Who will advise you if you decide to instruct Rowberrys to assist?
All of the private client team are highly skilled professionals with decades of experience handling wills, powers of attorney, trusts and estate administration. Our team includes Richard Horth and Shanthi Durairajah, both Solicitors, Maria Goodacre a Chartered Legal Executive and Stirling Halliday, Director, oversees the department and has a breadth of knowledge of related areas of law including the sale or transfer of any business or property assets.
How much will it cost to instruct you?
Below you will find pricing information relating to Probate matters. If you would like a more accurate quotation tailored to your specific circumstances, please contact our Private Client Team.
Grant of Representation only service
This is likely to cost in the region of £1,000 to £2,000 plus VAT and disbursements for non-taxable estates or short form returns or in the region of £2,000 to £4,000 plus VAT and disbursements for taxable estates where a full Inheritance tax return is required with the appropriate schedules prepared.
A Grant only service is limited to:
- identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators of a Will (where one is held).
- where a Will cannot be found (or is held to be invalid) identifying the persons entitled to apply under the Intestacy Rules (hereinafter "the Personal Representatives").
- obtaining or reviewing the information provided by you to apply for the Grant of Representation.
- scheduling the Assets and Liabilities.
- preparing the IHT Return of Estate Information Form with appropriate schedules and claiming any allowances available.
- preparing the Statement of Truth confirming the values in the estate and the Personal Representatives applying to administer the same.
- advising you of the tax due on the estate and options for payment (instalment or in full), the date interest is payable from and taking your instructions how to proceed.
- liaising with asset holders or persons able to provide a loan to cover any tax due to HM Revenue & Customs on the estate so they will notify the Probate Registry tax has been paid to release the Grant.
- applying to the Probate Registry on the Personal Representatives’ behalf for the Grant of Representation to be issued and requesting sufficient official copies to be used in the estate.
- handing the Grant of Representation to the Personal Representatives on receipt of the same.
Full Estate Administration Service
A simple estate is likely to cost in the region of £2,500 to £4,000 plus VAT and disbursements to cover the Grant application, collecting in the assets and distributing the estate to the entitled beneficiaries. This is likely to be an estate with no trusts, where no Inheritance Tax is payable and the assets all pass to a surviving spouse or a small number of beneficiaries. Assets may include a property, a couple of bank accounts, a couple of shareholdings, a life policy and a private pension.
A medium value estate, is likely to be in the region of £4,000 to £10,000 plus VAT and disbursements. This is likely to be an estate with more than ten beneficiaries and/or more than fifteen asset holders and creditors and more complex shareholdings to include portfolios, and/or where the estate is taxable and a corrective account needs to be prepared and an application for clearance made to HM Revenue and Customs where assets and liabilities change after submission of the IHT Return
A larger value estate which has multiple asset holders, creditors and beneficiaries to contact and requires more interaction with HM Revenue & Customs for Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax and with third parties such as accountants and financial advisers before disposal of assets to maximise allowances and take into account beneficiaries’ tax planning is likely to be in the region of £10,000 to £15,000 plus VAT and disbursements.
For complex estates, a tailored quotation would be provided once we know the complexities involved and this covers cases such as where foreign property is held, or large lifetime gifts need scheduling and/or there are trusts involved and we need to liaise with the trustees.
What do the above fees cover?
The fees estimate set out above cover the following stages in the administration of an estate to include the Grant only service as listed above plus the following:
- arranging a search for any unknown assets (recommended).
- advising and arranging advertisements for any unknown creditors (recommended).
- contacting and identifying the beneficiaries and undertaking bankruptcy and individual voluntarily agreement searches (recommended at the start and before any intended distribution of the estate to protect the Personal Representatives).
- collecting in the assets after taking updated instructions from the Personal Representatives and where appropriate after they have advised the beneficiaries to take advice first as to asset disposal (in particular, for business assets, shares, and property) and taking on board the beneficiaries’ wishes in relation to the assets (where appropriate).
