Probate

Guidance on Costs for Grant Application and Administration of Estates in relation to uncontested cases where all assets are in the UK

Obtaining a Grant of Representation Only

 We can help you through this process by obtaining a grant of representation (which can include a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration) on your behalf. Our fee for this service starts from £750.00 plus VAT = £900.00 where an HMRC form IHT205 is required. In more complex cases, for example, those requiring partial transfer of nil rate sum or residence nil rate sum necessitating an HMRC form IHT400 our fee startsfrom £1200.00 plus VAT = £1440.00.

In addition to our legal fees, there will be disbursements which are expenses related to your matter that are payable to third parties such as Court Fees or Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smooth process. The Probate Court fee is currently £155.00 plus £1.50 for each sealed copy.

On average it takes about three to four weeks to prepare the form IHT205 or IHT400 and its supplementary forms and another three to four weeks for the grant to issue once the application is lodged at the Probate Registry.

As part of our fixed fee we will:

  • Provide you with an experienced probate solicitor and dedicated support team to work on your matter.

  • Identify the type of Grant application you will require.

  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application.

  • Complete the relevant HMRC forms.

  • Prepare the Statement of Truth for you to sign.

  • Make the application to the Probate Registry.

  • Receive the original Grant and sealed copies and send them to you.

 
Obtaining a Grant of Representation and Administration of the Estate

In addition to applying for the Grant, we can also assist you in administering the estate. We estimate our fees to be 1.5% of the gross value of the estate plus VAT plus disbursements, subject to a minimum of £750.00 plus VAT.

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

The following factors would affect the complexity of the matter:

  • Disagreement between beneficiaries, executors or members of the family. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs.

  • Persons in occupation of estate property. If the occupants refuse to vacate, proceedings for removal of the persons can be lengthy and expensive.

  • Time it takes for assets to be sold. For example, a property may be on the market for a long time without an offer being received.

  • Where there are several holdings of stocks and shares, enquiries will have to be made to ascertain the holdings. Forms have to be completed for sale or transfer of shares and also for compliance with specific requirements of the share registrars. It may be necessary to reissue dividends that may continue to be paid in the deceased’s name.

  • Where Income Tax returns are required to be submitted to HMRC; the Tax Office can be very slow in responding.

  • The estate becomes subject to Inheritance Tax and a full account has to be submitted to HMRC; again the Tax Office can be slow in processing submissions, calculating tax and providing clearance.

  • If the estate has made a disposal which has given rise to a Capital Gains Tax liability a submission has to be made to HMRC.

  • If a claim is made against the estate, for example, the DWP may look into the benefits received by the deceased. It takes time for the DWP to register a claim, request information and process the claim. Unhappy relatives may also make claims against the estate or challenge the Will.

  • Where personal representatives are unsure of assets and liabilities of the estate, it may be necessary to peruse a large volume of papers and documents to identify where enquiries should be directed to establish assets and liabilities.

We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information. Our costs for administering the estate will include collecting and distributing the estate; checking the deceased’s Income Tax position for the final tax year leading up to the date of death; transferring or selling stocks and shares; reissuing dividends; dealing with final bills and refunds following the sale of a property; and drawing up the Estate Accounts for approval by the personal representatives and residuary beneficiaries before dealing with the final distribution.

We would also check the Income Tax position during the administration period and account to HMRC accordingly. Sale or transfer of property is generally charged additionally.

Additional disbursements in administering an estate would include:

  • Bankruptcy only Land Charges search of £2.00 per beneficiary (where searches are required for beneficiaries living abroad, the fee will increase depending on the country of residence).

  • Notice in the London Gazette and local newspaper- approximately £200.00 depending on the local area. These notices protect against claims from unknown creditors.

  • Land Registry fees of £3.00 for copies of the register and £3.00 for a plan if it is necessary to confirm ownership of properties.
  • Where it is necessary to obtain a Death Certificate or Grant for a spouse or civil partner who has predeceased for the purposes of transferring any unused nil rate sums there would be a fee of about £11.00 per document.

We do not usually ask clients for money on account for Probate Court fees or our costs. We usually pay the disbursements on behalf of the estate and recover them later when assets have been called in.

The timescale for administering an estate if difficult too predict due to the reasons given above. However, the administration of a typical estate can take between 9 – 18 months.

We are a small family orientated firm that can help and support you through a time of bereavement.

Useful Links

Information on the probate process can be found at https://www.legalchoices.org.uk/probate

Information in relation to Inheritance Tax liability, including online calculators can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs

 

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T: 01252 541633

E: law@dbande.co.uk

YATELEY OFFICE:

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E: yateley@dbande.co.uk

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Davies Blunden & Evans (SRA Number 00280516) 
is authorised and regulated by the solicitors regulation authority.     

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