Our services and prices for helping you when someone dies
Our initial conversation is free and our experienced team will be able to talk you through the administrative steps following a death. We work closely with local experts and can liaise with the Coroner’s office, Registrars, funeral directors, specialist insurers, locksmiths, house clearance/auction houses and estate agents to support you through this difficult time. We are often instructed by clients living out of the area or abroad to be their local representative.
The following are examples of our most popular services but we will always be willing to discuss and to provide a detailed quote to meet your specific needs.
STAGE 1 – Obtaining a Grant or “Grant Only”
When someone dies you may need a Grant from a Probate Registry to be entitled to administer their estate. We will provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor who will advise you if you need a Grant and if not, explain your options. There are different types of Grant available depending upon your circumstances. We will advise you as to which you require, use our experience to support you through this process, prepare the HMRC Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) documentation, inform you of the amount of any IHT payable and if there is any tax to pay, explain how this can be paid from the estate, prepare the Oath and submit the application to the Probate Registry.
Our fee for undertaking this stage is:
|IHT 205 or 400?||Our fee||VAT @ 20%||Total|
In all cases there are expenses to be incurred, these are called disbursements:
Court fee : £155
Sealed copy grant : £0.50 per copy
Oath fee : £7 per executor (reduced to £5 if no will)
STAGE 2 - Administering the Estate
Many clients ask us to administer the estate on their behalf. This will involve preparing the necessary documentation to:
- close bank & building society accounts
- cash in any NS&I holdings
- sell or transfer shares in listed companies
- deal with any pension provider
- receive payment from or make any refund due to DWP and assist with any DWP investigation or review relating to benefits paid to the deceased in their lifetime
- discharge estate liabilities once estate monies available
- place the statutory advertisements in the London Gazette & local press
- instruct/liaise with house clearance company and estate agents
- raise bankruptcy searches prior to distributing any assets
- prepare draft estate accounts for your approval
- distribute the estate
We offer two fee options: a fixed fee or an hourly rate. Some clients prefer the certainty offered by a fixed fee. Our current fixed fees are dependent upon the net value of the estate (assets less liabilities):
|Estate Value||Fixed fee||VAT @ 20%||Total|
|Less than £50,000||£500||£100||£600|
|£50,001 - £250,000||£1000||£200||£1200|
|£250,001 - £350,000||£1250||£250||£1500|
|£350,001 - £450,000||£1750||£350||£2100|
|£450,001 - £750,000||£2250||£450||£2700|
|£750,000 - £1,000,000||£3750||£750||£4500|
Alternatively, if you prefer not to agree a fixed fee, we charge for work done based upon the grade of fee earner and the amount of time incurred. The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the estate. We would estimate fees for administering an estate to be in the region of £2000 - £4000 plus VAT. In straight forward estates where there is one beneficiary and less than two financial institutions to deal with then the costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, numerous financial institutions and share holdings to administer then the costs will be towards the upper end of the range.
These figures do not include conveyancing costs i.e. the cost of selling a house or accountancy fees where specialist tax advice is required, nor do they apply where:
- a dispute arises between beneficiaries,
- claims are made against the estate e.g. a dependency claim,
- there are assets abroad worth more than £100,000,
- there is a continuing business to run.
Our current hourly rates are:
- Partner : £250
- Assistant Solicitor : £175
* All rates are exclusive of VAT.
Disbursements are expenses related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. In this stage the following disbursements are incurred:
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
- Statutory advertisements in The London Gazette and local press which cost in the region of £180 -£200 depending upon the publication/agency used. These notices help to protect the Executors and the Estate against claims from unknown creditors and other types of claims.
- Bank charges for electronic transfer of funds £25 plus VAT, total £30.
- International courier fees- details to be provided if applicable.
How long will this take?
On average estates are dealt with within 6-9 months. Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 2 weeks from submission. The assets are then collected and liabilities settled. Once the prescribed time periods have lapsed (2 months from the date of the statutory adverts and 6 months from the date of the Grant) the Executors are free to complete the administration by instructing us to distribute the estate.