Talk to us:

01566 772375

Talk to us:

01566 772375

Probate and Estate Administration

Our fees depending on your situation

Our Private Client Department have a wealth of experience in dealing with probate and the administration of estate work from small to high net worth, multi-million pound estates.

Deborah Adams is a Director and heads the department and is a Probate Executive with over 25 years’ experience in administering estates with an hourly rate of £185 plus VAT

Jonathan Pounder is a Senior Solicitor, also with over 25 years’ experience with an hourly rate of £218 plus VAT

Mark Parnall is the Managing Director of Parnalls Solicitors and a Senior Solicitor who acts as a professional executor with an hourly rate of £272. Mark Parnall has over 35 years’ experience in acting for private clients in connection with various matters.

Jonathan Parnall is also a Director and Senior Solicitor who acts as a professional executor with an hourly rate of £218. Jonathan Parnall has over 35 years’ experience in acting for private clients in connection with various matters

Jane Hewitt is an Assistant to the team with an hourly rate of £100. 

VAT is payable on all hourly rates.

What will we do for you?

To provide you with the best service, we will:-

  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you require.
  • Discuss the Will with you in detail and notify all beneficiaries of their entitlement.
  • Collect together details of all the assets and liabilities in the estate in order to make the probate application to the probate registry on your behalf to obtain the grant of representation (being probate if there is a Will or letters of administration if the deceased died intestate). This includes notifying all investment organisations including banks, buildings societies, insurance companies, National Savings & Investments and occupational pension providers of the death in order to ascertain the value of assets as at date of death.  Also notifying company registrars to ascertain the full extent of the deceased’s shareholdings.  Once this has been ascertained then instructing a valuer to provide a probate valuation of the shareholdings.  Turning to property and land this includes checking title deeds to ascertain ownership and instructing a valuer to carry out an open market appraisal of the property or full Red Book valuation if required.
  • If the estate is over the nil rate band and the deceased has left a spouse or civil partner then it may be possible to transfer nil rate band which includes investigating the estate of the first spouse or civil partner in order to ascertain who their estate was left to and if applicable transferring unused nil rate band in order to increase the nil rate band on the second spouse/civil partner’s death to mitigate inheritance tax. The appropriate form IHT217 needs to be completed if it is an excepted estate.  This will increase charges in the estate as will take approximately one to two hours to investigate and complete the relevant form. If a full IHT400 is required then this is included as one of the attached schedules.
  • If further exemptions may be required then residence nil rate band can be claimed if the deceased’s property passes to direct descendants, this is currently £175,000 and it is possible to investigate transferable residence nil rate band in a similar way to transferable nil rate band which will increase costs in mitigating inheritance tax. Again, this will increase charges on an estate depending on the complexity of the information obtained, such as whether the deceased downsized.
  • Complete the relevant HMRC form IHT205 for non-taxable estates or IHT400 and schedules if more complex or IHT payable and the drafting of the Probate Application form
  • Collect and reconcile all monies received into the estate and from it during the administration period and provide a comprehensive set of Estate Accounts showing the position clearly and concisely for the Executors’ approval.
  • Pay all pecuniary legacies
  • Make the final distribution of the estate

How much will it cost?

 We charge per hour for our services on a time spent basis in accordance with the relevant hourly rates which are set out above.  Disbursements, which are third party costs such as experts’ fees or court fees, that we incur in your case on your behalf are not included in our cost estimates. VAT is payable on our fees.

The costs estimates provided below are based on the average costs that we charge for typical cases and matters. Our actual costs may vary based on the factual circumstances and complexity of your particular case. Estates vary according to size, amount and type of assets, as well as whether they are subject to Inheritance Tax or not. Costs will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter and how complicated it is including the number of properties and bank or building society accounts involved, the number of assets and beneficiaries. Disputes between beneficiaries to the estate and claims made against the estate can also increase the costs.

Please note that we will always give you an individual cost estimate at the outset.

