Putting you and your family first...
If you have lost a loved one then we can assist in many ways during this difficult time, by assisting you in the administration or even take the worry off your hands completely.
We offer practical advice on administering Trusts within a Will and on achieving the most tax efficient administration of the persons estate.
Once the estate has been completed, we can then review your own affairs taking into account the change in your personal circumstances and offer help and advice on how to best plan for your future and ultimately, that of your family.
We're frequently asked how much it all costs and that depends on what you are asking us to do. We frequently agree to work on a fixed fee basis (and when doing so we are clear about what our work will or will not cover) but on other occasions we will work on an hourly rate. We have set out a few examples below to give you a realistic idea of what to expect but we offer a FREE initial meeting to review what is needed and what options you have available.
Example 1 - Fixed fee basis
You would like assistance in obtaining the Grant of Representation. This is a generic term covering a Grant of Probate (where there is a Will) and a Grant of Letters of Administration (where there is no Will). You also agree to supply us with the financial information for reporting to HM Revenue & Customs with the estate being less than the Inheritance Tax threshold so no Inheritance Tax is due.
We do this type of work frequently. It allows you to deal with the simpler administrative tasks of collecting details of the value of the estate for Inheritance Tax purposes and, once obtained, allows you to collect in the estate assets, settle the estate liabilities and ultimately distribute it in accordance with the Will or Intestacy Rules (which apply if there is no Will).
In this instance our usual legal costs are likely to be £595.00 plus VAT. In addition to our legal costs there are also disbursements (out of pocket expenses). These include a Probate Registry fee of £155.00 (to cover one official copy of the Grant of Representation although further copies can be obtained at the same time for £1.50 each).
This can be a very quick process if you have all the information to hand; our part may take a couple of weeks and once submitted, the Grant of Representation can take a couple of weeks to be issued too.
Example 2 - Hourly rates
You want us to assist and guide you through the whole of administration of an estate. We rarely do this type of work on a fixed fee basis. In this example, we will be collecting in the information about the estate, reporting to HM Revenue & Customs on the Inheritance Tax position, obtaining the Grant of Representation, collecting the estate assets, settle the estate liabilities and distribute it in accordance with the Will or Intestacy Rules. Our usual hourly rate for this is £175.00 plus VAT where the matter is conducted by a Solicitor and £195.00 plus VAT where the matter is conducted by a Partner.
Where there are a couple of accounts, no stocks and shares, a valid Will that is not contested/disputed, and the estate is to be distributed between a couple of beneficiaries, our experience suggests that this can be completed in approximately 5-10 hours. On that basis, costs could be in the region of £875.00 to £1,750.00 plus VAT where the matter is conducted by a Solicitor, and between £975.00 to £1,950.00 plus VAT where the matter is conducted by a Partner. This is a typical range for many of the estates we deal with.
In addition to our legal costs there are also disbursements (as set out in example 1). However, we can also assist in searching for a Will (a disbursement cost of £114.00 applies), the placement of Statutory Notices to protect the Executors/Administrators against claims from the creditors of the estate (a disbursement cost of approximately £200.00 applies) and a search for unclaimed assets (a disbursement cost of approximately £186.00 applies).
Inevitably, this is a longer process. It typically takes us a 6-8 weeks to gather the information regarding the assets and liabilities (this can be dictated by the speed of which the organisations respond to us), a further 2-4 weeks to obtain the Grant of Representation and then a further 4-6 weeks to collect in the assets and settle the liabilities (which can again be dictated by the speed of which the organisations respond to us). On that basis, it typically takes between 12-18 weeks.