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SRA PRICING TRANSPARENCY

Petherbridge Bassra Solicitors Bird & Daniels
Client Information Sheet: Probate and Administration of Estates

Details of our staff can be found on the website Bird & Daniels.  It is anticipated that most of the work will be carried out by Kate Thornton.  Kate is a qualified solicitor and head of the private client department.  If work is undertaken by any other member of staff, it will be under Kate’s supervision.

Application for Grant of Probate only

 

This is where we help you obtain the grant you will need to administer the estate yourself.  It does not include dealing with the estate assets once the grant has issued.

  • There must be a valid will

  • The executors identify the assets and liabilities and provide us with valuations as at the date of death

  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full inheritance tax return to HMRC

  • There are no claims against the estate or disputes between the beneficiaries

 

We can usually offer this service on a fixed fee basis, £750 plus VAT (£900 including VAT). 

 

Please note there will be additional costs if you need assistance dealing with pensions or benefits, or we are required to actively obtain any information about the estate.  Additional costs will be charged according to the hourly rate of the person who carries out that work for you.  Charge out rates vary according to the experience/qualifications of the person doing the work and range from £150 - £230 plus VAT. 

 

Application for Grant and dealing with estate assets

The work involved is affected by a number of factors, and these can vary wildly: no one estate is the same.  For example, if there are 2 bank accounts, no property and two or less beneficiaries, costs will be at the lower scale.  If there are lots of beneficiaries, a property, investments and numerous bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end of the scale. 

 

We will handle the full process for you.  This quote is for estates where:

 

  • There is a valid will

  • Only one property is involved

  • There are less than 8 bank/building society accounts

  • There are no uncertificated shares

  • There is only one investment (e.g., bond, unit trust, portfolio) other than any held with NS&I

  • No tax returns are required to settle tax affairs to the date of death

  • There are less than 5 beneficiaries and their whereabouts is known

  • There are no claims against the estate or arguments about distribution of assets and no investigation is needed to determine the value or existence of assets

  • There is no inheritance tax payable and executors do not need to submit a full inheritance tax return to HM Revenue & Customs.  Completion of an inheritance tax account increases costs – see Complex Estates below.

 

We would expect the above would take between 7 – 18 hours of work.  Using a blended hourly rate of £190 our total costs are estimated at between £1,330 – £3,420 plus VAT (£1,596 - £4,104 including VAT).

 

Complex estates

 

The complexity usually arises because of one of the following:

 

  • the value of the estate means a full inheritance tax account has to be submitted*

  • the assets comprised in the estate include rental properties, foreign assets; business or agricultural assets,

  • the deceased made substantial gifts during their lifetime

  • there are associated trusts to consider

  • disruption by a party with an interest in the estate

  • defects in or arguments about the testamentary documents

 

The cost of administering a complex estate typically range from £3,500 to £12,000 plus VAT (£4,200 - £14,400 including VAT).

 

* An estate worth over a million where everything passes to the spouse is not usually a complex estate just because of its value

 

Disbursements

 

These are costs we pay on your behalf to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payments on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

 

Disbursements in addition to the above fees may include:

 

  • Probate court fee of £155.00

  • Office copies of the Grant of Probate at £1.50 per copy

  • HM Land Registry fees £3.60 – £60.00

  • Bankruptcy searches - £2 (per beneficiary)

  • Section 27 notices - £80 – £350 (notices in The London Gazette to protect the executors from claims by unknown creditors after distribution of the estate, notices are also required where property is located)

  • Professional valuations

 

When taking instructions, we will confirm the costs of the disbursements we know will apply and it becomes apparent that other disbursements (usually valuations or professional fees for experts, for e.g., Land Agents, Actuaries) then we will agree these with you before incurring them.

 

How long will this take?
 

A grant only instruction will usually take between 8 and 15 weeks, but we are reliant on the death certificate, original will and details of assets and liabilities being provided to us swiftly, and no lengthy delays at HMCTS Probate.

 

Administering a simple estate usually takes around 6-12 months.  Again, we are at the behest of information being provided no delays by third parties, and a house purchase going smoothly.

 

Complex estates can take longer to administer, but most are completed within 3 years, and more often around 18 months.