Probate administration service
We are able to provide a complete Probate Administrative Service, whereby we will take full responsibility for obtaining the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration, and for dealing with the administration of the estate. This service includes:-
(i) an initial face to face meeting with an experienced member of our team;
(ii) we will check the validity of the Will (if applicable);
(iii) we will ascertain the value of all the assets in the estate and the extent of the deceased person’s liabilities. We will conduct all correspondence with HMRC which is relevant to completing the appropriate tax forms, and we will take any action required by HMRC during the administration process to claim any relevant tax relief or exemptions applicable.
(iv) we will undertake all actions necessary to obtain the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration, to include paying any necessary tax to HMRC prior to obtaining the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration;
(v) upon receipt of the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration, we will collect in the assets comprised in the estate;
(vi) we will conduct all correspondence with HMRC which is relevant to settling the amount of Income Tax, Inheritance Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax that may be payable during the estate administration process;
(vii) we will correspond with all creditors of the estate and, as far as possible, settle all debts and liabilities from the estate;
(viii) if appropriate, we will place Statutory Notices in the London Gazette and/or a local newspaper;
(ix) we will prepare the final accounts for the estate and obtain approval from the Executors/Administrators to the same. Thereafter, we will check the identity of all beneficiaries of the estate and obtain their approval to the accounts, before undertaking necessary bankruptcy searches and distributing the estate in accordance with the Will/the Intestacy Rules;
(x) in the event there are one or more properties in the estate, we will notify our conveyancing department and request that they deal with the transfer or sale of the property/properties on your behalf. Before any such work is undertaken, our conveyancing department will provide you with an estimate of fees for the work to be undertaken.
Our costs will be based on the time we spend on your matter, based on the hourly rate applicable to the individual fee earner, as follows:-
|Assistant Solicitor/Graduate Member of CILEX||£195.00|
We do not charge an additional fee for being the Executors of the estate and, unlike a number of other firms, we do not apply an uplift to our charges to reflect a percentage of the estate in addition to our hourly rate. We charge only for the work that is undertaken on your behalf. If you supply us with all the information that we request at the outset, we should be able to provide you with a reasonably accurate estimate for the work that is to be undertaken, which will reflect the volume and complexity of the work involved. It does not necessarily mean that because we are dealing with a small estate it will not be a complex matter, for example the estate may have assets held in trust; there may be a dependant who has deliberately been left out of the Will and who might want to claim against the estate; there may be doubts about the validity of the Will; or the estate may be bankrupt. These factors will be taken into consideration when we provide you with the estimate of costs.
Based on our experience, we would identify a typical estate as one that involves a property, four assets such as bank and building society accounts, and four beneficiaries. In these circumstances, we would expect that our costs for dealing with all aspects of the estate administration would be in the region of £3,500.00 plus VAT and disbursements. This does not however include the costs for the work to be undertaken by our conveyancing department in relation to the sale or transfer of the property. Our conveyancing department will provide you with a separate quote in respect of this work.
In addition to this firm’s fees, external costs and expenses will be incurred, known as “disbursements.” These include the following:-
(i) with all applications for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, there will be Probate Court fees and Commissioner for Oaths’ fees as follows:-
- Probate Court fee – this is currently £155.00 plus 50 pence for each sealed copy of the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration. It is widely anticipated that these fees will increase significantly in the near future, but we will ensure that you are kept informed of any such increase.
- Commissioner for Oaths’ fee:
Grant of Probate – £7.00 per Executor.
Letters of Administration – £5.00 per Administrator.
You will be required to pay us the Probate Court fees before we submit the application for Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration, and you will be expected to pay the Commissioner for Oaths’ fee when you swear the papers.
(ii) Statutory Notices are often necessary to protect the Executors/Administrators against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. The cost of these Statutory Notices is usually in the region of £200.00;
(iii) Income Tax, Inheritance Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax may be payable during the estate administration process. The extent of any tax that is payable will be determined on a case by case basis, having regard to the personal circumstances of the deceased and the applicable legislation at any given time;
(iv) bankruptcy searches will be undertaken against the names of each beneficiary, before the estate is distributed, at a cost of £2.00 per person.
Once the full extent of the assets and liabilities of the estate are known, we will inform you if there are any other expenses that arise, that are appropriate to your particular estate.
On the assumption that the estate is relatively simple, all assets are based in the United Kingdom, and there are few, if any, assets that would complicate the process, we would expect the administration of the estate to be completed within 6 to 12 months. In many cases, it is not in fact advisable to distribute the estate within 6 months of receiving the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration.
Issues that may arise and which will inevitably increase the cost of obtaining the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration, and which are not included in the above estimate include:-
- business or agricultural property;
- operating or selling a business;
- shares in a private company;
- assets held or situated outside of the United Kingdom;
- assets of a specialised nature, e.g. fine art;
- an unclear Will;
- third party costs and service extras, e.g. repayable benefits, valuation fees and penalties.