FULL ADMINISTRATION SERVICE
Probate (uncontested cases with all assets in the UK)
Applying for the Grant, collecting and distributing the assets where an Inland Revenue Form IHT205 or IHT400 is required. This will depend on the nature of assets involved in the Estate.
The Law Society recommends that Solicitors fees be based on three elements:-
1. An hourly time charge to cover the cost of the fee earner doing the work and associated costs of support staff, materials and buildings
2. A percentage mark up on the hourly charge to reflect any difficulty or expertise required to carry out the administration
3. A percentage of the gross Estate, representing a responsibility fee which the Law Society has set as ½ % of the value of land and buildings and 1% of the rest of the gross Estate [where a Solicitor acts as sole Executor or joint Executor with another person the responsibility fee will be ¾ % of the value of the land and buildings and
1½ % of the rest of the gross estate]
We believe that our charges should reflect the benefit to the Estate of our work and be fair and reasonable. Therefore, provided that there are no unusual circumstances such as disagreements between the Beneficiaries, our total charges for Estates of over £250,000 will not exceed 4% of the gross Estate plus 20% VAT and may well be less.
The total charge for a smaller Estate will be less than that for an Estate of over £250,000 but in percentage terms may be somewhat higher. An estimate of the time element in this matter will be provided once we know what is involved in dealing with the Estate.
Whatever method is used to calculate our costs, we will give you a cost update every six months or more frequently if required. The Terms of Business set out how the Estate will be invoiced for our work during the period of administration. You are welcome to discuss costs with us at any stage during the administration of the Estate.
An estimate of the total costs of dealing with the administration of the Estate will be provided once we have ascertained the value of the assets included within the Estate.
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:-
• There is a valid Will and valid appointment of Executors
• There is no more than one property
• There are no more than six bank or building society accounts
• There are no other intangible assets
• There are less than six beneficiaries
• There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs.
• There are no claims made against the estate
Disbursements payable in addition to the above fee:-
• Probate Application Fee of £155
• £7 Swearing of the Oath (per Executor)
• Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department Search (£2 per beneficiary)
• Approx. £70 plus 20% VAT – Post in the London Gazette – protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
• Approx. £110 plus 20% VAT – Post in a Local Newspaper – this also helps to protect against unexpected claims.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. We request these funds up front to enable these to be paid out on your behalf.
Potential additional costs:
• If there is no Will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
• If any additional copies of the Grant are required, they will cost 50p each (1 per asset usually)
• Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included
• Where tax liabilities including Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Income Taxes are payable, they are liabilities of the estate and are payable in addition to the above costs. For more information on these taxes please see the HMRC website at https://www.gov.uk/
How long will this take?
For an Estate with a value of less than £325,000 on average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6 to 12 months. Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 3 to 4 months. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2 to 3 months. Once this had been done, we can prepare final Accounts and distribute the assets, which normally takes 2 months.
As a guide, the fees for a full estate administration will typically start from £4,800 to £7,200 including 20% VAT for a very straight forward estate. Fees for a complex estate may exceed £30,000 including 20% VAT.
Where an estate contains foreign assets or a related trust, or where it is necessary to claim reliefs such as Business Property Relief or Agricultural Relief, we will still apply the same approach to our costs, but the time element of our costs is likely to be higher.
We will provide an overall estimate of costs once the nature of the assets and value of the estate have been ascertained.
For more information about the probate process and the choices you have, please see the ‘Legal Choices’ website at https://www.legalchoices.org.uk/legal-choices/got-a-legal-issue/probate/
GRANT ONLY SERVICE
Probate (uncontested cases with all assets in the UK)
Probate – where HM Revenue & Customs require a Return of Estates Information Form IHT 205 to be completed
We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. [We will also undertake the collecting and distributing of assets if required. The extra cost involved will depend on the nature of the assets within the Estate – an estimate will be provided once we know what is involved dealing with the Estate]
How much does this service cost?
As a guide, fees will start from £1,194 including 20% VAT for obtaining the Grant of Probate only [and £1,800 including 20% VAT for obtaining the Grant of Probate and collecting and distributing the assets] (an accurate estimate will be provided once the nature of the assets and the value of the Estate has been ascertained)
Breakdown of additional costs (£380 in total):
• Probate Court Fee £155
• Swearing of Oath (per Executor) £7
• Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department Search (per beneficiary) £2
• Post in The London Gazette (protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors) – Approx. £70 plus 20% VAT.
• Post in a Local Newspaper (this also helps to protect against unexpected claims) – Approx. £110 plus 20% VAT.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Court Fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
As part of our fixed fee we will:-
• Provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate Solicitor to work on your matter
• Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
• Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
• Upon receipt from you of the appropriate details, complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
• Draft a legal Oath for you to swear
• Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
• Obtain the Probate and send two copies to you
• [Collect and distribute all assets in the estate if required]
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 3 to 4 months. Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 2 to 3 weeks from submitting the paperwork to HM Revenue & Customs. If you instruct us to continue to act in the administration of the estate after we have obtained the Grant for you, collecting assets then follows, which may take between 2 to 3 months depending on the nature of the assets within the Estate. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets which normally takes 2 to 3 weeks.