Probate and Administration of Estate
Dealing with someone’s estate after their death can be a confusing and difficult time.
Darton Law are here to assist and make the process easier for you.
Our Fixed Fees for probate begin from £1,000 + VAT for a simple administration of estate, where there is a will, we are not the executor and the estate is non-taxable, to around £2,500 + VAT for a probate application that is contested, where we are named as the executor, there is no will or for a particularly large estate.
Additionally, we usually charge a fee of 1% of the value of the Estate and 0.5% of the value of any property, if sold.
Where there is a will, we are not named as executor and the Estate is taxable, our fees will be on average as follows:
|Value of Estate
||Our Fees + VAT
||£2,500 – £4,000
|£500,001 – £1million
||£4,001 – £6,000
|£1million – £3million
||£6,001 – £8,000
Factors that will affect our fees:
- Whether there is a will or the deceased died without a will (intestate);
- How many properties there are to be sold or transferred;
- How many beneficiaries there are;
- Whether it is necessary to trace any lost beneficiaries.
- How many bank or building society accounts there are;
- Whether there is a dispute between the executors or the beneficiaries;
- Whether a full account needs to be submitted to HMRC;
A shortened account can be used if the beneficiary is the spouse of the deceased (in an estate of less than £1m), OR to any other beneficiary if the estate is less than £325,000, (or twice that amount if the deceased is a surviving spouse entitled to the unused nil rate band)
- Whether there are any claims against the estate;
- Whether there are assets abroad;
- Whether there are any trusts.
What is included
- Initial advice to the personal representative advising who the beneficiaries of the estate will be.
- Taking instruction on any known assets and liabilities. This includes collecting any paperwork and correspondence.
- Preparing initial documentation to apply for the grant of Probate and lodging when complete.
- Preparing an inheritance tax return and lodging with HMRC where necessary.
- Making arrangements where necessary with banks to pay any inheritance tax due.
- Obtaining copies of a death certificate, where necessary.
- Sending correspondence to all known account providers to inform them of the death and confirm our instruction so we may receive any further correspondence.
- Collecting the estate funds into our dedicated client account in preparation for payment to the beneficiaries.
- Arranging payment in accordance with the estate. Including to beneficiaries and any invoices that require payment, such as funeral fees.
- Obtaining final clearance for inheritance tax, where necessary, from HMRC.
- Preparing final estate accounts for the approval of the personal representatives and making the final distribution of the estate.
What isn’t included?
The following fees are charged by third parties and are not included in our fixed fees:
Probate application fee: The application fee made through solicitors is £155 if the value of the estate is £5,000 or over.
There is no fee if the estate is under £5,000.
Extra copies of the probate cost £1.50 each.
Statutory Notices: To protect against unexpected claims and unknown creditors. These vary dependent upon where the advert is placed, however are typically in the region of £200 – £300 + VAT.
Bankruptcy searches: These are checks on individual beneficiaries to ensure they are not bankrupt, so the executors can legitimately pay them a distribution. They cost £2 plus VAT per beneficiary.
Inheritance tax: If the estate is taxable, at least part of the inheritance tax payable will need to be paid before the Grant of Probate is issued. To gain an idea of the likely tax bill, you can consult the inheritance tax calculator on the HMRC website here.
In usual times, where a full Inheritance Tax Return is not required, estates are dealt with on average within 4 – 6 months, although this does depend upon how quickly responses are received from various authorities.
Where full Inheritance Tax Return is required, the administration of the estate can take considerably longer, and we will aim to give a more accurate estimate in the initial stages of the administration.
Grant of Probate: Typically, obtaining the grant of probate in a simple case takes around 2 to 3 months, and where a full Inheritance Tax Return is required 4 to 5 months.
However recent experience has shown that the above time scales have increased because of a back log suffered by the probate Registry in 2019. This arose because there was a sudden rush of applications due to the threat of a significant increase in probate fees, (which was never in fact implemented). Also delays arose because of a new IT system.
These delays were reducing by the end of 2019, but the position has been aggravated by the lockdown arising from coronavirus (COVID-19), so probate applications are still taking longer than usual to process. Again, we will aim to provide you with a further estimate of time scale, when the probate application is lodged
Collecting assets then follows after the issue of Probate, which can take a further 2 months
Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes around a further month.
- Drafting a single Will – From £250 plus VAT
- Drafting Mirror Wills – From £400 plus VAT
Lasting Powers of Attorney
- £500 plus VAT for one, plus Court fees*
- £800 plus VAT for both, plus Court fees*
- Fixed fee: £850 plus VAT, plus medical practitioner fee
*Court fees may be subject to change without notice
Meet our Wills and Probate Team
James Osborne Profile
Melanie Oxley Profile