We understand that dealing with the estate after a bereavement can be daunting.
We are able to guide you through the process of dealing with your loved one’s assets from beginning to end.
Whether the estate is straightforward or complicated, or should issues arise during the administration, we will provide clear, practical advice.
We can take full responsibility for obtaining the Grant of Representation and dealing with estate administration affairs. From the outset we will agree with you what you wish to do and what you wish us to do.
We can deal with the estate whether there is a Will or not. If there is a Will it will say who inherits the assets and we can act on behalf of the people named as executors. They are responsible for dealing with the estate and may also be the people inheriting the assets.
If there is no Will (known as Intestate) the law dictates who will inherit. In most cases a spouse or immediate family will inherit, but if there are no close family the estate may pass to more distant relatives in accordance with the Intestacy Rules.
Guide to Probate Pricing
Every estate is individual. Every one of us will have a different combination of assets and different requirements for the people who will inherit when we die, making it difficult to provide a standard price for the cost of administering the estate of the deceased.
We would be pleased to discuss your requirements with you and provide a quote tailored to your needs.
However it is important for us to let you know in advance what our charges may be and to provide you with some idea of the fees involved.
We charge for the time we spend advising you, assisting you, attending to various documents and dealing with the estate assets.
Our hourly rate ranges from £150 to £225 plus VAT.
Our team is led by Amanda Greenough, a solicitor, who has been working with families to administer estates for over 15 years and who is also a qualified Trust and Estate Practitioner (STEP member).
How Probate Fees are paid
The costs of administering a person’s estate should be paid out of that estate. Probate fees are normally invoiced once the application for a Grant of Representation (Probate – if there is a Will or Letters of Administration – if the person is Intestate) has been submitted to the Probate Registry so the invoice can be settled once funds are received, following encashment of estate assets after the Grant has been issued. As the administration of the estate progresses further invoices will be raised.
Disbursements are also payable out of the estate. However we may ask you to make payment on account of disbursements before they are incurred. Your payment will be reimbursed to you out of the estate once funds are available.
Outline of the Work involved
1. Initial enquiries and valuation. This involves establishing how much the estate is worth:
• Contacting banks and other financial institutes holding the deceased’s assets
• Confirming ownership and value of assets of the estate including the ownership of any houses, land, buildings or company shares owned by the deceased
• Identifying any liabilities or debts
2. Probate application. Following the initial enquiries and valuation you will need to
• Confirm there is a valid Will or that there is no Will
• Prepare the application for Grant of Representation
• Prepare the Inheritance Tax Return and submit to HMRC and settle any Inheritance Tax if any
• Submit the application to the Probate Registry
3. Encashment and administration of assets. Once the Grant of Representation is available you will need to:
• Close bank accounts
• Claim insurance policies
• Sell or transfer shares/investments
• Sell or transfer ownership of houses, land and buildings
• Settle any debts or other liabilities
• Prepare estate accounts for the approval of the personal representatives and beneficiaries
• Distribute the estate to the beneficiaries
Payments to other organisations
It may be necessary to instruct other organisations to obtain information about the person’s assets and debts. These costs are referred to as disbursements.
Probate Application £155
Additional copy of Grant £0.50
Copy of title information £3
Copy of plan/map £3
Fee on transfer of property ownership £20-£125
Creditors advert (local newspaper) £150 plus VAT
Creditors advert (London Gazette) £84.60 plus VAT
Bankruptcy searches £2
Financial assets search £135 plus VAT
Certainty missing Will Search £238.80 plus VAT
Additional fees may include Estate Agent valuation fee and Auctioneer valuation fee
*NOTE – At the time of writing the Government has introduced legislation to change the way the Court Probate Fee is calculated. If this change is enacted (expected April 2019) the Court fee will be charged at a banded rate depending on the value of the estate’s assets starting with £250 for estates worth more than £50,000 up to a maximum of £6,000 for estates exceeding £2million.
Because no two estates are the same we do not have a standard price for estate administration. Our charges are based on the amount of time spent conducting the work you require at our hourly rate.
The examples below all reflect the full Administration of an Estate which is not contested or subject to any litigation.
Straightforward estate - for example all assets to a surviving spouse or to children, no inheritance tax issues, no complex assets -
£1,500 to £3,500 plus VAT plus Disbursements
Straightforward estate with some complicating issues – estate as above but with complicating facts eg. Investigation of unknown or unusual assets/property management/missing will/tracing of family members -
£2,500 to £6,500 plus VAT plus Disbursements
Medium Complexity – for example estate exceeds £325,000 and inheritance tax payable/will creates a trust -
£3,750 - £6,500 plus VAT plus Disbursements
Medium Complexity with some complicating issues – for example large number of assets/high value assets (share portfolio) –
£5,500 - £18,500 plus VAT plus Disbursements
Complex estates - for example estate exceeds £650,000/business assets/inheritance tax negotiation with HMRC or other tax issues -
£15,000 upwards plus VAT plus Disbursements
Fixed Probate Application
We offer a fixed fee service for the Probate Application process. We will prepare the Inheritance Tax Return and Probate Application based on the information you provide to us. Under this service we will not investigate or value assets or administer them once probate has been granted.
£750 plus VAT plus Disbursements – tax exempt estate – simplified Inheritance Tax Return and Probate Application
£950 plus VAT plus Disbursements – full Inheritance Tax Return and Probate Application