BBZ Law LLP

City centre solicitors

Estates administration costs

In order to deal with assets in an estate, the Personal Representatives of the estate will often need to apply for a Grant of Representation. This is a legal document issued by the High Court which authorises the Personal Representatives to administer the estate of a deceased person.

If there is a Will, the Grant is called a Grant of Probate. If there is no Will the Grant is called a Grant of Letters of Administration.

Most financial institutions require sight of a Grant before releasing any funds. If the deceased owned a property or shares, a Grant will definitely be required.

BBS Law offers two levels of service:

Grant only Service; and

Full estate administration service

Grant Only Service

Our Grant only service can be a cost-effective way to obtain a Grant for an estate where the Personal Representatives are willing to be responsible for dealing with all the assets and liabilities of the estate themselves.

Using this service, BBS Law will draft an application for a Grant using information provided by the Personal Representatives. Once the Grant has been obtained, the Personal Representatives will be responsible for dealing with the estate.

Cost

Our Grant only fees are:

  • Where a simplified estate form (IHT205) is submitted - £1,800.00 including VAT plus disbursements
  • Where a full estate form (IHT400) is submitted, and we are not organising the payment of Inheritance Tax - £3,000.00 including VAT plus disbursements
Disbursements

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

Typical disbursements include, but are not limited to:

  • Swear Fees: typically, £7 per executor
  • Probate application fee: £155.00
  • Additional copies of Grant: 50p per copy
  • Post in the London Gazette: typically, £90
  • Post in a Local Newspaper: typically, £90

The total cost of the disbursements is likely to be in the region of £345.00

What BBS Law will do for you
  • Provide you with initial advice
  • Identify the Probate application you require
  • Obtain the relevant information required to make the application
  • Place a notice in the London Gazette, and if necessary, a local newspaper (this helps to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors)
  • Draft a legal Oath for the Personal Representatives to swear
  • Complete the relevant HMRC form(s)
  • Make an application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain and send the Grant (and any copies) to the Personal Representatives
Timescale:

Typically, obtaining a Grant can take anywhere between 4-12 months. There are many variables that can affect the time it takes to obtain a Grant. Such variables include:

  • Difficulties in valuing assets
  • Time waiting for instructions or information from the Personal Representatives
  • Time taken for HMRC to give permission for Grant to be obtained (where the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax)
  • Time taken for Probate Registry to seal the Grant
  • If an investigation is required because the estate is not as straightforward as initially thought, e.g. an investigation by the DWP
  • Difficulty selling property

Full Estate Administration Service

Using this service, BBS Law will draft an application for a Grant using information we obtain from the various banks and other institutions. Once the Grant has been obtained, BBS will then wind up the estate on behalf of the Personal Representatives.

The cost of dealing with the full administration of an estate will vary depending on the terms of the Will (where there is one), the size and complexity of the estate and the type of assets involved.

Cost

The cost for administering is determined by a number of factors. The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. Factors that may influence the cost of administering an estate include:

  • Number of beneficiaries
  • Number of bank accounts and investments
  • Complexity of tax calculations
  • How much work the Personal Representatives wish to do themselves
  • Number of shareholdings
  • Number of properties
  • Foreign, business or agricultural assets

As a guide, the fees for full estate administration typically start from £3,000 - £5,000 including VAT for a very straightforward estate whilst fees for complex estates can exceed £20,000 including VAT.

What BBS Law will do for you
  • Provide initial advice
  • Gathering the necessary evidence needed for the probate application
  • Applying for the Grant
  • Collecting in assets
  • Settling debts and tax liabilities
  • Placing notices in the London Gazette and a local paper
  • Notifying third parties, such as banks, utility companies and share registrars
  • Dealing with HMRC
  • Preparation of full estate account and tax returns
  • Paying legacies and distributing the residue of the estate in accordance with the Will or Intestacy Rules (if there is no Will).
Timescale

Typically, administering an estate can take anywhere between 6-18 months. Several factors can impact upon the length of time it takes to finalise an estate. Potential factors can include:

  • Difficultly in valuing assets
  • Time waiting for instructions or information from the Personal Representatives
  • Time taken for HMRC to give permission for Grant to be obtained (where the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax)
  • Time taken for Probate Registry to seal the Grant
  • If an investigation is required because the estate is not as straightforward as initially thought, e.g. an investigation by the DWP
  • Difficulty selling property
  • Difficulty in locating share certificates
  • Time taken to settle Inheritance Tax or Capital Gains liabilities and obtain finalisation from HMRC
  • Difficulty in locating beneficiaries
  • Difficulty in locating assets
Qualifications

Our Probate team is made up of qualified solicitors including Julie Bell TEP who qualified in 2006 and a number of assistants.