This Company aims to provide clients with efficient and sympathetic advice during what can be a difficult period in your life when you are faced with the death of a loved one.
Our main expertise is in dealing with estates where: –
Our Clients may also ask this Company to deal with the administration of a deceased person’s estate. This Company is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority our professional practice rules requires that we provide potential clients with an indication of legal costs for non-contentious probate work. Therefore, we set out below some indicative legal costs and expenses.
Do you need a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration?
If the estate is relatively small and straightforward then you may be able to deal with the administration of the estate without the need of legal advice from this Company. Alternatively, the deceased may have owned only one valuable possession in the form of their home as a joint tenant so that the home will pass to the co-owner by way of survivorship, so that there is no need to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. If we believe that you do not need to incur legal costs with this Company, we will inform you as soon as we have been provided with enough information to enable us to give that advice.
Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration?
If the deceased left a Will then you may need to obtain a Grant of Probate. Alternatively, if the Deceased left no Will, or left a Will that is invalid for any reason they are said to have died intestate and in those circumstances, you may need to obtain Letters of Administration.
Basis of this Company’s charges
This Company charges a basic fee of £220 per hour plus VAT (at the current rate of 20%) and disbursements for all work. Unlike some other legal and accountancy firms, this Company does not make a charge based on a percentage of the size of the estate.
We do not do work on a conditional fee basis or legal aid work and we set out below some indicative prices as to the costs you may incur. As each estate is different, the indicative prices set out below do not constitute a fixed fee or estimate but they should help you understand what likely fees, taxes and expenses you are likely to incur in dealing with an estate which is based only in England and Wales.
Do you just need the Grant of Probate?
In some estates the major asset is the family home and all you may need is to register the property in the name of the surviving spouse or civil partner. In these circumstances you may not need a Grant of Probate and if you are not able to deal with the change of name of the owner of the family home we can deal with the Land Registry on your behalf.
Legal costs for just obtaining the Grant of Probate / Letters of Administration
Similarly, if the estate is straightforward you may just need our assistance in obtaining just the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration so that you can deal with the administration of the estate yourself. In these circumstances this Company will charge between £1,200 and £1,500 plus VAT and disbursements to obtain the Grant of Probate or the Letters of Administration.
Thereafter you will have to deal with the rest of the administration of the estate without further reference to this Company.
In these circumstances you will be responsible to place all statutory notices, obtain bankruptcy searches and otherwise properly administer the estate, as this Company will accept no responsibility to the personal representatives, the estate or any beneficiaries of the estate in relation to the administration of the estate.
What is involved if this Company deals with the whole administration for you?
If this Company does all the necessary work then assuming the following that there: –
Legal costs for administering the whole estate
We anticipate that to obtain either a Grant of Probate or Letters of administration it will take between 18 and 29 hours based on our hourly charge out rate of £220 per hour to which VAT and disbursements will be added. Therefore, the total indicative costs could be between £3,960 and £6,380 (plus VAT and disbursements).
The exact costs will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is only one beneficiary and no property then costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries and there are one or more properties or multiple bank accounts, then costs will be at the higher end.
Probate Registry probate Application fee
The Probate Registry will currently charge this Company a probate application fee of £155 plus 50p for each additional copy of the Grant of probate. Currently if you act for yourself and make the application you will pay the Probate Registry an application fee of £215.
From April 2019 the government have increased the probate application fees and introduced a banded system. As follows: –
Value of estate Probate Registry fee payable
£500,001 -£1m £2,500
Over £1m-£1.6m £4,000
Over 1.6m – £2m £5,000
Over £2m £6,000
In addition to this Company’s fee plus VAT as a personal representative you will be responsible for the payment of the disbursements incurred in relation to the administration of the estate. Disbursements are costs paid to third parties such as a court fees. Once in funds this Company will handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf if you instruct us to do so.
We set out below examples of the likely disbursements including: –
All prices for statutory advertisements may be subject to change by the relevant newspaper provider and are indicative only.
Note 1. There will be no swear fee if the Oath contains a statement of truth.
Note 2. A bankruptcy-only Land Charges search is recommended against all beneficiaries to ensure that they are not bankrupt because if they are their inheritance should be paid to their trustee in bankruptcy.
Note 3. A statutory notice under Section 27 Trustee Act 1925 will protect the personal representatives from claims by unknown creditors. If you wish the statutory notice with the The London Gazette can be lodged by email at a current cost of £84.60 plus £16.92 VAT total £101.52. Extra copies of the notice will cost £3 each. These prices will change in 2019.
Note 4. Newspaper publishers such as Trinity Mirror will only give a firm price once they have received the form of notice and the price given is by way of illustration only.
How long will it take?
Provided you fully and promptly assist us and providing the estate is uncomplicated, we would hope to deal with the preliminary work, apply and obtain the Grant within six months. Naturally this may be delayed if you are not able to provide us with full information as to the deceased’s assets or if a caveat issued against the estate and the Will is contested or if a claim is issued against the estate.
Once the Grant has been issued anyone who intends to issue a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 has six months within which to do so.
After the Grant is issued if you decide to instruct this Company to collect in the assets that will usually take a few weeks provided any bank accounts are held by a major clearing bank or building society or any stocks, shares or unit trusts are listed on the London Stock exchange. Similarly, if the estate includes a house that is to be transferred into the sole name of a surviving spouse or beneficiary this can be done relatively quickly. Obviously if the estate includes a freehold or leasehold house or other land then it will take longer to deal with depending on how quickly a buyer can be found for such property.
Some families will want to amend the terms of the deceased’s Will by way of a deed of variation and if that occurs it may be necessary to first consider the tax and other implications before effecting the variation. If that is desired then we will of course advice you of what is required and the likely timescales involved.
Your instructions will be dealt with by Bill Hayes MA (Cantab) M.Sc a Cambridge law graduate and qualified solicitor with over 30 years qualification who is also a full member of the Association of Contentious Trust & Probate Specialists (“ACTAPS”) and the sole director of this Company.
If you want any further information please telephone on 0121-232-4658