Administration of Estates – Our fees & Service
What is Probate?
If a person dies leaving a Will it will usually be necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate in order to administer their Estate. This is the legal authority given to the appointed Executors to deal with the deceased person’s property, savings and investments (their Estate).
What is a Letter of Administration
If a person dies intestate (without leaving a Will) it will be necessary in order to administer their Estate to obtain a Letter of Administration.
What is an Executor?
The Executors are the people named in the Will as those authorised to carry out the terms of the Will and to deal with a deceased person’s Estate. If someone dies without leaving a Will, then the people who will be in charge of dealing with their Estate are called Administrators.
What is involved in the Administration of someone’s Estate?
We can advise you throughout the legal process.
The process entails initially:-
- Meeting with the Executors/Administrators to advise about the terms of any Will and to discuss the administration of the Estate.
- Seeking confirmation of assets and liabilities from various institutions.
- Preparing the application for Probate or Letter of Administration including the Statement of Truth and any Inheritance Tax Forms.
- Advising you if there is Inheritance Tax to pay, and how this is to be financed.
- Making the application for Probate or Letter of Administration.
- Once the Grant is issued sending the Grant to financial institutions in order to sell investments and to close bank or building society accounts.
- Pay outstanding liabilities and seeking confirmation from HMRC/DWP that there are no further liabilities outstanding.
- We can also assist with the sale of any property.
- Distributing the Estate in accordance with the terms of the Will or under the Rules of Intestacy.
- We can also advise in contentious Probate matters, for example, where the validity of the Will is contested or there is a dispute between beneficiaries.
How long will this take?
This depends on the size of the Estate and the complexities involved.
On average this could fall within the range of 3 – 9 months for a straightforward Estate. If there is a property to sell or Inheritance Tax to pay then the process usually takes longer and could be between 6 – 18 months.
How much will it Cost?
Some other organisations will often charge a percentage of the value of the Estate. We consider that the cost should reflect what work we are required to do on your behalf.
Some Executors/Administrators will wish us to make all the necessary enquiries on their behalf including writing to financial institutions, obtaining valuations, preparing the Probate application and tax forms, collecting in the assets in the Estate, paying any liabilities and distributing the Estate to the Beneficiaries.
Alternatively, you may decide to do most of the research yourself and just ask us to assist in the application for a Grant of Probate/Letter of Administration.
The number of assets and the complexity of the Will affect the overall charge and each Estate is different. We therefore usually charge by an hourly rate. We can give you an indication of the likely costs involved at the initial appointment.
Sometimes unexpected problems that arise during the administration of the Estate can increase costs, but we will keep you informed as the matter progresses.
At present Solicitors in the Probate Department charge £205.00 – £235.00 per hour. This figure is reviewed annually.
Both Solicitors in our Probate/Wills Department have at least 30 years experience of dealing with this type of work.
If you ask us to deal the application for Probate/Letter of Administration only for a non-taxable Estate, we will charge a fixed fee of £500.00 plus VAT.
In addition to our own fees, if there is a property to sell our conveyancing fees will be charged separately.
We may also offer a fixed fee arrangements for other matters such as Deeds of Variation of the terms of the Will.
Please note that there may be additional expenses as follows:-
- Inheritance Tax
- Probate Court fees
- Valuation fees from Estate Agents
- Valuation fees for personal possessions
- Fees for Statutory Advertisements.
Please contact a member of our Wills and Probate team for further details or to book an appointment.