This involves identifying the assets of the Estate, valuing the assets and liabilities, completing the Inheritance Tax return and appropriate Probate application form applying for the Grant of Representation, collecting in assets, settling liabilities from Estate assets and distributing the Estate to the Beneficiaries.
For the Administration of a simple Estate we would anticipate spending approximately 12 hours in dealing with matters at between £175.00 and £300.00 per hour plus VAT. Therefore, the overall costs (excluding disbursements, see below) are likely to be between £2,100.00 and £3,780.00 plus VAT.
In addition, to comply with the Anti-Fraud Regulations, there will be a compliance fee to verify identity of £30.00 plus VAT per Executor and Beneficiary.
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one Beneficiary and no property, costs will be towards the lower end of the range. If there are multiple Beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts then costs will be at the higher end of the range.
This quote is for Estates where:
- There is a valid UK Will.
- There is no more than one freehold or leasehold property.
- There are no more than five bank or building society accounts.
- There are no other intangible assets, such as stocks and shares, Unit and Investment Trusts.
- There are between one and five Beneficiaries.
- There are no disputes between Beneficiaries or claims against the Estate.
- The Estate is not subject to Inheritance Tax.
- No Inheritance Tax Return is required to be prepared and sent to HM Revenue and Customs.
In addition to our fees and VAT the following disbursements may be incurred:
- Probate court fee of £273.00 (additional copies are charged at £1.50 per copy). VAT is not chargeable.
- Bankruptcy searches (for UK based Beneficiaries) £2.00 plus VAT per Beneficiary. Please note that if a Beneficiary resides overseas the costs will be substantially greater.
Lodging statutory notices under section 27 Trustee Act 1925. This protects you in your role as Executor or Administrator from claims from unknown creditors. The cost will generally be in the region of £200 plus VAT, but this can vary depending on the local newspaper.
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 and reclaim these from the Estate once the Grant of Probate is to hand. The cost of such disbursements may change over time, if the agencies that charge them raise or reduce them.
If the Estate is more complex than outlined above then additional costs may be incurred. This is likely to arise where:
- There is no valid Will.
- There is more than one freehold or leasehold property.
- There are more than five bank or building society accounts.
- The deceased held shares or Unit or Investments Trusts.
- The deceased held an interest in a business.
- There are substantial lifetime gifts or chargeable transfers which require tracing and investigation.
- An Inheritance Tax Account (such as IHT400) is required to be sent to HM Revenue and Customs.
- The Estate is liable to Inheritance Tax.
- The deceased was a Beneficiary of a Trust.
- There are disputes as to the validity of the Will, or between the Beneficiaries or claims made against the Estate.
- We are asked to finalise the deceased’s Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax position to the date of death and/or during the period of Administration.
In addition to the above, if we are asked to assist you with the sale or transfer of the deceased’s property then our Conveyancing team would be pleased to give you a separate costs estimate.
We also provide a service to those handling property as an Executor. Executors have many responsibilities, which may include the sale or transfer of a property.
To ensure that you do not encounter any problems with the sale or transfer of these properties we recommend investigating the title early on. There are cases of people inheriting property and then discovering there is a neighbourhood dispute, or physical defects in the property, or other matters which affect its value (and potentially the amount of Inheritance Tax payable). Similarly, finding out that there is a right of way through the property can substantially affect its value on sale, or could indeed cause the buyer to pull out. These problems can be costly and stressful. For more information please visit our Residential Property page.
Once you have provided us with full details of the assets and liabilities of the Estate we would anticipate obtaining the Grant of Probate within two to three months. However, the Administration could be delayed by the following factors:
- If there is a property to sell then it may not be possible to complete the administration until a buyer has been found and the sale successfully completed. This may take longer than the rest of the Administration.
- Also, Executors of an Estate have to be aware of and deal with any potential claims against it. For claims under The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, there is a period of ten months from the date Probate is issued during which time it is unsafe to distribute funds. Executors have to acknowledge and take the appropriate steps to deal with any such claims during this period. It is our firm’s policy to advise all Executors not to distribute funds to Beneficiaries before ten months have elapsed from the date of the Grant of Probate. The Executors may fully appreciate that the likelihood of any such claims is very remote but failure to take notice of this can leave them personally liable if such a situation arose. The Executors may consider, in appropriate circumstances, obtaining indemnities from the Beneficiaries to allow an early distribution.