PROBATE AND ESTATE ADMINISTRATION – FEE STRUCTURE
When a person passes away and leaves a Will, sometimes a Grant of Probate is required (or Letters of Administration where there is no Will) for the person entitled to administer the Estate to carry out their duties. Sometimes a Grant is not required, where the Estate is small and certain criteria are met and we give initial guidance as to the most efficient and economical way to collect in, distribute and account for the deceased person’s assets.
Graham Waite is the Solicitor in charge of this service and we do sometimes recommend the services of firms we know very well, to deal with complex Trust and taxation issues in particularly complicated circumstances. In many cases a short form of Return IHT205 is available if the matter is straightforward and fixed fees may be appropriate. These are set out in Section B.
In cases where a full report is required in Form IHT400 Section A below applies.
Section A Simple Estate Probate process
For such an Estate it takes on average between 10 and 20 hours of work and Graham Waite’s hourly rate is £220.00 per hour plus VAT.
Other members of our staff assist but no hourly rates for them are payable in addition.
We often try to encourage the person in charge of the administration to carry out as much of the everyday work involved as possible themselves, to keep the legal costs down as far as possible, and for us to advise and support them in the initial stages of obtaining the Grant of Probate or Administration and dealing with the transfer of any property as appropriate.
Charges range from £1,100.00 to £2,500.00 plus VAT on average and in addition disbursements are payable as set out below.
This estimate is applicable for Estates where:-
- There is a valid Will
- There is no more than one Property
- There are no more than 2 bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are 5-10 beneficiaries and their addresses are known
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets or the Executors or Administrators themselves. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
- There are no claims made against the Estate
- There are no assets outside England and Wales
Where there are several beneficiaries and multiple bank accounts and other assets, costs can be at the higher end or greater, but we will never incur the Estate in costs without first giving and agreeing a more detailed estimate.
The following disbursements may be payable:-
- Probate application fee currently £155.00. Please note that next year these are due to rise very considerably – a detailed estimate should be obtained at the time.
- Official copies of the Grant – currently £0.50 per copy.
- Swearing of the Oath (per Executor) – £5 plus £2 per exhibit (Will and any Codicils)
- HM Land Registry Search fees – £3.00 per item
- Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department searches (£2.00 per beneficiary)
- Advertisements in The London Gazette and a local newspaper to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. The cost will depend on the advertising costs of the local newspaper but is usually between £150 and £300.
In cases where the Executor or Administrator requires us to do all of the associated work ourselves, this can include the following and be charged accordingly:-
- Collecting in details of the value of assets and liabilities in the Estate
- Arranging a valuation of the estate property and personal effects
- Arranging for contact to be made with all relevant parties
- Preparing the Inheritance Tax account
- Preparing the Oath for Executors or Administrators
- Obtaining a calculation of Inheritance Tax where applicable
- Advising on minimisation of Inheritance Tax and available exemptions
- Dealing with correspondence, contacting beneficiaries, collecting in assets and paying debts
- Arranging for relevant accounts to be prepared where applicable
How long will this take?
Obtaining a Probate usually takes between 8 and 10 weeks and an average Estate is dealt with within approximately 6 months or sooner.
Collecting in assets can take approximately 3 weeks and slightly longer for the assets to be distributed.
What this guide does not include:-
• Dealing with shareholdings (stocks and bonds)• The sale or transfer of any property in the Estate• Advice on, and accounting for, lifetime giving• Tax planning advice• Advice on trusts in the Will• Advice on, and the preparation of, Deeds of Variation• Will disputes or other potential claims against the Estate
Complex and especially large Estates
The estimate for a simple Estate above is limited as shown and any potential additional matters such as those not included in that estimate will give rise to additional fees and disbursements. In those circumstances we would provide you with a specific estimate of our proposed fees and any additional disbursements.
These apply where IHT205 procedure is available and we can either:-
- Obtain the Grant of Probate only and the Executors can administer the Estate or
- Obtain the Grant of Probate and administer and distribute the Estate
How much do these services cost?
1. Obtaining Grant of Probate only:-
Fee – £1,000 plus VAT
All VAT referred to on this website is at 20%
Disbursements – as above
2. To obtain the Grant, provide a full administration service:
Fee – in the region of £3,000 plus VAT
Disbursements – The potential disbursements are as stated above in Option 1
How long will this take?
On average this will take 3-6 months. Obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 10 weeks and time should be allowed for the additional services referred to above.
Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney
We prepare many Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney and Graham Waite deals with these personally. Our Will preparation service includes:-
- Interviewing you
- Taking detailed notes of your circumstance
- Discussing the various options open to you and subsequently preparing a draft Will for your approval
- Making any necessary required amendments
- Preparing an engrossment for you and attending you on Execution of it
We also provide free storage of your Will and Lasting Power of Attorney for you.
A basic Will costs between £295.00 and £395.00 plus VAT but these can be more, and a more detailed quotation will be given for more complex Wills. Trust advice and detailed IHT planning can be in addition.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
We prepare both Health and Welfare and Property and Affairs Lasting Powers of Attorney and we would interview you, talk through your circumstances and requirements, prepare a draft Lasting Power of Attorney for your approval, engross it and attend you giving you the relevant certification. Subsequently, we can apply on your behalf for registration to the Court of Protection and see the procedure through.
Fees – £310.00 plus VAT £110.00 plus VAT for application to the Court of Protection for Registration Court fee £82.00 per Lasting Power of Attorney.
This can be revised from time to time by the Court, in which we case we will of course advise you in advance. These documents are becoming a more essential part of everyday life and are very important. They should also be regularly reviewed to ensure that they are still up to date and that nothing has changed in your circumstances which will require updating them.
Updates are available at between £95.00 and £195.00 plus VAT and can be provided within a short timescale. Allow between 7 and 14 days following your interview for the production of a draft Will and an appointment can be made after that for you to sign them. Similarly for Lasting Powers of Attorneys although the Court of Protection procedure allows for between 4 and 8 weeks for registration.
We must point out that we do charge for any abortive work carried out by us at our standard hourly rate and aim to keep the time we spend in those circumstances to a minimum.
At certain times of the year (usually in the Spring) we do usually offer discounted packages when you use several services together. Always remember to ask. This could make you a considerable saving.
G A Waite Solicitor • PO Box 156, Crowborough, East Sussex TN6 1GQ | Tel: 01892 652800 • Fax: 01892 610795 • e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The information provided on this website is intended for general information purposes only. It does not purport to be comprehensive or provide legal or other advice. You should always seek detailed legal advice specific to the particular circumstances before undertaking any transaction. G A Waite Solicitor accepts no responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information contained in this site. All content on this website is subject to our disclaimer.