The following information aims to assist clients on the process of an application for a grant of probate to an estate, and for the collection and distribution of estate assets.
The administration of a standard estate will take between 15 and 30 hours work. At a variable rate per hour in accordance with the Fee Earners hourly rate (as detailed in the Engagement Letter). Based upon a charge out rate of £190.00 per hour, total costs are estimated at £2850.00 – £5700.00 (excluding VAT).
The exact cost will ultimately depend on the individual circumstances. For example, if there is one beneficiary, and easily transferred assets, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
We will provide you with an estimate of the costs which will be set out in our Engagement letter along with our Terms of Business when we have received your instructions.
Separate quotes will be provided for the following
- An intestate estate (this is an estate where the deceased did not leave a valid will). An initial quote will be provided to determine and locate relevant beneficiaries and their shares in the estate prior to completion of the estate on the standard basis noted above, save that the application will be for grant of letters of administration.
- Any estate where there have been lifetime gifts in excess of standard allowances.
- Any estate where a full account on the IHT400 form is required for inheritance tax for whatever purpose.
- The sale or transfer or appropriation of any freehold property or property share held as an estate asset, or all formalities associated with disposal of any property the subject of a lease.
- All assets which fall outside the scope of a standard estate.
- There is no valid will.
- The estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) or portfolios of the same. If so, there are likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. A more accurate quote can be provided once relevant information is available.
- If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 each.
- Dealing with the sale, transfer or appropriation of any property or property share in the estate.
- Assets held in trust or policies held outside the estate.
- Assets of a pre-deceased spouse that have not yet been dealt with.
- A trust created during the deceased’s lifetime.
- The administration of a trust created by the deceased’s will (or by intestacy).
- Subsequent information received or applicable after receipt of initial instructions.
- Communications with HMRC in connection with the value of assets and application of exemptions and reliefs.
- Communications with DWP in connection with any potential claims they may notify.
- Disputes in the estate.
- Foreign assets (outside England and Wales).
Disbursements are costs relating to a legal transaction that are payable to a third parties.
||Fee (exclusive of VAT)
|Probate application fee
|Copies of the Grant
|Bankruptcy only searches in the Land Charges Department
||£3.00 per beneficiary
|Advertisement in The London Gazette – (this is an advertisement for claims and creditors and provides some protection from unexpected claims from unknown callers)
|Advertisement in local papers – (this is an advertisement for claims and creditors provides some protection from unexpected claims from unknown creditors)
Additional disbursements could be incurred depending on the circumstances, for example, property valuation fees, personal possessions and household contents valuation fees, house clearance fees, stockbrokers’ fees in relation to share dealings and so on. These will be advised as soon as they become known.
To help you with this process we have listed a criteria to support and help guide you through the detail.
Criteria for a standard estate:
- There is a valid will.
- There are no more than 8 bank or building society accounts.
- There are no other intangible assets.
- All assets are in England and Wales.
- There are no assets with a complex structure for encashment or assets relevant to the estate but subject to trusts.
- There are no shareholdings (stock and bonds or portfolios of the same).
- There are 1-10 beneficiaries.
- There are no disputes – for example, issues between beneficiaries on division of assets, problems with the interpretation of the will, difficulties between the executors (the persons administering the estate), or otherwise. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs.
- 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.
For a standard estate administration our fee includes
- Notifying the relevant organisations of the death.
- Obtaining details of the estate assets and liabilities.
- Completing the basic HMRC return form (IHT205) and dealing with straightforward enquiries from HMRC in relation to such form.
- Obtaining the grant of probate.
- Collecting the estate assets.
- Settling liabilities.
- Preparing estate accounts.
- Distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.
- Keeping relevant parties updated of the progress of the administration of the estate.
- An assessment of the tax position during the administration of the estate.
On average, estates that fall within the standard range noted below are dealt with within 6-12 months although circumstances could lead to this range being extended.
- Fact find, ascertainment of assets 4 months
- Obtaining the grant of probate/application submission 2 months
- Asset collecting 1 to 2 months
- Distribution of assets * 4 – 8 weeks
*Can be longer depending on the consideration of estate accounts, cleared responses from HMRC or any relevant closing taxation procedures and similarly in relation to DWP claims.
The above time estimates depend on the prompt cooperation
If you wish to deal with the collection and distribution of assets and payment of liabilities of assets yourself we also offer a grant only service whereby we will obtain a Grant Of Probate or Letter of Administration on your behalf but will then leave the administration of the estate to you.
Application for a Grant only where no Inheritance Tax return is required £900.00 + VAT.
Application for Grant only where an IHT 400 Inheritance Tax return is required £1500.00 + VAT.
NB These prices reflect a standard estate as outlined above. A specific quote will be provided for more complete estates.