Probate and Estate Administration Services
For those who prefer a comprehensive approach, our Full-Service Probate is designed to handle every aspect of Estate Administration, regardless of size or complexity. Whether you are just starting or wish to hand over the administration midway, our experienced team is ready to assist.
Dealing with the administration of a deceased person’s estate is a challenging task, particularly during a time of bereavement. We understand the emotional and stressful nature of this process and our team of expert lawyers are here to provide professional advice and support, making sure that the deceased person’s estate is dealt with correctly, efficiently and in accordance with their wishes.
How We Charge:
Where we are instructed to manage and process an Estate Administration to completion, our charge is based on a fixed fee of 1.95% of the total gross value of the Estate. For example, if the Estate has a value of £350,000, our fee would be £6,825 plus VAT (£1,365). We offer an initial meeting charged at £250 plus VAT (£50) for up to an hour to discuss the Probate process and your requirements. This charged would be waived if we are instructed to act and our fixed fee above is charged.
This service would cover the following:
- Valuing the Estate and ascertaining date of death assets and liability values by contacting the third parties with whom the deceased dealt;
- Assisting and advising on any professional valuations for property, investments, chattels, works of art etc;
- Considering and applying all exemptions and reliefs for Inheritance Tax which may apply;
- Completing the relevant HM Revenue and Customs and Inheritance Tax forms;
- Preparing tax calculations and advising on the available options to pay the tax due and any interest implications;
- Liaising with the District Valuer;
- Preparing the relevant application form and Legal Statement for the Grant to be signed by the Executors;
- Submitting the application to the Probate Court and dealing with any queries raised;
- Obtaining the Grant of Probate, advising when it is issued and producing certified copies;
- Arranging payment of any further Inheritance Tax due;
- Paying debts (excluding mortgages);
- Finalising utility bills;
- Identification of items specifically gifted and transferring them into the name of the beneficiary (excluding legal transfer work);
- Paying cash gifts detailed in the Will and obtaining receipts for the Executors as proof of payment;
- Advising on the requirement of Section 27 Trustee Act Notices;
- Discussing with the Executors and beneficiaries the transfer or encashment of holdings in any investment and the Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax implications of such;
- Dealing with Assents of properties to trustees or to beneficiaries;
- Advising on Deeds of Appropriation (if required);
- Collecting all of the Estate assets, including closure of bank accounts;
- Undertaking bankruptcy searches for individual beneficiaries;
- Registering the Estate with HMRC via the Trust Registration Service;
- Advising on and liaising with an accountant in respect of the preparation of Income and Capital Gains Tax returns for the Administration period;
- Preparing form R185E;
- Advising on and submitting Corrective Accounts and claims for loss on sale of property/shares;
- Preparing Estate Accounts as an ongoing process;
- Preparing Final Estate Accounts for Executor and beneficiary approval;
- Obtaining formal clearance from HMRC;
- Arranging final payments due to beneficiaries.
Please note that our fixed fee applies to estates with a value of up to £2,000,000, where the deceased was UK domiciled, there are no foreign Wills or assets, there are no disputes between beneficiaries and this firm is not acting as an Executor. Our fixed fee is subject to a minimum charge of £6,825 plus VAT (£1,365). For us to provide an accurate fee estimate in respect of the Estate, you would need to discuss the specific details with one of our specialists.
Additional Expenses (Disbursements):
We manage disbursements on your behalf, including probate application fees, searches, statutory advertisements, file archiving fees, and property-related costs.
Some of the most common types of disbursements in probate matters include:
- Probate application fee of £273 plus 1.50p for each additional sealed office copy of the Grant of Probate (usually one per asset).
- Bankruptcy- Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary).
- Statutory Advertisement of between £180 – £200 plus VAT (£36-£40) (The London Gazette – and a local newspaper) to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
- File Archiving Fee – £250 plus VAT (£50).
Please note that dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included in our Fixed Fee. For specific property-related services, additional fees may apply.
On average, our experience suggests that estates are concluded within 6 to 18 months.
- Obtaining information to apply for a Grant of Probate takes 8 to 20 weeks;
- The Grant of Probate application usually has a processing time of between 8 to 16 weeks from the point of submission to the Probate Registry;
- The process of collecting in assets and paying liabilities is entirely asset specific although most assets can typically be collected in circa 4 to 28 weeks; and
- Once all assets have been collected and all liabilities paid, final Estate Accounts will be prepared, and once concluded and approved, arrangements will be made for the distribution of assets to the beneficiaries. This final stage normally takes in the order of 4 to 8 weeks.
These timescales are on the basis that:
- There is a valid Will and appointment of Executors;
- There is no claim brought against the Estate;
- Where there is a property to sell it sells within an average time scale;
- The third parties with whom the deceased dealt, correspond within a reasonable timeframe.
Other Fixed Fees Available
Sometimes Executors may wish to instruct us to only obtain a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration (where there is no Will). We are happy to accept such instructions on the assumption that no inheritance tax is payable. Where all relevant financial information is provided to us by the Personal Representatives we will obtain the Grant for a fixed fee of £2,000 + VAT (£400). This fixed fee covers the following:
- An initial meeting to discuss details of the Estate;
- Consideration of all financial and other information provided;
- Preparation of the Return of Estate Information form (IHT205) (if required) for approval and signature (however, where the estate requires a full Inheritance Tax Account on form IHT400, which is far more complex, our fixed fee will be £3,500 + VAT (£700));
- Where form IHT400 is required, submitting this in advance of the probate application to HM Revenue and Customs;
- Preparing the application for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration;
- Submitting the application to the Probate Registry;
- Providing the sealed copies of the Grant of Probate to the Personal Representatives.
No other work is included within this fixed fee, leaving you free to obtain all assets, pay all liabilities, settle all taxes due to HMRC and account to the beneficiaries entirely by yourself.
Where you do require us to undertake additional work or provide ad hoc advice, it will be the subject of an entirely separate and bespoke quotation.
Disbursements with Grant only Fixed Fee Work, will comprise only the Probate application fee of £273 and the cost of any Office Copy Grants you may require at the rate of £1.50 per copy. Arrangement of any other searches would not be included in the fixed fee.
Complete our online enquiry form or reach out to us by phone at 01672 515846 or email@example.com. Let us alleviate the burden of Estate Administration by providing expert guidance and support throughout the process.