Worthingtons Solicitors

Probate Pricing

 
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16 August, 2021

The fee payable for dealing with a Probate matter will vary, depending on the circumstances of each case. There are various issues which have a bearing on the fee, such as:

  • Whether or not there is a valid Will
  • The value of the Estate and whether or not Inheritance Tax is payable
  • The extent and nature of the assets and liabilities of the Estate
  • The number of Beneficiaries
  • Any potential for dispute between the Beneficiaries or claims against the Estate

We are able to offer you a choice of either a fixed fee for providing assistance, limited to obtaining the Grant of Representation, or, you can enter into an arrangement where we will deal with the entire Administration, and the fee will be based on a percentage of the value of the Estate, together with an hourly rate, and payments for correspondence and telephone calls.

Further details of both arrangements are set out below:

Fixed Fee for obtaining the Grant of Representation

This service will involve assisting you in obtaining the Grant of Representation. The fixed fee will range from £800.00 plus VAT of £160.00 (i.e., the total of £960.00) to £2,500.00 plus VAT of £500.00 (i.e, a total of £3000.00) depending on the circumstances of the case.

The service will involve assisting you with identifying the Executors/Administrators of the Estate and the Beneficiaries and preparing the relevant documentation to obtain the Grant. This will include completing the relevant HMRC Inheritance Tax Forms and drafting a Statement of Truth.

The service will also involve an Application to the Probate Registry on your behalf, and obtaining the Grant, and providing you with Sealed Office copies of the Grant, from the Probate Registry.

This service does NOT include assisting you with other aspects of the Administration. Accordingly, the Personal Representative will be responsible for collecting in the assets of the Estate and distributing the Estate to the Beneficiaries. This service is also provided on the basis that the Personal Representative will be responsible for obtaining and providing valuations of the assets of the Estate, and details of liabilities.

You will see that there is a significant range in the fixed fee available. The fee will be at the lower end of the scale where there is a Will and the Estate is of low value.

If there is no Will and we are therefore dealing with an intestacy, and if the Estate is of high value, the fixed fee will be towards the higher end of the scale as set out above.

Disbursements

 In addition to our fees, there will be further expenses know as disbursements which will include the Probate Application fee which is currently £155.00 plus payment for Office copies of the Grant at the rate of £1.50 per copy.  There would also be AML Search fees of £7.20 for each Personal Representative. If you instruct us to place Statutory Advertisements in the local newspaper and the London Gazette, these will cost approximately £180.00 in total.

Inheritance Tax

Depending on the value of the Estate, there may also be Inheritance Tax payable. Obviously, we cannot advise you on this issue until we have received full details of the assets and liabilities of the Estate, and we have had an opportunity to consider the reliefs available. However, you may wish to consult the HMRC website which provides guidance on the issue, and which also provides Inheritance Tax calculators.

The HMRC calculators can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-tools-and-calculators#inheritance-tax-and-bereavement

Dealing with the full Administration of the Estate

 If you wish us to deal with the full Administration of the Estate, we will charge a fee based on a percentage of the value of the Estate. The percentage will range from ½% to 1 1/2% of the gross value of the Estate. VAT will be payable on the percentage figure.

In addition, we will charge hourly rates and fees for correspondence and telephone calls as set out below:

Hourly rates                                                                       £180.00 to £220.00 plus VAT

Letters/Emails sent                                                           £15.00 plus VAT

Letters/Emails received                                                  £10.00 plus VAT

Telephone calls made and received                           £12.00 plus VAT

The total fee payable for dealing with the Administration will depend on the complexity of the Estate. The range of fees will usually be between £2,000.00 plus VAT of £400.00, (i.e., a total £2,400.00) for a straightforward Estate, to in excess of £20,000.00 plus VAT in the case of a large complex Estate.

If we are dealing with the full Administration, we would obtain Probate Valuations in respect of Bank Accounts and Building Society Accounts and financial investments held by the deceased. (Usually, the Personal Representatives will be responsible for obtaining a valuation for the deceased’s property, and for chattels such as jewellery or motor vehicles.)  We would also arrange for Statutory Advertisements to be placed in the local newspaper and the London Gazette. Thereafter, we would undertake the necessary work to obtain the Grant of Representation (as set out above). Once the Grant of Representation has been obtained, we would collect in the assets and arrange for liabilities to be settled. Finally, we would prepare the Estate Account and arrange for the Estate to be distributed to the Beneficiaries.

For dealing with the Administration of an Estate where matters are relatively straightforward and:

  • there is a valid Will
  • no more than 2 Executors have been appointed and they are willing and able to act
  • there is no more than 1 property
  • there are no more than 2 Bank or Building Society Accounts
  • there are no other tangible assets
  • there are no more than 2 Beneficiaries and both Beneficiaries are adults
  • there are no disputes and no claims made against the Estate
  • there is no Inheritance Tax payable
  • there is no requirement to submit a full Inheritance Account to HMRC

our fee would be between £2,000.00 plus VAT of £400.00 (i.e., a total £2,400.00) and £3,500.00 plus VAT of £700.00 (i.e., a total of £4,200.00).

 Timescales

 Obviously, the timescale would depend on the complexity of the Estate. Typically, dealing with the Administration of the Estate will take between 3 months and 18 months. To obtain the Grant of Representation takes between 3 and 6 months. This will depend on the value of the Estate and whether or not there is Inheritance Tax payable. Where Inheritance Tax is payable, and the Estate comprises multiple assets, the process will take longer.

If we are dealing with a straightforward Estate of low value and fewer assets, the Grant should be obtained towards the lower estimate of 3 months.

Once the Grant has been obtained, it will be necessary to collect in the assets and settle any outstanding liabilities and thereafter, produce the Estate Account and arrange for the Estate to be distributed to the Beneficiaries. This process of the Administration will take between 4 and 12 months. Again, the larger the Estate, the longer the process will take.

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