Clear Pricing Information – Estate Administration (often termed “Probate”)
Estate Administration (often termed “Probate”)
The pricing and costs information below relates to uncontested estates (ie estates where there are no disputes, or claims anticipated under the provisions of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975), and where all of the assets belonging to the deceased person are in the UK.
How much will it cost?
The majority of the estate administration cases where a grant of representation is necessary (and we handle the full process) fall within a fee range of between £4,000 and £12,000 plus VAT. 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 at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a number of properties and multiple investments of varying types, costs will be at the higher end. Some estates can be more complex and the overall costs could exceed the higher end.
If you ask us to assist you, we will:
- Provide you with a dedicated member of our estate administration team to work on your matter
- Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
- Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
- Assemble details of all assets owned at death and obtain any necessary valuations.
- Assemble details of any liabilities due at death, including funeral expenses.
- Assess whether any inheritance tax is payable and, if necessary, deal with the requirements of HMRC “Inheritance Tax Section” before making an application for a Grant of Representation.
- Prepare all documents in support of an application for the Grant of Representation.
- On receipt of the Grant of Representation, collect in all assets and settle any liabilities.
- Finalise matters with HMRC in respect of the inheritance tax position and obtain tax clearance.
- Distribute the estate in accordance with the law and the terms of the Will and prepare a full estate account.
In addition to our fees there will be “disbursements” – these 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 smoother process. Such payments will include some or all of the following:
- A fee payable to the Court for the Probate application of £273 plus 1.50p per additional copy (usually one copy needed for each asset)
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 plus VAT per beneficiary each time a distribution is made)
- Statutory Notices in The London Gazette and a Local Newspaper – these can protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. The approximate cost for these Notices is £200
As part of our legal and regulatory obligations, we are required to identify all of our clients and the source of funds that they are using in any transaction. We offer electronic onboarding which enables you to quickly provide us with the necessary information without leaving your home. We will charge a fee of £12.50 + VAT per person should you wish to use this service.
Potential additional costs
- If there is no will, or the estate consists of complex investments there may be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included, but we can call on the expertise of our property team to deal with this.
- If inheritance tax is payable we will calculate this based on the value of the estate and any allowances or exemptions that may apply, and submit the appropriate documentation to HMRC. You may want to visit the HMRC website at https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax for more information about inheritance tax and how it is applied.
How long will this take?
Most relatively straightforward estates are dealt with within three to nine months from the date on which we receive all of the available estate information and are instructed to act. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes eight to ten weeks from the date on which we are instructed. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between three to six weeks from the date on which the grant of probate is received. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes two to four weeks.
There may be circumstances that result in a delay or an extension of these average timeframes. Examples include:- difficulty in identifying or locating all of the assets relevant to the estate; locating missing beneficiaries; dealing with extended enquiries from HM Revenue and Customs in relation to Inheritance Tax or Income Tax; the marketing and sale of a property (or properties) that form part of the estate; enquiries from the Department of Work and Pensions in relation to benefit payments made to the deceased person during their lifetime.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Probate Registry and the Court of Protection are experiencing substantial delays in dealing with applications. We will do all that we can to expedite matters and will keep you informed about how long it will take to deal with them.
Do I have any options?
At Mogers Drewett we take a flexible approach to assisting families and executors with the often worrying and distressing process of estate administration. The information above is intended to provide an illustration of the likely costs and fees involved, and the average timescales. Clearly every estate is different. When we are asked to assist we will always provide clear cost and timescale information that is specific to your matter as soon as we have sufficient information about the estate to do so. This will include the option of a clear fixed fee, or a fee based on time spent dealing with the process. If you choose the time spent option, we will also provide an agreed range within which we expect the overall fee to fall within.
We are sometimes asked to assist with specific aspects of the estate administration process, and we are very happy to work in this way. For example, executors may ask us to deal with the application for the grant of probate; to manage the sale of a particular asset; or to advise in relation to inheritance tax in relation to the estate. As above, we are happy to take a flexible approach and will give the option of a clear fixed fee, or a fee based on time spent within an agreed range when working with you in this way.