About UsEstate Administration

Estate Administration

 

Estate Administration (non contentious) Pricing

Our team has more than 120 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to the sometimes difficult process of Estate Administration. The team has expertise in high value estates and inheritance tax matters. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Stephen Duffy, Partner and Head of Private Client or Beverley Diamond, Associate and Head of Estate Administration. A full list of our team and their relevant experience and qualifications can be found here.

Details and prices for:

 

Grant of Representation Applications

We can help you obtain either a Grant of Probate (where the deceased leaves a valid Will) or a Grant of Letters of Administration (where the deceased did not leave a valid Will) which you may need in order to collect and distribute the assets of the estate personally.

Our prices:

Type of application

Simple

Medium complexity

High complexity

Our prices

£1,250 to £1,500 plus VAT

£2,000 to £3,000 plus VAT

£3,000 to £5,000 plus VAT

Factors

No Inheritance Tax (IHT) payable - form IHT205 *1

The deceased had their permanent home in the UK at the date of death

Any valid Will is written in the English language

No IHT payable - form IHT400 *2

The deceased had their permanent home in the UK at the date of death

Any valid Will is written in the English language

IHT payable - form IHT400 *2

The deceased had their permanent home in the UK at the date of death

Any valid Will is written in the English language

There are sufficient assets in the estate which can be used to fund the IHT prior to obtaining the Grant and a loan is not required

Timescales *3

6 to 10 weeks

12 to 16 weeks

14 to 24 weeks

*1  “Form IHT205 - Return of estate information” is the form which HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) require completed where no IHT is payable and certain other criteria are met.

*2  “Form IHT400 - Inheritance Tax account” is completed where there’s IHT to pay or there’s no IHT to pay but the application cannot be made on form IHT 205.

*3  Time from receipt of full values for the assets and liabilities of the estate.

Disbursements:

Disbursements are costs relating to your matter that are payable to third parties. We will ask you to put us in funds so that we can pay the disbursements directly to ensure a smoother process. You can then be reimbursed from the estate once the Grant has been issued and sufficient assets called in.

Disbursement

Description

Cost

Probate fee

Court fee payable on application

£155 plus 50p for each sealed copy required - VAT is not chargeable

Inheritance Tax (IHT)

This is a tax on the estate (the property, money and possessions) of someone who's died. It is charged on the net value of the estate above the threshold of £325,000

IHT is charged at 40%.  More information is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax

Family tree verification fee

Where the deceased did not leave a valid Will, we arrange for a family tree verification search to be undertaken to ensure that the family situation is as we have been informed and that the correct people are making the application

From £100 - VAT may not be chargeable

The work will involve:

  • An interview with you to advise on the terms of the deceased’s Will / intestacy provisions and discuss the duties of the executors / administrators
  • Drafting of the Grant application papers. Calculation of IHT, if any, to pay. Send draft copies to you for approval
  • Arranging the signing of the paperwork
  • Payment of any IHT and submission of IHT forms to HMRC
  • Submission of the application to the Probate Registry
  • Supplying you with the requested number of office copies

The fee does not include:

  • Additional work required due to either a technical or other impediment to the Grant being issued by the Probate Registry
  • Costs associated with expediting applications
  • Anything other than that listed above under ‘The work will involve’

How long will my application take?

The timescales set out above are estimates and are dependent on how long it takes for any IHT to be paid and how long HMRC and the Probate Registry take to process your application. We can provide a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses. We will update you at important milestones and on request, and if there is any change to the estimated timescale.

Next Steps:

Please contact us for a no-obligation meeting to discuss your requirements and the likely costs and timescale. We will provide you with a written estimate upon instruction.

Simple Estate Administration (non-taxable)

In addition to obtaining either the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration for you, we can also collect and distribute the assets.

Our prices:

Our prices

15 to 25 hours’ work at £200 to £300 per hour plus VAT

Factors

  • Any Will is legally valid
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are accounts with no more than 5 different financial institutions
  • There are no intangible assets (such as Royalties)
  • There are no more than 5 beneficiaries
  • All beneficiaries are based in the UK
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries
  • There are no claims made against the estate by creditors, relatives or others

If any of these key assumptions are incorrect or change over time, we will need to provide you with a revised scope of work, revised timetable and revised fee estimate.

Timescale

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with in 4 to 8 months. Typically, obtaining the Grant takes 10 to 16 weeks. Collecting assets then follows which can take between 4 and 12 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets which usually takes 2 to 4 weeks. 

Disbursements:

Disbursements are costs relating to your matter that are payable to third parties.  We will ask you to put us in funds so that we can pay the disbursements directly to ensure a smoother process.  You can then be reimbursed those funds from the estate once the Grant has been issued and sufficient assets called in. This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply during the administration period.  We will update you on any additional disbursements as soon as we are aware of them.

