We recognise that no two estates will be exactly the same and so the time that will be taken to complete the administration process will depend on the level of work that needs to be carried out. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, the costs should be lower compared with an estate where there are a number of beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, where it would be expected the costs would be higher.
If you would like us to manage the full administration of an estate for you, we would anticipate this should take between 27 and 35 hours work to complete based on the list of assumptions outlined below. When applying an average hourly rate of £221 plus VAT (based on the range of hourly rates for our existing fee earners), our total costs estimated would be in the region of £6,000 to £7,700 plus VAT.
Assumptions in our pricing
The price for our costs set out above would be for an estate where:
- The person who has died was UK domiciled and resident.
- There is a valid Will appointing one executor who is UK domiciled and resident and who is willing to act in the administration of the estate.
- There is no more than one freehold residential property registered with the Land Registry and this it to be retained and transferred to the beneficiaries and not sold during the administration of the estate.
- There are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts.
- There are no other intangible assets (e.g. patents, trademarks and copyrights).
- There are no foreign assets.
- There are no outstanding creditors of the estate except in relation to the funeral arrangements.
- There are no more than 3 adult UK domiciled and resident beneficiaries who are absolutely entitled under the Will and therefore no continuing Trusts.
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of estate assets.
- There is no Inheritance Tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full Inheritance Tax Account (form IHT400) to H M Revenue & Customs.
- There is no requirement for the Estate to submit a tax return, or make any separate/additional tax disclosure, to H M Revenue & Customs.
- There are no claims made against the estate.
Potential additional costs
If any of the assumptions above do not apply our costs will increase, for example if there is no will or the estate consists of any shareholdings. We can provide you with a more accurate fee estimate once we have more information from you.
There will be additional costs incurred if the type of work to be carried out is particularly complex or urgent for any reason, or the nature of your instructions to us require work to be completed outside normal office hours. If this happens, we will notify you in advance and agree an appropriate rate. Again, we can provide you with a more accurate fee estimate once we have more information from you.
Our pricing set out above does not include the disbursement costs which we would expect to incur in managing an estate. Disbursements are costs related to the matter which are payable to third parties, such as court fees. The most frequent disbursement costs are set out below:
- Probate application fee of £155 (subject to possible changes by the government), on which no VAT is payable.
- Additional sealed office copies of the grant of probate can be obtained at the time of applying at a cost of 50p each, on which no VAT is payable. It can be helpful to obtain a number of extra copies when administering an estate.
- Bankruptcy only land charges department search fee of £2 per beneficiary, on which no VAT is payable.
- In the region of £250 plus VAT to place suitable press notices in The London Gazette and in a local newspaper to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.