Pricing for Probate and Estate Administration

How we charge for our services
Probate and Estate Administration (uncontested)

Team Members and Supervision

The members of Trethowans Private Client team are independently recognised as experts in their field by legal directories Chambers UK and The Legal 500 and were recent finalists in the Law Society Excellence Awards, Excellence in Private Client Practice category. The team is frequently recommended by existing clients, many of whom have a long standing relationship with the firm, as well as by professional intermediaries.

Your matter would be dealt with by a lawyer specialising in probate and estate administration and any work undertaken would be supervised by a Partner or a Team Leader with a minimum of nine years experience. Details of the individuals within the team and their qualifications and experience can be found in their profiles.

Fees and Charging Structures

The fee information set out in this document relate specifically to those services in the ‘Services’ section and is indicative only. Once the full details relating to your particular matter are understood, we will provide a specific fee proposal which, upon confirmation of our instruction through a signed client engagement letter and terms of business, will form the contractual basis upon which we will deliver our services.

During the progress of any matter it is possible that fees may change, up or down, due to change in your instructions, or because it is necessary to reassess the level of complexity of the matter should new information come to light or circumstances change. Should this be the case, we would discuss this with you at the time and agree any changes before progressing.

Any additional services required outside those set out in the Services section would be quoted separately on an individual basis.

Services

Estate Administration – full or partial

Key stages in delivering these services On average, estates are administered within 12 months of the date of death, known as ‘the Executors year’. However, the level of complexity involved in the administration can have a significant impact, not only on timeframe but as a result, costs too.

To assist in providing more clear and accurate estimates we have laid out the information in this table using varying levels of complexity.

  • Simple complexity – Typically from receiving instructions, obtaining the grant of probate takes between 4-8 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take a further 2-6 weeks unless there is a property to be sold in the administration period. If so then the timeframe would be dependant on the house sale being completed. Once this has been actioned, we can distribute the assets which normally take a further 3-6 weeks. However this can be subject to receiving income tax clearance, the expiry of creditor notices and no claims against the estate being made (within 6 months of the Grant of Probate).
  • Medium complexity – The timescales are fairly similar to those as stated above. The differing factor being that tax clearance will be required from the revenue prior to issuing probate. This could delay the matter by a few weeks but probate could be obtained between 6-12 weeks. The remaining timeframes are as stated above.
  • High complexity – If the asset base is far more varied it will take significantly longer to ascertain the values for the Inheritance Tax account. Typically we would look to have the information available to submit the account between 8-16 weeks of receiving instructions. Obtaining probate would therefore be achieved within a timescale of 12-20 weeks.

Collecting assets then follows, which can take between a further 2-8 weeks.

How we would charge for these services

We charge on an hourly rate basis for the work we carry out in administering the estate. The hourly rates range from £115 to £255, depending on qualification and experience of the lawyer.

For full Estate Administration, the overall cost would depend upon the complexity as highlighted above, with the following indicative fee estimates.

  • Simple complexity – The range is typically between £2,250 – £3,750
  • Medium complexity – The range is typically between £3,750- £7,750
  • High complexity – The range is typically between £7,750 – £15,750

For partial Estate Administration, matters would be charged on a time spent basis and thus fees dependent on how much and/or little of the administration we were instructed to undertake and level of advice required.

The fees provided above are subject to the following:

  • The fact that certain assumptions have been relied upon for the purposes of the fee information provided, as set out below;
  • That disbursements relevant to the matter will be payable in addition to these fees, as set out below; and
  • The basis on which we would charge for dealing with any services which fall within the ‘not included’ section below.

What our fees include

Included within this service, we shall:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents/information required to make the application
  • Advertise Trustee/creditor notices, where necessary
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal oath/statement for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate
  • Obtain Inheritance Tax clearance, where necessary
  • Collect all assets in the estate
  • Settle all estate debts and administration expenses
  • Distribute all cash legacies and personal items as per the terms of the Will
  • Prepare financial accounts of the estate and make final distributions to beneficiaries
  • Preparation of tax deduction certificates

What our fees do not include

Not included within this service is:

  • Preparation and filing of Income Tax return to the date of death and for the administration period (work of this nature is carried out separately by a in- house accountant)
  • Any form of Inheritance (PFD) Act and Probate claim made against the estate (work of this nature is carried out within a separate department here at Trethowans
  • Tax planning advice to Beneficiaries (available separately on request)
  • The setting up and running of any trusts created by the Will (available separately on request)

Should a bank transfer be required, these incur an administrative charge of £30 in addition to any other fees.

