Most of our services are offered on an hourly rate basis. All clients are provided with an estimate of costs after our initial meeting or telephone conversation or as part of the engagement process.
There are some areas where we are able to be more indicative and, as in accordance with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) guidance on price transparency, we have published our price and service information where it is possible to be upfront about charges without having all the information available about the matter.
We realise this is a stressful time and so do our utmost to guide you through the process calmly, tailoring our advice to every single case. We can work alongside your family, or take on the whole management ourselves.
Where appropriate or possible we will suggest cost savings and are happy to work with existing accountants and financial advisors or recommend others where there are none and the need arises.
Citizens Advice Bureau: a comprehensive starting point.
Citizens Advice Bureau: dealing with the financial affairs of someone who has died.
HMRC for inheritance tax.
Sarah Loveless – Head of Department (Consultant) TEP
Megan Miller – Associate Solicitor
Jessica Woolfenden – Associate Solicitor
Jenny Greenland – Chartered Legal Executive
Imogen Moran – Probate Executive
No individual is the same and therefore no estate matter is exactly the same; although some estates are similar. We have therefore divided estates into two categories, simpler and more complex: our time is recorded in 6-minute increments at the hourly charging rate set out below. Our hourly charging rate excludes VAT.
Sarah Loveless – £250.00 per hour plus VAT
Megan Miller – £230.00 per hour plus VAT
Jessica Woolfenden – £230.00 per hour plus VAT
Jenny Greenland – £210.00 per hour plus VAT
Imogen Moran – £195.00 per hour plus VAT
We can help you obtain the Grant of Probate. We will also assist in collecting and distributing assets. Specifically:
- Provide you with a dedicated fee earner to work on your matter (all matters will be overseen and supervised by the Head of Department, Sarah Loveless).
- Identify the executors and beneficiaries.
- Identify the type of probate application you will need.
- Identify all assets and liabilities in the deceased’s name as at the date of death and communicate with the relevant organisations.
- Identify jointly owned assets and advise how they are inherited.
- Arrange for probate valuations of properties, shares and personal possessions.
- Complete HMRC forms.
- Draft the appropriate probate application forms.
- Make the application to the probate office on your behalf.
- Obtain Probate or Letters of Administration and send sealed copies to you.
- Collect assets in the estate and pay all pre and post-death debts.
- Ensure pre and post-death income tax and capital gains matters are settled.
- Prepare a final estate statement or simple estate accounts and distribute all assets in the estate.
- Ensure timely liaison and correspondence with the executors and beneficiaries.
We suggest that this will take between 10 and 30 hours work: total estimate for the administration costs estimated at £2,500.00 to £7,500.00 (plus VAT at 20%). The exact cost will depend on the particular circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no real estate, costs will be lower than where there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, shares etc.
There will probably be Inheritance Tax (IHT) payable.
For more information on this, visit the HMRC website.
Estates requiring IHT guidance also involve:
- Liaison with specialist professional valuers of assets to ensure that the HMRC account is as accurate as possible; especially in relation to properties.
- Assessing lifetime gifting in the seven years pre-death.
- Compiling all asset and liability information into the IHT account using specialist knowledge on how to set this all out to include advice upon IHT reliefs available and duly claiming the same.
- How to best raise and pay the IHT and payment structuring options.
- Settling the full balance of IHT on completion of the matter and obtaining IHT clearance.
- Liaising with the deceased’s accountant or arranging (with Executor or Administrator approval) for an accountant to handle the deceased’s pre-death and post-death income tax and capital gains tax (CGT) affairs are settled.
- Preparing longer and more detailed estate accounts.
We suggest that this will take between 30 and 60 hours work. Total administration costs estimated at between £7,500.00 and £15,000.00 (plus VAT at 20%). Again, the exact cost will depend on the particular circumstances of the matter.
Disbursements (Standard Extra Costs)
The following disbursements are excluded, but often payable in addition to this fee. These are the additional costs which could be payable:
- Residential Real Estate Professional Valuers Cost – Chartered Surveyors can charge somewhere in the region of £500.00 plus VAT to value residential real estate interests. We would only ever incur such fees in consultation with the Executors/Administrators and with their prior consent.
- Personal Possessions Professional Valuers Cost – again, these can vary and we would only ever incur such fees in consultation with the Executors/Administrators and with their prior consent.
- Accountancy pre and post-death Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax fees and taxes – these can vary from £500.00 up to say £5,000.00 plus VAT. Again, we would only ever incur such fees in consultation with the Executors/Administrators and with their prior consent. Any tax payable is separate and will be payable from the estate, but the accountants would advise on this.
Other possible costs:
- One or more of the transferable nil rate band, residence nil rate band and transferable residence nil rate band to IHT may be claimable, but these can require substantial family documentation research to prove eligibility. If the investigation of these requirements proves difficult, there will be time and cost implications which we would advise you upon as we proceed.
- Dealing with corrective IHT accounts and IHT adjustments due, caused by new or adjusted values to existing assets and liabilities which could not have been reasonably discovered in the pre Grant phase, are supplementary to the fee estimates. We would advise you of the price adjustments as and when these become apparent.
- Deeds of Variation executed by estate beneficiaries within two years of the date of death – a separate fee estimate on request tailored to your circumstances would be provided.
How long will this take?
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6 to 24 months from death. The timing up to the Grant is more commonly 3 to 6 months due to the additional IHT work required.
Matters can take longer due to having to obtain IHT clearance and also when Executors wait for the best price to sell the deceased’s residential properties. Furthermore, the estate cannot be closed for Income Tax and CGT until all estate assets have been sold or distributed and this can have a delaying effect on the timeline for obtaining estate Income Tax and CGT closure.
Disbursements (Standard Extra Costs)
The following disbursements are excluded, but often payable in addition to this fee:
- Death Certificate: £25.00.
- Office Copy Register Entries for the Land Registry Title of the deceased’s real estate: £3.00 (£3.00 extra for the plan also).
- Probate Application Fee: £155.00 (£1.50 for each subsequent sealed copy) – usually apply for 10 sealed copies, making a total of £170.00.
- Bankruptcy Search: £2.00 each.
- Advertisement in the London Gazette to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors: approximately £77.00 plus VAT.
- Advertisement in the local newspaper to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors: approximately between £40.00 – 100.00 plus VAT.
Disbursements or costs 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.