to- £13,875 + Vat of £2,775 (i.e. £16,650 in total)|
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter and what we are asked to do. For instance, in category 1 above, if there were just three bank accounts and two beneficiaries then our fee will be at the lower end of the range stated. If in the case of category 2 above, there were multiple bank accounts, shares and investments, agricultural and business property, 10 or more beneficiaries and you needed us to deal with all aspects of the administration of the Estate, then our charge will be at the higher end of the range stated. In some cases, if the Estate is very simple then our fee may be below the lower end of the range stated.
POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL COSTS
In a small number of cases, the following factors may possibly cause the administration of the Estate to be more expensive than the prices stated above:-
- The terms of the Will are unclear or ambiguous;
- The original Will is lost or damaged;
- The Estate consists of large portfolios of properties / or shareholdings;
- Asset valuations or claims for exemptions and reliefs are disputed by HMRC;
- Dealing with property or assets outside England and Wales;
- Where there are Family Trusts;
- Where there have been significant gifts before death that must be declared for inheritance tax purposes;
- Selling or carrying on a business;
- The Estate is insolvent or there are a very significant number of debts;
- The whereabouts of one or more of the beneficiaries is not known.
FEES CHARGED BY THIRD PARTIES
In addition to our prices detailed above, the following amounts may also be payable to third parties:-
|Third Party Payments||Amount|
|Probate Court fee Bankruptcy Search fees Fee for insertion of Statutory Notices in the London Gazette and a local newspaper (these are sometimes necessary to protect Executors against claims from unknown Creditors)||£155.00 (plus 50p for each individual sealed copy) £2.00 per beneficiary Approximately £300.00-£350.00|
The additional costs payable to third parties stated above are subject to change from time to time.
If all the Estate is left to a husband, wife or charity there should be no inheritance tax to pay. Where more than £325,000 is left to other parties there may be inheritance tax to pay. However, there may be allowances that can be claimed which can reduce or even avoid the inheritance tax altogether. Once we have sufficient information from you, we will provide you with an estimate of the tax payable.
Any conveyancing work for the sale of a property forming part of an Estate will be charged separately in accordance with our Conveyancing prices.
if you require us to prepare an application for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and nothing else then from the time that we have all the information from you to draft the necessary forms the Grant will normally be issued by the Court within the following timescales:-
- Where there is no inheritance tax to pay and no inheritance tax account IHT400 to prepare
– 6 weeks
- Where it is necessary to complete an inheritance tax account IHT400 – 10 to 12 weeks.
If we are asked to deal with all or most aspects of the administration of an Estate, then this will take longer but it is anticipated that most Estates can be completed within a timescale of approximately 6 to 12 months from the date of death.
The timescales stated may vary depending on the circumstances. For instance, if there is a house then the time it takes for this to sell will have a bearing on how quickly the administration of the Estate can be concluded. The speed at which third parties respond to us will also have a bearing on the timescale. In particular, if there is inheritance tax to pay, it can sometimes take several months or more for HM Revenue & Customs to consider the inheritance tax account and raise any questions about the values submitted or other related matters. This in turn may possibly prolong the administration of the Estate.
Experience and Qualification of Person Carrying Out Probate Work
Our probate work is carried out by Neill Avis who is a Chartered Legal Executive of 27 years post qualification experience. Neill has spent his entire career specialising exclusively in Wills, Probate and Estate administration work. Neill has considerable experience in dealing with both complicated and straightforward estates of varying sizes.
All probate work is supervised by a Director in the firm who will have more than 20 years experience.