VAT

Unless expressly stated otherwise, all of the fees and disbursements referred to would be subject to VAT, payable in addition, calculated at the standard rate of 20%.

Disbursements

Disbursements are additional costs related to your matter that would typically be incurred by us on your behalf to ensure that the matter progresses in an efficient manner and would be added to your bill for payment together with your fees.

The disbursements that you could expect to be charged in respect of these matters include:

  • Probate Registry fees- £155 plus 50p per court sealed copy (you may be asked to provide this upfront)
  • Commissioners fees- £5 for an oath plus £2 per document
  • Statutory Creditor Notices- £90 to £250
  • Bankruptcy Searches- £2 per name

Additional disbursements can arise for valuing assets within the estate and the disposal of such assets. Where applicable, quotes will be obtained.

Assumptions

Set out below are specific assumptions relating to the different levels of complexity as set out under full Estate Administration above.

Simple complexity

  • There is no more than one property, to be transferred to beneficiaries.
  • There are no more than two bank or building society accounts.
  • Personal belongings dealt with by beneficiaries.
  • Any investments are limited to National Savings products.
  • There are no more than three beneficiaries.
  • There is no ongoing trust created by the Will.
  • There is no Inheritance Tax to pay and the executors do not need to submit a full Inheritance Tax account to HMRC.

Medium complexity

  • There is no more than one property to be sold or transferred.
  • There are no more than five bank or building society accounts.
  • Investments are limited to three product providers and two private holdings.
  • Assistance with distribution and clearance of personal belongings.
  • There are no more than five legatees and four residuary beneficiaries.
  • There is no ongoing trust created by the Will save for a trust for minors.
  • There is no Inheritance Tax to pay but a full Inheritance Tax account is to

Services

Grant only Administration

Key stages in delivering our services

From receiving instructions (including all relevant information and documentation) typically obtaining the grant of probate takes between 4-8 weeks if a full inheritance tax account is not required. It will be between 6-12 weeks if a full account is required.

How we would charge for our services

Grant only Administration

This will be based on a fixed fee as follows:

  • Where a short form Inheritance Tax account is used it will be £1,000 and if a claim is required to transfer the full Inheritance allowance for the former spouse/civil partner an additional fee of £100 will be charged.
  • Where a long form Inheritance Tax account is used it will be £1,500 and if a claim is required to utilise the Residence Nil Rate Band an additional fee of £250 will be charged. (NB The fixed fee does not apply if Inheritance Tax is payable.)

The fees provided above are subject to the following:

  • The fact that certain assumptions have been relied upon for the purposes of the fee information provided, as set out below;
  • That disbursements relevant to the matter will be payable in addition to these fees, as set out below; and
  • The basis on which we would charge for dealing with any services which fall within the ‘not included’ section below.

What our fees include

As part of our fixed fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Advise on Advertising Trustee/creditor notices, where necessary
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal oath/statement for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and provide you with sealed copies

What our fees do not include

Not included within this service is:

  • Obtaining the relevant documents/information required to make the application.
  • Preparation and filing of Income Tax return to the date of death (work of this nature is carried out separately by an in-house accountant).
  • All Administration work following the issue of the Grant of Probate (available separately on request).
  • Any form of Inheritance (PFD) Act and Probate claim made against the estate (work of this nature is carried out within a separate department here at Trethowans).
  • Tax planning advice to Beneficiaries (available separately on request).
  • The setting up and running of any trusts created by the Will (available separately on request).

VAT

Unless expressly stated otherwise, all of the fees and disbursements referred to would be subject to VAT, payable in addition, calculated at the standard rate of 20%.

Disbursements

Disbursements are additional costs related to your matter that would typically be incurred by us on your behalf to ensure that the matter progresses in an efficient manner. These would be chargeable by us in addition to the fees set out above.

The disbursements that you can expect to be charged in respect of a Grant only Administration are as follows:

  • Probate Registry fees- £155 plus 50p per court sealed copy. (You may be asked to provide this upfront)
  • Commissioners fees- £5 for an oath plus £2 per document.

Assumptions

General assumptions

  • All Executors are known.
  • The existence of a Will is known and can be supplied.
  • All documentation/information required to complete the Probate application (including the Tax return) is provided.
  • There is no Inheritance tax to pay.
  • The deceased was domiciled in England and Wales.
  • There are no intangible assets.
  • There are no business or agricultural assets.
  • All assets are situated in England and Wales.
  • That no claims proceed against the estate.
  • There are no disputes between executors.
  • Third parties completing documents and returning in a timely fashion.

Meet the team

Mihiri Gajraj

Partner

James Hammersley

Partner

Chris Pemberton

Partner