PROBATE & ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATE FEES

The following fee information gives an indication of our fees. Each matter is different. When you contact us we will provide you with a written quote specific to your requirements. There are no hidden charges as we provide you with details of the likely fees and disbursements before you formally instruct us. We are bound by that estimate and are professionally obliged to inform you if there will be any changes to that original estimate as circumstances arise.

The following prices relate only to Estates where all assets are located in the UK and where there are no contested issues. In relation to such cases, our normal hourly rates will apply. The hourly rate will be charged in accordance with the hourly rate of the Fee Earner working on the matter.  Our current hourly rates range from
£150.00 - £350.00 (exc. VAT). You will be advised of the hourly rate to be charged and an estimate of the approximate time to complete your matter upon initial instructions.

In respect of our fees, where the gross estate
exceeds £100,000.00, an additional charge of 1% of the gross value of the estate plus VAT and disbursements is applicable to the estate.

These costs relate to Testate Estates (i.e. where there is a valid Will). If you wish to determine whether or not the Estate concerned is subject to inheritance tax, please visit the HMRC website.


Please note that, in an estate, where inheritance tax is payable, before a Grant of Probate can be issued, at least part of the inheritance tax will need to be paid and in some cases all the tax due. As with funeral expenses, inheritance tax can often be paid from a deceased person’s assets, e.g. their bank account. Please note that Executors are responsible for the payment of that tax.

We are happy to assist in relation to obtaining the grant of probate, and/or, assisting with the estate administration.

The following estimates anticipate a reasonable level of communication during the process and, in circumstances where that is exceeded, additional charges are likely to be applied, although you will be notified prior to any such charges being applied.

Circumstances where additional charges may be incurred are also set out below. Please note that Executors of an estate are normally entitled to reimbursement of all legal costs and related expenses involved.



TO OBTAIN THE GRANT OF PROBATE ONLY:

Where a full inheritance account is not required, to obtain a grant of probate is likely to take between 5 and 10 hours work.

Where a full inheritance account is required, to obtain a grant of probate is likely to take between 8 and 15 hours work.

However, in relation to both cases above, this will depend upon the information you are able to supply and so (unlike fixed fees) the less we have to do, the less the charges will be. The exact cost will also depend on the individual circumstances. For example, if there are very few assets, the costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple assets, a property, bank accounts and shares for example, the costs will be at the higher end.

The above time scales relate to estates where:

•             There is a valid will;

•             There is no more than one residential property;

•             There are no more than three banks/building societies involved;

•             There are no other intangible assets;

•             There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs;

•             There are no claims against the estate either for financial provision or by creditors.

Please note that VAT is added to our charges at the rate that applies when the work is done.




DISBURSEMENTS:

In addition to our professional charges and VAT, there are various disbursements that may be incurred and which are payable in addition to the above charges. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. The most likely of these have been set out below, although please note there may be others depending upon the circumstances of each individual case.

 

Probate Court Fee        £155.00
Copies of Grant of Probate (per copy)        £0.50
Oaths Fees (per executor)        £7.00
Land Registry Title Entries (per entry)        £3.00
Bankruptcy Search Fee (per name)        £2.00
Marriage / Death Certificate Search (per search)        £10.00
Creditor Protection Notices        £300.00*



* This is an estimated cost as the charges vary between areas, dependent upon the newspaper in which the notice is published.

Once the grant of probate has been issued, we will invoice you for the work done and, once settled, will forward to you the original Grant of Probate together with the certified copies that you have requested.

Potential additional costs:

•             If there is no Will or the estate consists of any numerous 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 in relation to the assets                             involved;

•             If unknown assets come to light, for example assets abroad;

•             If problems are encountered with assets, for example property subsidence;

•             If problems are encountered with locating or identifying beneficiaries;

•             If non-residential, commercial property or other business interests are involved;

•             Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included;

•             Dealing with income tax for the final tax year to the date of death is not included;

•             Registering with HMRC as a Complex Estate for income tax purposes;

•             Preparing/submitting income tax returns for each year of administration period.


 

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO DEAL WITH MY MATTER?

