Estate Administration Costs

Our very experienced estates team is made up of four qualified solicitors (with over 100 years combined estates administration experience) with support from an experienced legal clerk (non-Solicitor with over ten years’ experience) and our Trainee Solicitor (whose two years training commenced January 2018) and is supervised by a partner, Susan Stoney, who has over forty years’ experience in estate administration.

Every estate is different, which is why we encourage you to contact us as it is only when we have the particular details of your case that we will be able to provide an estimate of our costs that is relevant to you.  We may then also advise on the options available to you and make sure you get the right amount of support to meet your individual circumstances.  This will include advising in connection with obtaining the appropriate grant of representation or whether the estate may be administered without a grant.

We have set out an example estimate based on a typical estate administration as a guide as Example 1 below. 

If you wish to deal with the administration yourself and you wish us to assist you in obtaining the grant of representation only, where required, then please let us know. We have set out a grant only estimate of costs as Example 2 below.

Obtaining a grant of representation and dealing with the administration of an estate can be complicated.  It can take commonly about six to nine months to make sure everything is done properly in a typical case.  A very straightforward case can take less time, but more complex cases can take much longer.  An administration can take longer, for example, due to waiting for a property to be sold; for tax issues to be resolved via HMRC; if the Department of Work & Pensions wishes to review state benefits paid in the deceased’s lifetime; if there is missing or incorrect information that needs investigation; if there are complex issues such as dealing with shares in private companies or simply that third parties do not respond promptly. 

We do not advise relating to foreign assets though we may co-ordinate advice with professional advisers in other jurisdictions in relation to assets held abroad.   We provide advice relating to claims made against the estate or contentions matters in dealing the administration of the estate, though these would be separate matters, and we are able to co-ordinate with other professional advisers concerning these.  Please note that dealing with all or any of such matters may impact the administration of the estate and will incur additional costs.

Where there is no valid Will the estate administration may involve the instruction of genealogists to confirm the beneficiaries to whom the estate is payable under the law of intestacy rules and to establish who may apply for a grant of representation.  A Certainty Will Search may be appropriate to check if a Will has been made (before assuming there is none) or to check the Will held is the latest Will made. 

Please note that the conveyancing costs of sale of an estate property or transfer (Assent) to a beneficiary of a property are separate from costs of the administration.  The separate page on this website about Residential Property Costs has examples of those sale and transfer costs.

If matters arise that are not within our initial costs estimate to you and which affect that estimate, we will contact you to explain the position and update our estimate.

Please contact us for an estimate that is specific to your case. 

Disbursements

Please note that disbursements are costs relating to your matter that must be paid to third parties.  Disbursements on a straightforward estate with no Inheritance Tax (and no full Inheritance Tax form required), no foreign assets or beneficiary resident abroad and where we do not register the death or arrange the funeral would be:

Probate Registry fee for estates of £5,000 or over* – £155.00

Office copies of the Grant of Probate (per copy) – £0.50

Statutory Notices in local Newspaper(s) (these costs vary) and in the London Gazette – total likely range between £180.00 and £350.00 including VAT

Bankruptcy Search fees (per beneficiary name) – £2.00

Certainty Will Register Search – (may vary) – £114.00 including VAT 

*Probate Registry fee – please note the government have issued proposals to increase the fees in April 2019 for estates of £50,000 or over (with no fee below £50,000), but the proposed fee will depend on the value of the estate.  

Example 1 – An example of our costs of a typical uncontested Grant of Probate and estate administration

Many typical estates where there is a valid uncontested Will and no more than two Executors (who are not partners in this firm) take between ten and fifteen hours work with costs likely to be in the range of £2,250 to £5,000 plus VAT (currently 20%) and disbursements (as set out above) and assuming as follows:

  • there is no Inheritance Tax payable or full Inheritance Tax form required or foreign assets or beneficiaries living abroad;
  • there is a property worth up to £200,000 with other assets of up to £75,000 (as mentioned above conveyancing costs would be charged separately);
  • up to three beneficiaries;
  • up to two banks with various accounts and three other asset holders, for example, a life insurance company, the registrar of a public company where shares are owned and a personal pension provider;
  • payment of the funeral director’s bill is required from a bank account in advance of a grant of representation (but assuming we do not arrange the funeral);
  • debts are due to the house utility providers and the local authority for Care Support charges assuming the deceased lived at home with some care assistance;
  • correspondence with the Department for Work & Pensions to ensure all benefits due to the estate are paid and any monies overpaid are refunded;
  • correspondence with HM Revenue & Customs concerning tax issues up to the date of death and providing tax forms (if required) to beneficiaries for their share of any taxed income during the administration period;
  • no complicating factors arise including no significant delay in disposal of the property.

Example 2. – An example of a Grant of Probate only application with no estate administration done by us

This example assumes that there is a valid uncontested Will and that all Executors appointed in the Will (being no more than two) are to apply for the grant of Probate; that the Executors have checked the values of the assets and liabilities themselves; that Inheritance Tax is not payable and the full Inheritance Tax Form is not required; that all information is provided at the same time to us to complete the application for the Grant and the Inheritance Tax Return of Estate Information Form.  

We estimate that costs are likely to be £500 plus VAT (currently 20%) and disbursements of:-

Probate Registry fee for estates of £5,000 or over* – £155.00

Office copies of the Grant of Probate (per copy) – £0.50

* Probate Registry fee – please note the government have issued proposals to increase the fees in April 2019 for estates of £50,000 or over (with no fee below £50,000), but the proposed fee will depend on the value of the estate.

 
How our Estate Administration charges are calculated

Charges for work will be either at our Full Hourly Charging Rate plus VAT

OR at our Lower Hourly Charging Rate plus the Value Element plus VAT,

whichever is higher in any particular case.

Full Hourly Charging rates:

Solicitors:  £225.00 plus VAT

Trainee Solicitor:  £170.00 plus VAT

Non-qualified staff:  £165.00 plus VAT

Lower Hourly Charging rates:

Solicitors:  £180.00 plus VAT

Trainee Solicitor:  £140.00 plus VAT

Non-qualified staff:  £125.00 plus VAT

Value Element:

Where one or more of our Solicitors are acting also as Executor(s)/Trustee(s) either alone or with another person the value element will be 1.5% of the value of the gross estate less the value of the residence, and 0.75% of the value of the residence.

Where one or more of our Solicitors are not acting also as Executor(s)/Trustee(s) the value element will be 1.0% of the value of the gross estate less the value of the residence, and 0.5% of the value of the residence.

Travel Time Charging rates:

Travel time for visits out of the office will be charged at the set fee of £25.00 plus VAT of £5.00, totalling £30.00 per visit, if within the Rochdale boundary.    If outside the Rochdale boundary the travel time will be charged at hourly rates as follows:-

Solicitors:  £150.00 plus VAT

Trainee Solicitor:  £120.00 plus VAT

Non-qualified Staff£100.00 plus VAT

We charge mileage at £0.45 per mile plus VAT and any parking fees. 

Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA No. 51809

Solicitors Regulation Authority Handbook. (This link will open in another page)