The average cost of obtaining grant of representation and preparing full IHT400 together with all supplementary pages is usually in the region of £3,995.00 to £5,995.00 plus VAT.

The average cost of obtaining grant of representation for an estate using form IHT205 is in the region of £2,995.00 plus VAT.

Once the grant of representation has been obtained then the estate administration will progress.

The average cost of administering an estate on a taxable estate to include obtaining clearance from HM Revenue and Customs is usually in the region of £3,995.00 to £5,995.00 plus VAT.

The average costs of administering an estate in which form IHT205 was submitted is usually in the region of a further £2,995.00 to £3,995.00 plus VAT depending on the assets involved in the estate.

Once the grant of representation has been obtained, we will contact the investment organisations and provide them with a copy of the grant of representation together with transfer/withdrawal forms which we will complete for signature by the personal representative.  We will also contact company registrars and provide them with a copy of the grant of representation and deal with either the transfer of or instruct a broker in the sale of the shareholding.  We will also advise in relation to advertisements for creditors and any claims which could arise under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975.

We will also reconcile monies received on closure of the investment accounts and incorporate this in the final Estate Accounts.  We will also report any untaxed income received during the administration period to the relevant tax office and report the appropriate income/capital gains tax payable.

Please note that the costs to transfer or sell property or land which forms part of the estate is separate and not included in the above average probate costs. We will provide you with separate cost estimate for any associated conveyancing involved as part of the administration of the estate.

What third party costs are involved (these are called disbursements)?

We will manage the payments of disbursements to third parties such as court fees, on your behalf.

The likely disbursements which could arise during the estate administration include probate valuation fees incurred from valuers in relation to property and also in relation to shareholdings.  The value of the estate affects whether a full Red Book valuation needs to be carried out.  These can start from in the region of £700.00 plus VAT.  If there is a farm and this together with land needs to be valued then the valuers charges will be significantly more and this can easily start from in the region of £1,500.00 plus VAT but this is of course dependent on the valuer carrying out the valuation and the value of the asset and the complexity of it.

The probate valuation of the shareholdings again depends on the number of shareholdings valued.  Currently a stockbroker’s probate valuation of three shareholdings would be in the region of £18.00 plus VAT.

The other disbursement must be paid on all estates over £5,000. and requiring grant of representation is probate Court fees.  These are currently £155.00 if a solicitor is instructed to act plus an additional £1.50 for every copy of the grant of representation required.  No VAT is payable in relation to probate Court fees.

If accountants need to be involved for example to complete tax returns for the deceased, bankruptcy etc, accounts for creditors etc, or provide information about the deceased’s business accounts, for example, if they were farming then there will be those costs to possibly bear in mind. The accountants’ costs will be completely separate, and they will provide their own cost estimates together with their terms & conditions. Not every estate needs an accountant to be involved.

Potential additional costs

There are likely to be additional costs to the estimated estate administration, which will depend on the complexity of the matter. We will provide an accurate quote once the full details of the matter have been established.

Additional costs can be incurred if:-

  • the deceased died intestate, i.e. without a Will, or the estate consists of multiple shareholdings
  • the deceased’s property needs to be sold or transferred
  • there is a liability for any Inheritance Tax, income Tax or Capital Gains Tax as well as claims for business property relief and agricultural property relief
  • the deceased had an interest in trust, made chargeable lifetime transfers or has foreign property
  • the transferable nil rate band from the death of a surviving spouse needs to be investigated
  • the residence nil rate band needs to be claimed if property is passing to direct descendants

How long does the process take?

An average estate administration can take between four and twelve months depending on whether advertisements for creditors are placed to protect against any unexpected claims against the estate. Executors may wish to wait the statutory six-month period after the issue of the Grant of Probate.

On average, obtaining a Grant of Probate can take between two to four months from the date of instruction. Collecting assets then follows and this can take two months. once the assets have been obtained, we can then prepare the Estate Accounts and distribute the assets – this process normally takes six to eight weeks.

For more information on these services, please call 01566 772375, email or click here