- preparing or liaising with accountants for the estate tax return if required or if not informally reporting the Income (and any Capital Gains) during the estate administration period to HM Revenue and Customs and asking for final clearance.
- paying the estate liabilities and executor expenses.
- obtaining final clearance from HM Revenue and Customs for the estate administration period.
- preparing a set of Estate Accounts for approval by the Personal Representatives and the beneficiaries.
- once the Estate Accounts are approved distributing the assets to the entitled beneficiaries once their searches come back clear and providing form R185ei if needed for any beneficiaries for their own tax return.
We can provide information about any additional costs that may be payable where the beneficiaries wish to undertake tax planning such as for Deeds of Variation, Appointment and/or Appropriation (before sales of shareholdings or before exchange of contracts on sale of property) and liaise with our Conveyancing team regarding quotations for sale or transfer of property or business assets.
The above stages above are an indication of work which may be required in any matter. If some of these are not required, the fee may be less.
The above estimates are made on the basis:
- there are no claims against the estate or disagreements between the executors and beneficiaries;
- that we are able to easily contact and/trace all assets holders and creditors and the beneficiaries, and;
- that we receive timely responses from executors, beneficiaries, the Probate Registry, HM Revenue and Customs and other third parties (asset holders and creditors).
The fee estimates above do not include:
- completing historical tax returns and if required we would either prepare these on a time costed basis or instruct an accountant to liaise with HM Revenue & Customs.
- reviewing seven or fourteen years of bank statements or completing form IHT403 to schedule multiple lifetime gifts (if needed where a Lifetime Chargeable Events have taken place) and if complex accountants would normally be instructed or this would be on an hourly rate basis given the work involved.
- advising on which assets of the estate are suitable for immediate sale and which assets should be retained to maximise profit or future revenues, but you are free to take professional investment advice.
- tax planning for the beneficiaries as quotations can be provided.
- conveyancing fees for the sale or transfer of property as quotations can be provided.
- transfer or disposal of large amounts of shares as normally a broker would be instructed if substantial in nature to save costs or we can prepare the forms if instructed on an hourly rate basis.
- advice on assets located outside of the jurisdiction of England and Wales but we can liaise with a lawyer there on a time costed basis for advice on re-sealing a Grant, paying any tax and disposal of the asset as needed.
- contentious work. If a claim should made against or on behalf of the estate, work relating to that claim falls outside of the above quotation and will be charged on an hourly rate basis.
A case may become more complex in the following scenarios:
- if there are labour intensive assets (such as a property that we need to clear or large amounts of shareholdings that need checking if they are still valid or share certificates are missing).
- where there are a large number of individual shareholdings outside of a portfolio or multiple portfolios held.
- where there is more than one property or rental properties or charges on the property that need clarifying or the property is still in a previous estate or a trust is in place and we need to liaise with the trustees and update the title before sale or transfer.
- where there are foreign assets.
- where there is a business.
- where there are related trusts.
- where negotiations are required with the Department for Work and Pensions or HM Revenue & Customs or the District Valuer.
- where Inheritance Tax is payable and more assets or liabilities come to light later on requiring a corrective account or reliefs to be claimed.
- where complex tax calculations are required for example for Income or Capital Gains Tax or complex grossing up for Inheritance Tax on a taxable estate where exempt and non-exempt beneficiaries are entitled to share in the residuary estate and gifts free of tax made.
How Long will the estate administration take?
timescales for finalising an estate are difficult to predict accurately,
particularly if there is a property that needs to be sold and tax matters to be
dealt with. A straightforward estate is generally
between twelve to fifteen months (given delays with the Probate Registry and HM
Revenue and Customs of around four to six months from submission to receive the
Grant of Representation). More complex and taxable estates can take in the
region of fifteen to twenty-four months or more to complete where we are
relying on third parties for information or clearance is required.