Every estate is different but below we attempt to provide an indication as to the level of legal fees that may be charged in dealing with an estate. At the initial meeting with the fee earner the estate and fees will be discussed further. The fees are calculated on the time spent by the fee earner on the matter and will also depend on the amount of work required for each estate. A value element may also be charged (see point 3 below).
There are two stages in the administration of estates:-
1. Reporting the value of the estate and extracting the Grant
2. Administering the estate and making distributions to the beneficiaries.
1. Reporting and extracting the Grant **
Executors/Administrators to provide details of the assets and liabilities of the estate and we will prepare the probate papers and extract the Grant and hand this over to you to deal with the administration of the estate:-
Simple estate where IHT205 is submitted (no IHT to pay) £1,500.00 + VAT (£1,800.00 inc)
Full estate form IHT400 is submitted (estate of £1M or taxable) £2,500.00 + VAT (£3,000.00 inc)
1 & 2. Dealing with the entire estate **
Executors/Administrators to provide details of the assets and liabilities of the estate and we will prepare the probate papers and extract the Grant as above but also collecting or transferring the assets of the estate and dealing with distributions to the beneficiaries:-
Where the estate does not exceed £325,000 and no Inheritance Tax payable £3,000.00 + VAT (£3,600.00 inc)
Where the transferable nil rate band and/or residence nil rate band apply to an estate worth in excess of £325,000 £5,000.00 + VAT (£6,000.00 inc)
3. Value element
In addition to our charges for the time spent of the matter where we deal with the entire estate, we charge a value element based on the size of the gross estate as follows:
a) up to 0.25% where we act for the executors (e.g. an estate of £500,000 @ 0.25% = £1,250 plus VAT (£1,500 inclusive)); or
b) up to 1.5% of the gross estate where we act as named executors/administrators (eg. an estate of £500,000 @ 1.25% = £6,250 plus VAT (£7,500 inclusive))
4. Disbursements charged in addition are as follows:
A Probate application fee of £273.00 plus £1.50 per copy Grant required.
- Bankruptcy -only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary) – please note that costs will increase if beneficiaries are resident overseas.
- £200-£300 Notice in The London Gazette and local newspaper – protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
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.
How long will this take?
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 3 – 12 months. Typically, getting to the point where probate papers are ready to sign takes around 6-10 weeks. Once submitted it can take between 8 – 12 weeks* to receive the Grant of Probate taking into account the current turnaround times in dealing with HMRC and the Probate Registry. Collecting assets then follows. A timescale can be given for dealing with this part of the estate and making the final distributions when the probate papers are signed and the administration of the estate is discussed.
*Delays may arise due to Covid-19
** Fees will increase in the following instances:-
More than one property is held by the deceased.
Downsizing provisions apply in relation to the Residence Nil Rate Band.
More than 10 individual assets are held e.g. bank accounts, life insurance, shares.
Income Tax returns and correspondence is required.
More than 4 legacies in the will.
More than 4 residuary beneficiaries in the will.
Where Charities are residuary beneficiaries.
We act as Executor/Administrator or Attorney Administrator.
Trusts need to be set up or closed.
Lifetime gifts have been made in the 7 years prior to death.
Disputes between executors and/or beneficiaries.
We are responsible for registering the death and dealing with funeral arrangements.
We are responsible for the clearance of any property.
Claims are made against the estate or the will is challenged.
Beneficiaries have to be traced.
Dealing with Probate Registry enquiries.
Liaising with the District Valuer and/or HMRC regarding their queries on the values submitted in the IHT papers.
Please note that the hourly rates of fee earners and support staff are listed in the charging rate sheet attached to our terms of business.
Any work carried out which is not covered by the initial instructions received from our client will be charged in accordance with these rates.
Valid until 31 December 2022