We understand that dealing with the death of a loved one is difficult enough and administering their estate may be something that you would like some help with.
We can assist you by dealing with the full process of the administration of the estate. This involves:
- Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
- Accurately identifying the type of Probate application you will require
- Obtaining the relevant documents required to make the application
- Preparing the executors’ or administrators’ oath
- Completing the relevant HMRC forms
- Submitting the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
- Obtaining the Grant of Probate and providing a copy to you
- Collecting in the assets of the estate, paying the liabilities and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries
- Producing an account of the estate
We anticipate that in most straightforward cases this will take between 7 and 10 hours work. Our charges for this work are estimated at £1,500 - £2,000 plus VAT and disbursements.
These charges are estimated on the basis that:
- There is a valid will
- There is no more than one property
- There are accounts with no more than 4 banks or building societies (including National Savings & Investments)
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are 1 - 6 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 is no inheritance tax payable and HMRC do not require a full account of the estate
- There are no claims made against the estate
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, our charges will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, our charges will be at the higher end.
Our charges are calculated according to the hourly rate for the individual carrying out the work. Our current rates (excluding VAT) are:
Directors - £240 per hour
Associates - £215 per hour
Assistants - £190 per hour
Trainee solicitors/Paralegals - £140 per hour
Disbursements payable in addition to our charges include:
- Swearing of the oath (per executor) - £7.00
- Probate application fee - £155.00 (please be advised that the Government are intending to increase these in April 2019)
- Additional copies of the Grant of Probate (per copy) - £0.50
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (per beneficiary) - £2.00
- Advertisement in The London Gazette and a local newspaper (to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors) - from £250
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.
Potential additional costs
- If there is no will or if the estate includes any share holdings (stocks and bonds), a number of debts or more assets or beneficiaries than outlined above, additional costs are likely. These could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate estimate of costs once we have more information about the estate.
- Dealing with the sale of any property comprised in the estate
- Completing a full account of the estate, if required by HMRC, and discharging any inheritance tax due.
Our charges for any additional work will be calculated at the appropriate hourly rate, as indicated above, for the individual carrying out the work.
If it becomes apparent that additional work will be required, we will discuss this with you at the earliest opportunity and provide you with an estimate of the additional costs.
How long will the administration of the estate take?
On average, estates that fall within the range outlined above are dealt with within 6 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 8 – 12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4-8 weeks. Once this has been done, we can prepare the estate account and distribute the assets, which normally takes 4-6 weeks.