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Probate & estate administration – our prices

We know the difficulties you can face after the loss of a loved one. The mass of paperwork, formalities and procedures can be unbearable.

We work hard to make the process as stress-free as possible, allowing you the time to concentrate on the well-being of you and your family.

Before talking about our prices, we thought you might like to understand in a little more detail what is typically involved and how long it might take.

 

This is what we will do for you

  • Meet with you to discuss the estate and advise you on the estate administration process
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Investigate the assets and liabilities in the estate
  • Contact all beneficiaries and ensure we have evidence of their identity for distributing funds to them later
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the Probate Application
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HM Revenue and Customs forms
  • Draft a Statement of Truth
  • Meet with you to go through all forms and update you on the estate administration
  • Make the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
  • Collect in all assets or arrange transfers of them to beneficiaries
  • Settle known estate liabilities
  • Distribute all assets in the estate following the Will
  • Prepare an Estate Book detailing the estate administration, including full accounts and all important documents.

 

How long will all that take?

It varies depending on the size of the estate. Estates under £325,000 usually take somewhere between 6-12 months:

  • Obtaining the Grant of Probate takes approximately 16-24 weeks. UPDATE: Probate registries are currently experiencing delays in processing probate applications due to technical issues with a new IT system – this may increase the time-scales for obtaining a Grant of Probate.
  • Collecting assets can take a further 6-12 weeks. If you have a property to sell this can take considerably longer.
  • Distributing the assets normally takes place within 4-8 weeks of all assets being collected.

 

How much will it cost?

Whether you want help to take care of all the estate administration work, or certain parts of it, we can help.

We pride ourselves on the fact that if you ask us to work for you, a member of our team, who is one of our qualified solicitors or legal executives will hold your hand throughout the process.

All our team are experienced in helping people through such a difficult time and will be able to guide you through the process step by step and answer any queries you may have. You can click here to meet the members of our team.

 

Example 1 – estate value less than £325,000

The example prices below are based on an estate where:

  • There is a valid Will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 4 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are no foreign assets
  • There are 1-2 executors
  • There are 1-4 beneficiaries
  • There are no more than 6 liabilities
  • There is no inheritance tax payable (individuals have an inheritance tax free amount of 325,000 to include certain lifetime gifts) and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC or claim specific reliefs
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There are no claims made against the estate.
Estimated cost VAT @ 20% Total cost
18 – 27 hours work £4,000 – £6,000 £800 – £1,200 £4,800 – £7,200

This is based on an average hourly rate of £224 per hour. Full details of hourly rates can be seen below.

The exact price will depend on your circumstances. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, the price will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, the price will be at the higher end. We will be happy to provide a tailored quote.

Example 2 – estate value more than £325,000

The work involved can vary significantly depending on the size and complexity of the estate. As a result, our charges are based on the time it takes to administer the estate, at the hourly rate of the team member working for you – details of which are below.

We estimate that our fees would be 2% to 3% of the gross value of the estate assets for Inheritance Tax purposes, plus VAT at 20%. We will be able to give you a better idea of the likely price when we have discussed the estate in detail.

 

Other third party costs

In addition to the fees you will pay us, you will need to pay fees to others which we will make on your behalf. These are pretty standard payments and should be broadly the same whichever law firm you choose to work with. These are often referred to as ‘disbursements’.

Estimated cost VAT @ 20% Total cost
Probate Application fee £160 £0 £160
Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches £2 per beneficiary £0
Advert in The London Gazette – protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. £70 £14 £84
Advert in the local newspaper – also helps to protect against unexpected claims. £120 (Nottingham Post) £44 £2 per beneficiary


Potential additional costs

  • If there is no Will or the estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks and bonds) or there are any other assets requiring advice there is likely to be additional costs. These could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We will give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  • If any additional copies of the Grant are required, they will cost £0.50 each (1 per asset usually).
  • Working on the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included in this price. We will provide a separate quote to cover this aspect of the work.

 

What happens if there is a dispute?

In the unfortunate event that there is a dispute over the Will and subsequent inheritance, we will discuss this with you and provide separate prices for advising you.

 

Hourly rates (September 2019)

  • Director – £290
  • Associate – £250 – £255
  • Legal Executive – £220
  • Paralegal – £140

The hourly rates given do not include VAT, which will be additionally payable.

VAT – Please note that the addition of vat to our charges is governed by very complex statutory provisions and extra-statutory guidance. Read more here.

 

What happens next?

We would love to help you through this difficult time. If you would like a personalised quote, please contact a member of our team directly, or complete the contact form and a member of our team will be in touch.

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