Disbursement

Description

Cost

Probate fee

Court fee payable on application

£155 plus 50p for each sealed copy required - VAT is not chargeable

Inheritance Tax (IHT)

This is a tax on the estate (the property, money and possessions) of someone who's died.  It is charged on the net value of the estate above the threshold of £325,000

IHT is charged at 40%. More information is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax

Family tree verification fee

Where the deceased did not leave a valid Will we arrange for a family tree verification search to be undertaken to ensure that the family situation is as we have been informed and that the correct people are making the application

From £100 - VAT may not be chargeable

Bankruptcy searches

These are searches made with the Land Charges Department for each beneficiary

£2 per beneficiary per distribution

Statutory notices

These are advertisements placed in the London Gazette and a local newspaper to help protect the estate against claims from unknown creditors, relatives and others

Fees average between £150 and £300 including VAT and we will obtain an accurate figure for your approval prior to proceeding

The work will involve:

A dedicated and experienced Estate Administration lawyer will work on your matter. The fees set out above cover all the work in relation to the following key stages of administering an estate:

  • An interview with you to advise on the terms of the deceased’s Will / intestacy provisions and discuss the duties of the executors / administrators
  • Going through the assets and liabilities and writing the initial letters to financial institutions, utilities and insurance
  • Submission of statutory notices if applicable
  • Drafting the Grant application papers. Sending draft copies to you for approval
  • Arranging the signing of the paperwork
  • Submission of the application to the Probate Registry
  • Once the Grant is received, collecting the assets and paying outstanding liabilities
  • Notifying the beneficiaries of their entitlement under the Will or Intestacy and obtaining evidence of identity and address and bank details
  • Paying any legacies or making an interim distribution to the residuary beneficiaries, if appropriate, subject to clear bankruptcy searches
  • Finalising the income tax position of the deceased
  • Preparing Estate Accounts for approval
  • Paying out the balance of the estate to the residuary beneficiaries

The stages set out above are an indication only and, if some of the stages are not required, the hours required will be at the lower end of the range. You may wish to handle some of the elements yourself and only have our advice and assistance in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.

The fee does not include:

  • Completion of tax returns for any period prior to the date of death
  • Property sale or transfer if applicable
  • Trusts in which the deceased was a beneficiary at the date of death
  • Trusts set up by the deceased under the Will or Intestacy
  • Deeds of Variation for the beneficiaries
  • Any additional work required due to a technical or other impediment to the Grant being issued by the Probate Registry
  • Costs associated with expediting the administration
  • Anything other than that listed above under ‘The work will involve’

If applicable, we will price these and any other requirements separately for you.

When necessary, and in consultation with you, we will obtain such additional advice as is required from appropriately qualified third parties.

How long will this take?

The timescale set out above is a general estimate and we can give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses. This is especially relevant where there is a property to be sold. We will update you regularly throughout the matter and if there is any change to the estimated timescale.

Next Steps:

Please contact us for a no-obligation meeting to discuss your requirements and the likely costs and timescale.  We will provide you with a written estimate upon instruction.

Bespoke Estate Administration Work

This includes unusual or complicated Grant of Representation applications and the administration of complicated and taxable estates.

The information provided below does not cover all areas of estate administration work and, in the event that it does not, please contact us for a no-obligation meeting where we can discuss your requirements and price these accordingly.

Our prices:

Our prices for bespoke matters are calculated by reference partly to the time spent using rates of £200 to £300 per hour (excluding VAT) and partly to the value of the assets involved. This is normally no more than 1.5% of the assets other than the deceased’s residence which would usually attract a value addition of no more than 0.75%. As a guide, however, our total charges for the administration of a complicated or taxable estate often tends to work out at between 2.5% to 4% of the gross value of the estate. We will give you an accurate estimate once we have a clear indication of the value of the estate or, alternatively, agree a fixed price with you.

Disbursements:

Disbursements are costs relating to your matter that are payable to third parties. We will ask you to put us in funds so that we can pay the disbursements directly to ensure a smoother process. You can then be reimbursed those funds from the estate once the Grant has been issued and sufficient assets called in. This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply during the administration period. We will update you on any additional disbursements as soon as we are aware of them.

Disbursement

Description

Cost

Probate fee

Court fee payable on application

£155 plus 50p for each sealed copy required - VAT is not chargeable

Inheritance Tax (IHT)

This is a tax on the estate (the property, money and possessions) of someone who's died.  It is charged on the net value of the estate above the threshold of £325,000

IHT is charged at 40%. More information is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax

Family tree verification fee

Where the deceased did not leave a valid Will we arrange for a family tree verification search to be undertaken to ensure that the family situation is as we have been informed and that the correct people are making the application

From £100 - VAT may not be chargeable

Bankruptcy searches

These are searches made with the Land Charges Department for each beneficiary

£2 per beneficiary living in the UK per distribution.  Fees are substantially higher where a beneficiary lives outside the UK and we will give you an accurate figure once we have confirmation of these

