We can assist you with obtaining a Grant of Representation and administrating an estate from start to finish. We can deal with as little or as much of the process as you require. We intend to be as transparent and flexible with our fees as possible leaving you in control to decide on what basis you would like to instruct us.
Initial Fixed Fee Appointment
We offer a fixed fee appointment of £130.00 inclusive of VAT, payable on the day, where we would be happy to discuss the estate and services that we offer. This will be followed up by a letter of advice with no obligation to instruct us further.
Fixed Fee Grant Application Service
We can offer a Fixed Fee Grant Application Service for excepted estates which is limited to obtaining the Grant on your behalf. You will provide us with all of the information required to draft form IHT205 and/or IHT217 and the statement of truth on your behalf. Provided there are no complications, our fee for this service will be £995.00 plus VAT, 50% of which is payable at the time of instruction and the balance being payable upon the Grant being issued. Once the Grant is issued we pass this to you to deal with the administration of the estate.
This service is useful for those who wish to deal with the administration of the estate themselves or where the estate is very simple but they would prefer not to have to make the application to the Probate Registry in person or be burdened with the completion of the inheritance tax forms. If you need further assistance after the Grant has been issued then you are free to instruct us on the basis of our hourly rates.
We also offer a Flexible Service. Our costs our charged at our hourly rate of £230.00 plus VAT. The final amount of charges will depend on the simplicity or complexity of the estate and the amount of time spent working on the file.
We will provide you with a realistic estimate at the outset, or agree upon a Bespoke Fixed Fee subject to the assets in the estate. With the flexible service you pay only for the time that we spend on dealing with your matter. We do not charge a percentage of the value of your estate, nor do we charge different rates for different aspects of your matter.
We are happy to assist you with whatever aspects of the estate administration you wish. We regularly accept limited instructions from clients who feel able to deal with some areas of the work themselves but who require legal support in other areas. This is a good way to minimise your legal costs. We endeavour to agree which parts of the estate administration our clients can deal with and which parts we will manage at the outset of your case.
We are also happy to provide a Full Estate Service where we can deal with everything on your behalf from making the initial enquiries, completing the relevant IHT forms, obtaining the Grant, gathering in the assets, paying the liabilities including any taxes and distributing the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will or rules of intestacy at our hourly rate. In some circumstances we may be able to offer a Fixed Fee service for the full package. The Full Estate Service enables us to deal with everything on your behalf minimising the distress caused to you during what can be a very difficult time coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.
Please note, there can be unexpected factors that can impact on our fee estimates and increase the cost of administration. This could be such things as missing Wills or beneficiaries, complex assets including those in foreign jurisdictions, large share holdings or HMRC enquiries. Where these circumstances arise we will bring it to your attention immediately and discuss the cost implications.
While it is not easy to provide an accurate estimate of costs until such time as we have met with you and taken detailed information about the estate, its value, the number of any beneficiaries and any likely complexities, below are some fee examples for average estates:
- Checking whether there is a valid Will
- Identifying the assets and the beneficiaries
- Preparing the inheritance tax forms
- Applying any reliefs or exemptions
- Preparing the probate application for you to sign
- Making the application on your behalf to the Probate Registry
- Obtaining the Grant of Probate and sealed copies
- Serving the Grant on relevant organisations
- Collecting in the assets
- Preparing an estate account
- Paying any liabilities including any outstanding taxes
- Distributing the assets in accordance with the terms of the Will by making payments to the beneficiaries
- Transferring any property in the estate
On average, an excepted estate will take between 6 and 12 months to complete and in our experience will cost between £3,000.00 and £5,000.00 plus VAT depending on complexity such as the assets involved and the number of beneficiaries.
Disbursements (costs that may be payable to third parties) are:
Probate Court Fee £157.00 (at present)
Bankruptcy Fees £12.00 per beneficiary
Section 27 Notice fees £200.00-£250.00
Estates which are not Excepted
As per an excepted estate above but also organising the calculation and payment of inheritance tax and submitting the long form of inheritance on IHT400 and its supplemental pages. On average the estimated costs of dealing with a non-excepted estate are between £5,000.00 and £10,000.00. Again, this varies depending on a number of factors which will determine how much work is required and, therefore, what the final price or agreed fixed fee might be. In addition to the work for an excepted estate we might have to assist with inheritance tax, income tax and capital gains tax queries and obtaining a clearance certificate.
It usually takes between 6 and 12 months to deal with an un-excepted estate.
Whilst we always provide an estimate of fees once we are aware of the details of the estate unforeseen complexities may arise which in turn could result in additional work being required. If this occurs we will inform clients and provide a revised costs estimate.