Please note that all fees quoted are exclusive of VAT
As you will appreciate, it is extremely difficult to predict how long it will take to administer an estate as there is “no size fits all” and we cannot anticipate exactly what is involved as each case would need to be assessed on its own merits.
In our experience, for a relatively straightforward uncontested matter, the average administration of an estate, with a valid Will, can take between 10 and 40 hours of work. The price range for our legal fees would be approximately £1,500 plus VAT to £8,000 plus VAT.
Our hourly rate depends on the relevant fee earner involved. We also charge an enhanced rate for estates valued above the Nil Rate Band threshold (currently £325,000) to reflect the additional work and complexity involved.
Estates below £325,000
Standard Rate per hour
Estates above £325,000
Enhanced Rate per hour
- Partners £290 – £350
- Associates £260 – £280
- Solicitors £155 – £240
- Wills & Probate Executives £175
- Trainees £150
- Other Fee Earners £130-150
- Partner £375 – £450
- Associates £340 – £365
- Solicitors £200 – £310
- Wills & Probate Executives £225
- Trainees £195
- Other Fee Earners £170-195
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there are one or two beneficiaries, a few bank or building society accounts and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, one or more properties, multiple bank and building society accounts and other investments such as share portfolios, our costs will be at the higher end. If we are involved in registering the death, arranging the funeral and dealing with more practical steps it is likely our overall fees will be in excess of this price range.
This price range of £1,500 plus VAT to £8,000 plus VAT is generally for estates where:
- There is a valid will
- There is no more than two properties
- There are no more than six bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are up to four beneficiaries
- 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 is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full IHT400 account to HMRC
- There are no claims made against the estate
- There are no foreign assets
- There are no trust assets in excess of £150,000.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a more streamlined process. Disbursements included in this price range of fees:
- Probate application fee of £273 plus £1.50 per court sealed copy of the Grant
- Land Registry Searches – £3
- Statutory Advert for Creditors – London Gazette & Local Newspaper – approximately £200
- Unclaimed Asset Register – £25
- Bankruptcy Search – £2 per beneficiary
Additional fees charged at our range of hourly rates are payable if the estate is more complex and more work is required. This is often the case (but not limited to) if the following apply:-
- If there is no Will
- There is a complex income tax position for the deceased or for the period of administratio
- There is a dispute between the beneficiaries
- There are trust assets over and above £150,000
- Foreign assets apply with or without another Will in a different jurisdiction
- The assets are more complex than those provided in the example above
- A full inheritance tax account IHT400 needs to be submitted and inheritance tax is payable
As previously stated, the precise work and stages involved in the administration of an estate varies according to the circumstances. However, the key stages involved in a typical probate matter included as part of our fee estimate would be to:
- Take your instructions and give you initial advice
- Provide an experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter.
- Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries.
- Establish the extent of the estate by identifying the various assets and liabilities.
- Determine the type of Probate application required.
- Complete the Probate Application and the necessary HMRC forms.
- Draft a legal oath for executor(s) to swear and submit to the appropriate Probate Registry together with the Will, if there is one.
- Ensure all estate liabilities have been paid before the estate is distributed amongst the beneficiaries;
- Confirm that all applicable taxes are paid up to date and there are no outstanding HMRC claims;
- Submit the Grant to the various organisations with whom assets are held in order to start the process of transferring the assets into the beneficiaries’ names.
- Prepare Estate accounts and distribute in accordance with the terms of the Will.
- Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf.
- Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you.
Our service (within the fee example given above) does not include:
- Contested probate matters or advice on the same.
- Advice on tax or other accounting matters (with the exception of inhertiance tax).
- Advice on assets held outside of the UK.
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate.
- Dealing with the on-going management of trusts created within the Will or the management of any trusts connected to the deceased
- Advice around the suitability and creation of other deeds such as deeds of disclaimer or deeds of variation
On average, estates that fall within the above range are dealt with within six to eighteen months from the date of instruction. A more complex estate can take longer to complete the administration.
Please note that the legal fees of a sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included and these fees are quoted on the residential property fee scale page.
What are your next steps?
Please get in touch with us. We look forward to helping you.