Fees in Uncontested Probate and Estate Administration Cases
For probate and administration of estates, where the deceased was domiciled in England and Wales at the date of death, our fees are charged by reference to the amount of work done, at a rate of £290 per hour plus VAT. VAT is currently charged at the rate of 20%.
Simple estate administration cases (for example, where there is only one property, and perhaps one or two bank accounts in the estate) will involve less work, and lower fees, than more complicated cases (for example, where there may be several properties, and more complex investments and assets in the estate). Where we are appointed as executors the fees charged may be higher than where we act on behalf of the executors because our responsibilities are likely to mean that we have to do more work on behalf of the estate.
In our experience probate cases can involve between 30 and 50 hours of work (and fees of between £8,700 plus VAT and £14,500 plus VAT) depending on the complexity of the case.
We can provide a more precise estimate of the likely fees in your case, upon request, when we have met with you and discussed the nature and extent of the estate.
The work involved in probate and estate administration cases generally includes:-
(a) contacting all asset and liability holders in order to value the estate - typically this can take two to four months
(b) completing the relevant inheritance tax forms and submitting them to HMRC - typically this can take a further four to six weeks, and HMRC generally process the forms in around 28 days
(c) completing and submitting the grant application - the court usually takes between 6 and 8 weeks to issue the grant
(d) realising the assets of the estate, settling any liabilities, accounting for taxes due, and distributing the estate to beneficiaries - this can take between two and five months, although it is likely to be longer if the sale of property is involved
We usually render our first invoice, for the work done to date, when the application for the Grant of Probate or Administration is lodged with the court, and the final invoice when our work is completed.
In addition to the above, disbursements (charges we have to pay on your behalf) will arise during the course of the administration. The most common charge is the court fee payable to obtain the Grant of Probate (or Administration). The fee is currently £273.00 plus £1.50 per additional copy of the Grant which is required. If it is necessary to obtain a valuation of property or personal belongings then the fees are likely to be in the region of £350-£1500 plus VAT. When copies of the Land Registry title of a property are required the fee is £3.00 plus VAT of 60p for a copy of each title.
We do not undertake conveyancing work (such as selling the deceased’s home or other property) or commercial transactions (such as commercial conveyancing or transfers of businesses). Where these types of work arise during the course of the administration of an estate we will obtain the Grant of Probate (or Administration) and deal with all other relevant matters, and we will refer you to a conveyancing solicitor to do the conveyancing work. Their fees will be payable directly by you to those solicitors, usually out of the proceeds of sale.
We do, however, undertake other work related to property – for example, dealing with the Land Registry’s requirements following the death of a joint owner of property, and transferring property to beneficiaries under a will.
If you do not require us to carry out the full administration of the estate, but need help with certain aspects of it, we can discuss this with you and provide you with an individual quote for the cost of the work you would like us to do.