Statutory notices

 

 

 

These are advertisements placed in the London Gazette and a local newspaper to help protect the estate against claims from unknown creditors, relatives and others

Fees average between £150 and £300 including VAT and we will obtain an accurate figure for your approval prior to proceeding

Valuation fees

It may be necessary to obtain formal valuation of any properties, personal and household chattels and shareholdings

Costs will vary for the type of valuation required and we will obtain an accurate figure for your approval prior to proceeding

The work will involve:

We will provide you with a dedicated and experienced Estate Administration Lawyer to work on your matter. The fees set out above cover all the work in relation to the following typical key stages of administering an estate:

  • An interview with you to advise on the terms of the deceased’s Will / intestacy provisions and discuss the duties of the executors / administrators
  • Registering the death, arranging the funeral. Checking the property is secured
  • Attending and making regular visits to the deceased’s property to collect asset details, take meter readings and arrange for valuations of the property and chattels
  • Obtaining valuations of the estate assets and liabilities. Writing to utilities, council tax, house insurance and share registrars if applicable
  • Submission of statutory notices
  • Once the value of the assets has been received, preparing the Grant application papers and ascertaining whether any IHT is payable. Sending draft copies to you for approval
  • Arranging the signing of the paperwork
  • Paying any IHT and submitting IHT forms to HMRC
  • Submission of the application to the Probate Registry
  • Once the Grant is received, collecting in the assets and paying outstanding liabilities
  • Notifying the beneficiaries of their entitlement under the Will or Intestacy and obtaining evidence of identity and address and bank details
  • Paying any legacies or making an interim distribution to the residuary beneficiaries, if appropriate, subject to clear bankruptcy searches
  • Finalising the income tax position of the deceased
  • Corresponding with HMRC regarding the property valuation, including liaising with the District Valuer, ensuring that all IHT is paid and obtaining a clearance certificate
  • Preparing Estate Accounts for approval
  • Paying out the balance of the estate to the residuary beneficiaries

The stages set out above are an indication only and, if some of the stages are not required, the number of hours required will be reduced. You may wish to handle some of the elements yourself and only have our advice and assistance in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.

The fee does not include:

  • Completion of tax returns for any period prior to the date of death
  • Property or land sale or transfer if applicable
  • Changes to the legislation during the course of the administration of the estate
  • Trusts in which the deceased was a beneficiary at the date of death
  • Trusts set up by the deceased under the Will or Intestacy
  • Deeds of Variation for the beneficiaries
  • Financial advice on the suitability of the disposal of assets in the estate
  • Personal taxation of estate beneficiaries
  • The sale or transfer of the deceased’s interest in a business or farm
  • Restitution for long term care funding incorrectly paid by the deceased
  • Costs associated with expediting any part of the work
  • Anything other than that listed above under ‘The work will involve’

If applicable, we will price these and any other requirements separately for you.

When necessary, and consultation with you, we will obtain such additional advice as is required from appropriately qualified third parties.

Our fee assumes that:

  • There are no unusual funeral requests in the Will and that the body is not being donated for medical research
  • We are able to speedily identify all assets and liabilities of the estate
  • There are sufficient assets in the estate directly accessible to fund any IHT payable prior to obtaining the Grant and a loan is not being applied for
  • There is no technical or other impediment to the Grant being issued by the Probate Registry and the Will being proved is the last Will and testament of the deceased
  • There are no claims made against the estate by relatives, creditors or others and no caveats lodged at the Court
  • All beneficiaries reside in the UK and can be identified, traced and are at least 18 years of age and able to understand and sign documentation as required.
  • There are no material disagreements amongst the beneficiaries and / or the executors / administrators
  • The deceased’s property is their main residence and in good condition with no outstanding insurance claims
  • Buyers for the assets, including the property, are found and sales will complete within 6 months of the issue of the Grant
  • The property was not let at death or continues to be let during the estate administration
  • The Will was validly executed and there is no partial intestacy
  • The estate is solvent

If any of these key assumptions are incorrect or change over time, we will need to provide you with a revised scope of work, revised timetable and revised fee estimate.

How long will this take?

The administration of an estate usually takes 6 to 12 months from receipt of full instructions from you. It may take longer if your application is more complex, for example, if there are assets outside the UK or there is a delay in negotiating a sale of any of the assets. This is an estimate only and we will provide a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses. We will update you regularly throughout the matter and if there is any change to the estimated timescale.

Next Steps:

Please contact us for a no-obligation meeting to discuss your requirements and the likely costs and timescale. We will provide you with a written estimate upon instruction.

Estate Administration Team:

Beverley Diamond, Head of Estate Administration

Charles Applegate, Partner

Sarah Westwood, Partner

Sallyann Short, Senior Associate

Marie Cooper, Associate

Elspeth Chipping, Senior Solicitor

Rachael Bridges, Solicitor

Jennifer Jennings, Solicitor

Emma Cass, Solicitor