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Standard Estates – Fee Structure

Includes Estates where:

  • There is a valid Will / there is no valid Will
  • There are no disputes over who is entitled to be the Personal Representative
  • The assets of the Estate might not have been fully ascertained, or ascertained at all
  • There is no more than 1 property in the Estate
  • There are up to 10 building society / bank accounts
  • There may be some shareholdings / investment portfolios
  • There are no more than 7 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes
  • There are no claims against the Estate
  • All beneficiaries are adults within England and Wales and whose whereabouts are known or easily traceable
  • Inheritance tax may be payable, and there are sufficient available cash assets to pay the inheritance tax due in full
  • A detailed inheritance tax account is required to be returned to HMRC
  • The Estate may have an income tax and / or capital gains tax liability throughout the administration period, but which falls within ‘non-complex Estates’ and can be dealt with informally with HMRC

How can we help?

We will advise you on the provisions contained in the Will and if there are any clauses you do not understand, we will explain these fully to you:

  • If there is no Will, we will advise you on the Rules of Intestacy, explain what they provide, and also confirm who has authority to deal with the administration of the Estate
  • In the event that not all of the Estate’s assets have been established, we will work through the documentation of the Deceased to ascertain all establishments with whom he or she had dealings
  • We will contact such establishments to obtain date of death values of the assets
  • We will advise on the steps to take to obtain a valuation for the property / land and the options available to you in this respect
  • Once all valuations have been obtained, we will prepare a Schedule of Assets & Liabilities for the Estate
  • We will advise you on how inheritance tax is calculated, and if the Estate is likely to have such a liability
  • If there is inheritance tax to pay, we will prepare the required inheritance tax forms and attached schedules, and arrange for the same to be sent to HMRC together with the first payment of inheritance tax direct from Estate assets
  • In some cases, there may be no inheritance tax to pay but the longer inheritance tax form must still be sent to HMRC. In those circumstances, we will arrange for the form to be filed with HMRC
  • Once inheritance tax has been paid and / or HMRC has confirmed receipt of the inheritance tax due, we will prepare the relevant forms required for the application for the Grant, including preparing the Oath

This can process can take approximately 6 – 12 months

  • Upon extraction of the Grant, we will advise on how you can protect your position as Personal Representative against any unknown creditors of the Estate
  • We will arrange the ‘assent’ of the property, if it is to be transferred directly to a beneficiary
  • If the property is to be sold, we will refer this specific transaction to our Conveyancing department, who will provide you with a specific quote for this aspect of the administration
  • We will complete the account closure forms required to gather in the assets
  • We will send the forms to the relevant departments and can arrange to hold the Estate funds, including the proceeds of sale, in our Client Account in readiness for distribution
  • We will arrange payment of any outstanding Estate liabilities, such as outstanding utility bills / credit card balances / outstanding debts owed by the Deceased / and our invoices
  • We will contact the beneficiaries and obtain the required proofs of ID and address and confirmation of how they wish to receive their inheritance
  • We will arrange the final distributions of the Estate assets

Unless something unexpected arises, this can process can take approximately a further 3 – 6 months

 

Throughout the process, you will benefit from our legal advice, assistance and support.

Costs Range for a Standard Probate

We estimate up to 40 hours’ work would be involved in a Standard Probate. At the average hourly rate of our department, this would be approximately £10,880 plus VAT.

Please note that this is with respect to our costs only, and do not include additional costs/payments that can arise throughout the administration process, such as:

  1. Probate fee (£275 plus £1.50 for every sealed copy)
  2. Section 27 Notice (ranges between £60 – £150 depending on the Estate)
  3. Bankruptcy searches (£2 per person)

This also does not include any tax liabilities that may arise throughout the administration of the Estate, such as Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax.

What are our hourly rates?

LawyerFee
Claire Martin – Head of Department£300 + VAT
Prue Abrahams£300 + VAT
Herman Cheung£285 + VAT
Amaya Huntly£260 + VAT
Samantha Fennah£215 + VAT
Trainees / Paralegals£160 + VAT
Throughout the process, you will benefit from our legal advice, assistance and support.

Supplementary work for additional matters that can arise

The above sets out the usual matters that must be dealt with in a regular Simple, Standard or Complex probate matter. However, there are unexpected issues that can arise, which may require additional work. It is impossible to cover all aspects, but we provide the following  examples below:

 

  1. There are times where upon administering the Estate of the second spouse to die it becomes apparent that the Estate of the first spouse to have died was not fully administered. In those circumstances, it may be that there are two separate, concurrent administrations that need to be dealt with.

 

  1. The beneficiaries of the Estate may wish to enter into a Deed of Variation in order to change the provisions of a Will or Rules of Intestacy. In those circumstances, there will be additional drafting and it may be that the beneficiaries need to seek independent legal advice.

 

  1. Whilst we have a general process to follow when the Estate has shareholdings, the requirements from the share registrars can vary and where there are many different shareholdings the work involved to administer them can be significantly greater than Estates with few shareholdings. As there can be a considerable range in the work involved, we will be able to give a more accurate quote once we have more information.

 

  1. Where Estates include trusts, you may seek advice on the tax consequences of keeping the trusts as created in the Will, or whether it is beneficial in the circumstances for those trusts to be wound up.

 

  1. When assets such as property and / or shares are being sold, you may need advice on the benefits of ‘appropriation’ in order to reduce the Capital Gains Tax liability of the Estate.

 

  1. Where there is an extensive property portfolio of investment properties, that require selling

 

Our fees explained: