Grant of Probate / Letters of Administration and Estate Administration 

We can assist you with all aspects of an estate administration.

Legal Charges 

Estates vary considerably in size and complexity and the work required to deal with an administration can therefore vary substantially and it is not always possible to assess this at the start of an administration. At the outset of an administration therefore we give an indication of the charges likely to be incurred based on the time spent on the matter and the size of the estate. 

Charges are based on two elements: 

  1. The first element is the time spent / work done. Partners / Senior Solicitors have an hourly charging rate of £200 + VAT. Assistant Solicitors have an hourly charging rate of £185 + VAT. 
  1. The second element is the gross value of the estate and this reflects the responsibility on the Firm which is charged as follows: 
  • Owner occupied homes – 0.5%
  • Remainder of the estate – 1% 

Should a Solicitor or partner of the Firm act as an Executor/ Trustee an additional 0.5% of the gross value of the estate will be added to the charges. 

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 for Inheritance Tax purposes does not exceed £75,000, our fees would be £1,250 - £1,750 + VAT. 
  • Where the gross value of the estate for Inheritance Tax purposes exceeds £75,000 we would not anticipate that the costs would exceed 2% of the gross value of the estate for Inheritance Tax purposes + VAT subject to a minimum of £1,250 + VAT. 

Disbursements 

In addition disbursements or expenses commonly incurred in the administration of an estate are: 

  • Probate Court Fees - £155
  • Fee for sealed copies of the Grant – 50p each 
  • Oath fees - £5 for each individual swearing the oath plus an additional £2 for each exhibit.
  • Land Registry fees to check the property title £3 per property 
  • Statutory Advertisements for creditors - £150 - £300 approximately 
  • Bankruptcy search fees - £2 per beneficiary 

It may be necessary to instruct experts to value property or other assets which will incur additional expenses. 

Income tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax may need to be paid to finalise the deceased’s lifetime tax affairs and the administration tax position and accountancy fees may need to be paid in relation to dealing with these issues.

Additional fees 

Additional fees may be charged if we are required to: 

  • Deal with the sale or transfer of a property or business assets 
  • Advise upon or deal with any variation of the will or intestacy 
  • Instruct genealogists to identify and / or locate beneficiaries 
  • 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 any foreign assets. 

Stages of work and timescales 

The administration can be broken down into three stages: 

Stage 1 

We will obtain details of the assets and liabilities of the estate including any gifts made in the 7 years prior to death and details of any trusts involving the deceased and information relating to pensions. Once all necessary information has been collected in we will prepare the documentation to obtain the Grant of Representation including any Inheritance Tax accounts required by HMRC. This stage commonly takes between 3 and 6 months from taking initial instructions, usually towards the higher end of this time estimate for cases involving Inheritance Tax. 

Stage 2 

Once the Grant of Representation has been issued assets will be collected in or transferred and any liabilities discharged. Any legacies will be paid and items specifically bequeathed will be distributed. Any final tax matters will be dealt with. This stage commonly takes between 3 and 6 months. 

Stage 3 

The winding up of the estate and the preparation of an estate account will take place. This sets out details of all monies received and paid out on behalf of the estate, including details of assets transferred to the beneficiaries. This will be sent to the executors / administrators for approval and copies will be sent to the residuary beneficiaries. 

In terms of timescale a simple estate can sometimes be dealt with in fewer than 6 months, average estates generally take in the region of 6 - 12 months and more complicated estates involving payment of Inheritance Tax can often take considerably longer. There are many factors which can affect the length of time an administration takes such as the time it takes to sell a property, delays in obtaining requested information from outside agencies / institutions and delays in finalising taxation issues with HMRC.