The time it takes to obtain a grant of probate depends largely upon how quickly the relevant asset information can be obtained. Once that information has been obtained (which can take 4 to 6 weeks depending upon the institutions concerned) typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 4 to 6 weeks thereafter.

If inheritance tax is payable and therefore a receipt is first required from HMRC, the process will take longer depending upon how quickly HMRC process the application, although that can add a further 3 to 5 weeks. On average that is about 4 months.


To Administer an Estate:

In addition to the above costs in obtaining the grant of probate, if you wish us to assist with the administration of the estate, the following additional costs will also become payable.

Where inheritance tax is not payable, to collect in the assets and administer the estate to the beneficiaries is likely to take between 10 and 15  hours work

Where inheritance tax is payable, to obtain a grant of probate is likely to take between 10 and 20 hours work

The exact costs will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

The above charges relate to estates where:

•    There is a valid will;

•    There is one residential property;

•    There are no more than three banks/building societies involved;

•    There are no other intangible assets;

•    There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs;

•    There are no claims made against the estate either for financial provision or by creditors.

Please note that VAT is added to our charges at the rate that applies when the work is done.


Potential additional costs:


•    If there is no Will or the estate consists of a large number of assets, such as numerous shareholdings, 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 and please telephone or email us for a quote specific to your circumstances;


•    If there are multiple beneficiaries (i.e. more than 4) or if any beneficiaries are missing or overseas;


•    If non-residential, commercial property or other business interests are involved;


•    Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included;


​•    Dealing with income tax for the final tax year to the date of death is not included; 


•    Preparing / submitting income tax returns for each year of administration period is not included;


​•    Registering with HMRC as a Complex Estate for income tax purposes is not included. An estate is considered complex by HMRC if: 


  • ​​The value of the estate exceeds £2.5million;


  • The income tax due for the whole of the administration period exceeds £10,000; or;


  • The value of asses sold in any tax year exceeds £500,000 for deaths after 6 April 2016 (or £250,000 for deaths up to 5 April 2016).



Once the estate administration has concluded, we will invoice you for the work done (which is normally paid from the assets we are holding) and prepare an Account of the Estate Transactions prior to making the final distribution(s).
 

How long will this take?

The time it takes to administer an estate can take several months and depends on a number of factors, including if there is a residential property to sell; if income tax returns require completion; or; an estate needs to be registered as a complex estate (see above). In addition, we advise that clients consider delaying the estate administration to avoid potential personal liability as an Executor for the following reasons:

Creditors of an estate have six years within which to bring a claim against the Executor for non-payment of a debt. It is possible to protect against personal liability by advertising for potential creditors in the London Gazette and local newspaper. This means that once two months has passed from the advert publication the estate can be distributed without personal liability being incurred by the Executors.

It is also possible for a person (who may or may not otherwise be beneficially entitled under the terms of a Will) to make a claim for provision from an estate within a period of six months from the date of grant of probate. In the circumstances and bearing in mind that if a claim is issued a claimant has four months within which to serve it, if the estate is distributed before the end of ten months from the date of the grant of probate, the Executor could be personally liable for any loss/liability as a result. As a result, we advise that Executors consider delaying the final distribution for that 10 month period. There are insurance policies that may be available to enable earlier distribution, although such policies tend to be costly.



Please Note:

1. In any case where our services are terminated prior to the completion of the matter,  (e.g. before obtaining the grant of probate or concluding the estate administration) , charges for the work undertaken to that point will be made at the hourly rate referred to above plus VAT and disbursements.

2. These charges do not apply to circumstances where Moreland & Co are appointed as Executors or Attorney Executors.

For further information on any of our Probate services, or to make an appointment for an informal first discussion, please call us on +44 (0) 20 8364 3677. Initial consultations are free of charge.

For further information on any of our Wills & Probate services, or to make an appointment for an informal first discussion, please call Danny Dionissiou on +44 (0) 20 8364 3677. Alternatively, you can e-mail your enquiry to dnd@morelandlaw.co.uk.

Initial consultations are free of charge.

 Probate Fees 


Est. 2004

SOLICITORS

MORELAND & CO

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