Estate Administration Pricing
Our Wills, Trusts and Probate team have over 95 years of collective experience in delivering outstanding service to our clients. They specialise in all aspects of Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection work, Estate Planning, Trusts, Probate and Estate Administration matters.
The team consists of seven members of the team who may work on your matter, all with extensive knowledge and expertise in these areas, and all of whom are supervised by Peter Hamilton, Director and Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate department.
Our Approach To Pricing For Uncontested Probates
Our experience tells us that no two people’s circumstances and requirements are identical, and therefore our preference is always to sit down with you to assess your particular requirements and before agreeing our charges with you. However, we also acknowledge that it can be helpful for clients to have some understanding of our charges before an initial meeting and thus we’ll provide some information below that might be helpful for you, as a guide to our approach.
The cost of administering the estate of the deceased person will always depend upon the individual circumstances of the estate. The factors that can affect the cost include:
- The number, value and type of estate assets.
- The validity of the will.
- Ascertaining and finding the beneficiaries.
- Challenges to the will or claims against the estate.
- Disputes between beneficiaries on division of estate assets.
- Inheritance tax issues.
- The willingness of the personal representatives to carry out estate administration tasks themselves.
- The cooperation and prompt actions of the personal representatives and third parties involved in the estate administration.
The general rule is that simple estates (for example, an estate with few assets and beneficiaries) will cost less to administer. Larger and more complex estates, and those with any of the issues referred to above, will cost more to administer.
A simple estate could cost as little as £750 plus VAT to administer, but a high value and complex estate administration could cost in excess of £10,000 plus VAT to administer.
Typically, our charges are calculated by reference to an hourly rate for work undertaken (except in cases of exceptionally high value or complexity, in which case a value element is also charged). The hourly rates will vary according to the experience and qualifications of the staff member carrying out the work, as well as the complexity and urgency of the work required. Hourly rates start from £100 per hour for a junior staff member undertaking simple estate work, to £325 per hour for an experienced solicitor undertaking complex or urgent work. All charges are subject to the addition of VAT.
Before we commence work on an estate administration, we will agree what work we are undertaking for you and we will also provide you with details of who will be handling the matter, their qualifications, the applicable hourly rate(s), estimate of charges, details of the disbursements and a timescale estimate.
These are the costs related to the administration of the estate that payable to third parties. The disbursements payable will depend upon the individual circumstances of the estate, but they are likely to include the following:
- Probate registry fees (the court fees payable to apply for a Grant of Probate or other Grant).
- Commissioner’s fees (the fee payable for swearing the oath required to apply for a Grant).
- Bankruptcy search (one per beneficiary).
- Trustee act notice fees (protecting against unexpected claims from unknown creditors).
- Land registry fees (for any related property work).
Administration of an estate comprising three bank/building society accounts, premium bonds, one investment bond and one residential property. Two executors acting, two legacies payable and two residuary beneficiaries. All work undertaken by an experienced/qualified practitioner.
We would undertake the following steps:
- Ascertaining the estate assets (based on information provided by you).
- Valuing the estate for inheritance tax (IHT) and probate purposes.
- Preparing the application for a grant of probate and inheritance tax reporting document (IHT 205).
- Preparing claim and account closure forms.
- Attending you to approve, sign and swear the probate application and IHT form.
- Submitting the probate application.
- Following the grant of probate, collecting in the assets of the estate (using our banking facilities).
- Discharging the known liabilities of the estate.
- Preparation of a simple form of estate accounts.
- Undertaking bankruptcy searches in relation to each beneficiary.
- Distribution of the estate, including the transfer of property and registration at the Land Registry.
In this case we would anticipate that the estate administration would take 10-12 hours to complete, at £165 per hour. Total costs are estimated at £1650 – £1980 plus VAT and disbursements as below.
- Probate registry application fee £155
- Probate registry sealed copies of the grant £3
- Commissioner’s fees (swearing the oath) £14
- Bankruptcy searches £8
- Statutory notices (if placed) £175 estimated
- Land Registry fees (based on registered property worth £300,000) £40
On average we would expect the administration of an estate of this type to be concluded within 5-6 months from confirmation of instructions. This estimate is made up of the following timeframes:
- Valuation of the estate: 4 weeks,
- Preparation of the application for Probate and IHT form: 2-3 weeks
- Probate to be granted: 3 weeks
- Collecting estate funds: 4 weeks
- Completing and approving estate accounts: 2-3 weeks
- Distribution: 1 week
- Property transfer and registration: 2-3 weeks
The time estimate may be extended depending upon the trustee act notice period required (if placed). It should also be noted that this timescale estimate depends upon factors which are outside of our control.
All costs outlined above are exclusive of VAT.
These estimates would be appropriate for estates wherein:
- There is a valid will, and there are no complications arising from the terms of the will or its execution.
- No work is required in relation to personal possessions.
- No work is required in relation to the domestic utilities and services (including gas, electricity, telephone, water, Council tax, insurances and subscription services).
- No work is required in relation to finalising pension or income tax matters.
- No follow-up work is required in relation to the bankruptcy search results.
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets.
- There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC.
- There are no claims made against the estate.
- The executors and other third parties involved in the estate administration deal with their actions promptly and diligently.
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