Grower Freeman Fees Guide for Probate

A GUIDE FOR CLIENTS REGARDING OUR CHARGE FOR PROBATE MATTERS AND ADMINISTRATION OF AN ESTATE

We can assist you with the administration of the estate of a deceased person by obtaining the Grant of Probate collecting and distributing the assets on behalf of the Executors.

The cost of dealing with such work will be based upon (a) the time that we need to spend in acting for you and (b) the complexity of the matter and other factors. For example, if there is one Beneficiary and no property the cost will be at the lower end of the range but if there are multiple Beneficiaries, properties and various bank accounts the cost will be at the higher end. After we have discussed the matter with you, we would be in a better position to provide you with more specific fee based upon the transactions involved.

We anticipate that an average case will take between 10 and 30 hours. The cost will vary according to the people working on the case and their applicable hourly rates. The hourly rates charged will range between £175-£325, depending on the seniority and experience of the Solicitor handling your matter and its complexity. Based on the above, our fees will be charged at an amount from £1,750. The estimate does not include fees to deal with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate.

ADMINISTRATION OF A SIMPLE ESTATE WOULD BE BASED UPON ON THE FOLLOWING FACTORS: -

  • There is a valid Will;
  • There is no more than one property;
  • There are no more than two banks or building society accounts;
  • There are no other intangible assets;
  • The Executors and the Beneficiaries are the same people;
  • There are no overseas assets;
  • The deceased was not domiciled in any other jurisdiction outside the UK;
  • The Will does not contain any Trusts;
  • There are no more than three cash legacies to be paid from the estate;
  • There are no more than three Residuary Beneficiaries;
  • We do not have to deal with the income tax or capital gains tax affairs of the deceased or the estate but instead liaise with an appropriate accountant to enable him or her to do so;
  • There are no disputes between Beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs;
  • There is no Inheritance Tax payable and Executors do not need to submit a full account (IHT400) to HMRC;
  • There are no claims made against the estate.

DISBURSEMENTS: -

Disbursements are costs related to your matter and are payable to third parties such as court fees. We handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Disbursements include: -

  • The current Probate application fee payable to the Probate Registry £155;
  • A fee of £0.50p for each copy of the Grant (if required) at the time we apply for Probate;
  • Fee for swearing the Oath/£5 per Executor plus £2 for each Exhibit;
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department Search (approximate £2 per UK Beneficiary);
  • Approximately £100 to place an advertisement in the London Gazette which protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors;
  • Approximately £75-£100 to place an advertisement in the local newspaper to help protect against unexpected claims;
  • Probate valuation fees ie for any properties, share portfolio and household goods (if required) will be based on circumstances;
  • The electronic money transfer fee where payments are made to Beneficiaries or creditors is usually £30 plus VAT per transfer.

POTENTIAL ADDITIONAL COSTS: -

  • If there is no Will or the estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks and bonds) there are likely to be additional costs that can range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. Should this apply in your case we would provide you with an estimate of any additional costs prior to these being incurred;

THE TYPES OF WORK AND ESTIMATES OF TIME: -

  • There are various stages in dealing with an estate and these would include: valuing and collating the information. This can take between 4-12 weeks;
  • Investigating the assets and liabilities of the estate
  • Payment of Inheritance Tax (if applicable). Usually Inheritance Tax should be paid within 6 months of the date of death, to avoid the possibility of interest arising after that date. Therefore, priority should be given to this part of the administration of the estate. The Executors should ensure that all information about assets and liabilities are collated and provided as accurately as possible.
  • Applying for the Grant of Probate (or letters of administration if there is no Will). Once the relevant papers are submitted to the Probate Registry it might take between 2-4 weeks to obtain the Grant;
  • After obtaining the Grant of Probate, gathering and collecting the estate assets and then paying the debts from the estate. This might take between 4-8 weeks;
  • Distributing the estate in line with the Will or rules of intestacy if there is no Will. This might take between 4-12 weeks (please note that if advertisements for creditors have been placed in the London Gazette and newspapers then we would have to follow the time limit set out in such advertisements);

THE EXECUTORS YEAR: -

On average Executors take approximately between 6-12 months to fully complete the administration of  an estate which includes: collecting all assets, paying all liabilities including taxes, drawing up accounts before distributing assets to the Beneficiaries. Therefore, Executors are not bound to distribute the estate until one full year from the date of death. Please note that in more complex estates or contentious cases the process may take longer to wind up the administration of the estates.

 

Please note that the above information is simply for the purpose of giving you some guidance on the level of our fees which might assist you in choosing the legal services provider. We will provide you with more specific costs and personalised service in the event you instruct us to deal with the matter.

 

For more information and to get in touch, please visit our Private Client  and Wills & Probate pages.