We appreciate the importance of being clear to our clients about our fees and we have provided some general costing information that our clients might expect when instructing us in the administration of an estate.

We would, however, always provide a bespoke estimate based upon the specific circumstances of an estate and would therefore encourage individuals to contact us directly to obtain such information.

When providing you with a fee estimate for estate administration we will take into account the amount of work expected to be undertaken by our Private Client team. Such time will be charged in accordance with our current hourly rates as outlined below:-

Hilary Buckle Partner £250 plus VAT
Jane Whitfield Senior Solicitor £250 plus VAT
Charlotte Fox Solicitor £175 plus VAT
Charlotte Corcoran Trainee Solicitor £125 plus VAT

Our range in expertise and charging rates allows our team to ensure that the individual with the most appropriate level of qualification, and hourly rate, is allocated to your matter. Often, due to the range in work needed within the administration of an estate, more than one member of the team will be involved in a matter which, again, ensures that the right person is handling each particular aspect.

Disbursements:-

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We may ask you to provide costs on account in order to pay these costs but many can be paid by us on your behalf and invoiced to you to ensure a smoother process.

Examples of some of the disbursements you can expect within the administration of an estate are outlined below:-

 

Disbursement Cost (including VAT)
Oath fees (per Executor) £5.00 plus £2.00 per exhibit
Probate court fees £155.00
Each copy of grant of probate £0.50
Bank Transfers (>£100,000.00) £42.00
UK Bankruptcy Search £2.00
Adverts for Creditors £150 to £350
Land Registry Office Copy Entry £3.00

Potential additional costs:-

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there are 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.
  • If any additional Land Registry work is required then a further Land Registry fee may be relevant which is dependent upon the value and nature of the transaction being undertaken. We can provide an accurate cost for this should it become relevant to you.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

Factors that might affect our fees:-

Our fees for advising you in relation to an estate administration will depend on the individual circumstances of the estate. Some of the relevant factors are listed below, although this is not an exhaustive list:-

  • Whether the deceased left a will or we have an intestacy.
  • The complexity of the will (i.e. are there any trusts arising under the will).
  • The complexity and number of estate assets and liabilities (e.g. business assets, foreign assets etc).
  • Whether we are instructed to deal with all aspects of the administration or not (e.g. we are asked to obtain the Grant but not do anything thereafter)
  • Whether Inheritance Tax is payable.
  • Whether we need to communicate with HMRC at all and their approach to the estate.
  • The number and location of beneficiaries.
  • If there are any potential disputes or claims against the estate.
  • Whether we are dealing with additional tax matters other than Inheritance Tax

Time scales:-

We would recommend that you start the process by coming into the office to have an initial fixed fee meeting with one of the Private Client team. Within this meeting we can discuss the factors that might affect the costs and time scale for the estate administration and provide you with a bespoke estimate based on the information provided. If any factors, as outlined above, arise during the estate administration then they are likely to affect the time scale and we will endeavour to provide you with a further costs and time scale estimate if this occurs.

On average, a relatively straightforward estate should reach the stage of applying for the Grant within around 6 to 10 weeks unless it is necessary to submit IHT forms to HMRC and receive confirmation back from them before being able to apply for probate. This estimate is not fixed however and can vary depending upon the assets within the estate and the organisations with which we need to correspond. Once the Grant has been applied for, we would expect to receive the Grant within 2 to 3 weeks depending upon the Probate Registry and their turnaround times.

Costs estimate:-

Where we are instructed to administer the estate in full we would estimate that our costs in doing so for a relatively straightforward estate (i.e. where there is a property and several bank accounts all in the UK) would be between £2,000 to £15,000. This is of course a very wide estimate as we would need to account for all factors affecting the estate, including those listed above, before providing a more accurate estimate.

Next steps:-

As detailed above, we would invite all new clients to attend an initial fixed fee meeting for £95 inclusive of VAT. This would be an opportunity to find out more about you and your matter and to provide a more accurate idea of costs and timings. If you would like to come in to the office in Reading for a fixed fee meeting please contact us on 0118 958 9711 or [email protected]