When someone dies there is sometimes the requirement to obtain a grant of representation from the court which is often referred to as ‘probate’. I can help you through this process by obtaining the grant of probate on your behalf. I can also undertake the collecting and distributing of assets if you so wish.
I generally work on a fixed fee basis ranging from £500 for obtaining the grant only (that is not dealing with collecting in or distributing the assets of the estate) to £10,000 for an estate where the client wishes me to deal with all aspects of the administration. In some circumstances, where an estate is extremely complex or of high value, I may need to charge more, but I will always inform you before starting work.
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 property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
I can handle the full process for you. The above quotes are for estates where:
- There is a valid will
- There is no more than one property
- There are no more than five bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are one to five beneficiaries and none is a charity
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
- There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
- There are no claims made against the estate
Disbursements are not included in this fee:
- Probate application fee of £155 plus 50p for each copy
- £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£1 per beneficiary)
- £173.70 post in The London Gazette and a local paper – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors – this figure varies slightly depending on the charge made by the local paper in your area.
Inheritance tax is not included in the above figures. If the estate is valued at over £325,000 it may be liable for inheritance tax at the rate of 40%. There is a calculator which you may wish to use on the HMRC website.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We can handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Potential additional costs
- If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) or overseas assets there is likely to 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. I do not undertake conveyancing work but I can deal with the transfer if you wish to retain the property.
- Completing a full IHT400 is not included.
How long will this take?
On average, estates that fall within this straightforward range are dealt with within four to six months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes six to eight weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take a further two to six weeks. Once this has been done, we can obtain the executors approval to the estate accounts and distribute the assets, which normally takes four weeks.
Who will undertake the work?
I undertake all work personally.