Probate

29/11/2018

The team has many years of combined experience and currently consists of a Partner, Associate Director, two Senior Solicitors, a Solicitor and a Chartered Legal Executive.

Hourly rates for each fee earner are currently as follows

  • Partner – £300 per hour + VAT
  • Associate Director – £285 per hour + VAT
  • Senior Solicitor – £275 per hour + VAT
  • Solicitor – £250 per hour + VAT
  • Chartered Legal Executive – £250 per hour + VAT

 

FIXED FEE PROBATE MATTERS

1. Excepted Estates

  • The estate is not worth more than £3m (or more than £1m if the deceased died before 31 December 2021)
  • The deceased died before 31 December 2021 and has inherited some or all of a transferable allowance from a spouse or civil partner who died before them
  • The deceased did not give away cash or assets totalling more than £250,000 in the last 7 years of their lifetime
  • The deceased did not give away any assets where they continued to benefit from them after the date of the gift
  • The deceased did not own more than £100,000 in assets outside of the UK

Fee – £1,800 to £2,500 + VAT plus disbursements.

2. Non-taxable estates where full IHT Return required

Sometimes personal representatives need to send a full Inheritance Tax Return to HMRC even if the estate is not taxable. This may be, for example, where the value of the estate exceeds £3m (£1m for deaths before 31 December 2021) and the estate is exempt due to spouse/civil partner or charity exemption.

Fee – £2,500 to £3,000 + VAT plus disbursements

3. Full Return required and Inheritance Tax to pay

Fee – £3,500 to £4,000 + VAT or greater depending on the complexity of the estate.

Please note that in all cases the fee is dependent on the following presumptions:-

  • The deceased had their permanent home (domicile) in England and Wales
  • The deceased left a Will which is written in English

Exempt Estate
Conditions

  • No IHT payable
  • No requirement to submit IHT Return or is an IHT205 exempt account
  • Deceased had their permanent home in the UK on their death
  • Deceased owned no more than one property in the UK on their death
  • No more than 6 bank or building society accounts
  • No more than 6 shareholdings
  • There is a valid English Will
  • Number of gifts made by deceased in last 7 years does not exceed £150,000 and no calculations required for gifts out of excess income, no gifts with reservation

Excepted Estate
Conditions

  • No IHT payable
  • Deceased had their permanent home in the UK on their death
  • Deceased owned no more than one property in the UK on their death
  • No more than 6 bank or building society accounts
  • No more than 6 shareholdings
  • There is a valid English Will
  • Number of gifts made by deceased in last 7 years does not exceed £150,000 and no calculations required for gifts out of excess income, no gifts with reservation

Taxable Estate
Conditions

  • Full IHT account required
  • Deceased had their permanent home in the UK on their death
  • No more than 8 bank or building society accounts
  • No more than 10 shareholdings
  • There are assets in the estate to enable payment of the IHT due
  • There is a valid English Will
  • Taxable lifetime gifts included but additional work and costs may be incurred if we are required to calculate gifts out of excess income and/or gifts with reservation

 

HOURLY RATE MATTERS

Where you wish us to obtain a Grant of Representation and carry out the administration of the estate in full, this will be charged at the fee earner’s hourly rate between £250 and £300 + VAT. There are different levels of complexity of estates.

Straight-forward Estate

A simple estate usually involves 15 to 25 hours’ work and involves:-

  • Collation of estate values and information
  • Submission of exempt inheritance tax account (if required)
  • Completion and submission of Probate application
  • Collecting in the assets of the estate and paying the liabilities
  • Submitting the section 27 Notices
  • Preparing the Estate Accounts and paying legacies and shares of the residuary estate under the terms of the Will

Straight-forward estates normally take 6 to 9 months to conclude but may take longer depending on all the circumstances.

Complex Estate

Complex estates are ones where inheritance tax is due or the matter is otherwise complicated or unusual. Such estates usually involve 25 to 40 hours’ work, if not more and include, in addition to the above under straight-forward estates:-

  • Calculation of inheritance tax and calculating whether any of the tax can be paid by instalments
  • Arranging for the tax to be paid out of the assets of the estate
  • Dealing with any queries that HMRC may raise regarding the inheritance tax account
  • Liaising with HMRC to obtain formal inheritance tax clearance
  • If necessary, checking the property regularly
  • Reporting to HMRC for the tax due during the administration period either, where relevant, under the informal reporting procedure or, if necessary, by preparing and submitting trust and estate tax returns

Such estates normally take 12 to 24 months to conclude but this can take longer depending on all the circumstances.

In addition we also charge a fee to undertake electronic checks of the identification documents of each Executor – £20 + VAT per person

Disbursements

These are additional costs which are incurred in dealing with the administration of an estate and are additional to the fee estimates set out above. Each estate will be different but generally you can expect the following disbursements to be charged during the course of the administration:

  • Inheritance Tax (charged at between 36% and 40% depending upon the circumstances)
  • Section 27 Notices – the fee for these range between £200 to £300
  • Bankruptcy searches – £2 + VAT per beneficiary
  • Land Registry fees – £3 + VAT per copy document
  • Valuation fees – there may be fees payable to value a deceased’s property, shares, investments, personal possessions which will be individual to each case.

 

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?

Please note that the above estimates do not include the following, for which a separate fee will be quoted:-

  • Fees to deal with the asset/transfer/sale of any real property in the estate.
  • Dealing with any trusts either set up by the deceased’s Will/intestacy or from which they benefited during their lifetime.
  • Deeds of Variation
  • Financial advice for beneficiaries on how to invest their inheritance or tax-efficient or financially-efficient means of selling or transferring assets
  • Realising a deceased’s interest in a business or farm
  • Business Relief or Agricultural Property Relief. As this is a specialist area additional fees may be quoted to advise on such reliefs and how they may apply to the estate.
  • Any changes to the law during the administration of the estate
  • Letter of wishes

 

 

 

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