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Specialist support at a time when you need it most

How we can help

Dealing with the death of a friend or family member is difficult enough without having to handle their estate and will – if they have one. Our probate and estate solicitors provide as much or as little support as you need across all aspects of administering an estate.

We take care of any tax issues, help you minimise your liabilities and resolve any difficulties that may arise along the way.

Read more…

To find out more, contact Ellen Lambert on 01622 656586 

Estate administration

What do I need to do if someone dies?

It’s usually the responsibility of the executors named in the deceased person’s will to deal with their estate and their wishes. But it can be an emotionally trying time and difficult to manage impartially. Our probate specialists are experienced in taking care of all the processes and administration sensitively and efficiently, from registering the death to executing the will.

If you’re a beneficiary, we also guide you through any questions or concerns you may have, whether it’s how the estate is being administered, a potential dispute, or simply how to go about transferring the inherited assets into your name.

Costs estimate for asb law to deal with the full administration of the estate

Simple case £2,500 + VAT to £5,000 + VAT
Medium complexity case £5,500 to £12,000 + VAT
High complexity case £12,000 to £16,000 + VAT

Version created 30/11/2018

In addition to the fees quoted above, there will be disbursements of Probate Court Fees (which are currently £155 but due to increase in April 2019). The above sets out our range of typical fixed fees for full estate administration matters. However, we are unable to give a precise fixed fee until we have full details of the estate. On rare occasions it is not possible to offer a fixed fee. Where this is the case, or where it is a client’s preference, we can act instead on a time spent basis with our hourly rates ranging from £120 plus VAT for a paralegal to £250 plus VAT for a partner. Alternatively we are also happy to offer a fixed fee service for obtaining the grant of probate only if the executors are happy to obtain the details of the assets and liabilities themselves and to deal with the administration of the estate once the grant is issued. These fees range between £900 and £1,500 plus VAT and Probate Court Fees.

Please note that the costs information provided above is generalised information regarding costs. If you have any specific queries or questions please contact Lana Fodor, Associate, or Ellen Lambert, Partner and Head of Private Client, and we would be happy to discuss and provide you with personalised information tailored to your particular matter.

Our Probate Team has over 70 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to Wills and Estate Administration. The team has particular experience in high value and complex estate administration matters. We have 10 members of the team, a number of whom may work on your matter. See more details relating to key members of the Probate Team including number of years qualified, areas of specialism and examples of cases we've recently worked on.

 

Full details of what is included, is available to download - Pricing sheet (pdf)

 

Factors that can make administration more complex and affect pricing

The charging basis we can offer and the level of the fixed fee is subject to a number of factors including:

  • whether there is a Will or not
  • the total value of the estate
  • the number of assets within the estate
  • the nature of the assets within the estate such as:
    • the number of certificated shareholdings
    • the number of properties and whether these are to be sold or transferred
    • business interests
    • farming interests
    • assets held abroad
  • the extent of the liabilities of the estate and whether it is solvent
  • whether the person who has died was resident and/or domiciled in England & Wales or elsewhere
  • whether the estate is subject to inheritance tax
  • the reporting requirements for income tax and capital gains tax to death and during the administration period
  • the number of beneficiaries and whether their whereabouts is known or not
  • whether the testator had an interest in trust assets during their lifetime
  • whether the testator had made any substantial gifts during their lifetime
  • potential claims against the estate i.e. challenging the validity of the Will, or where someone believes that the Will did not make adequate provision for them

Key stages in the administration of the estate

The typical fees set out above cover all the work in relation to the following stages of the administration of the estate:

  • attending an initial meeting to take instructions
  • obtaining valuations of assets and liabilities as at the date of death
  • advising the beneficiaries of their entitlement
  • preparing a schedule of assets and liabilities as at the date of death
  • preparing an inheritance tax account for submission to HMRC or the Probate Registry as appropriate
  • preparing and submitting the application for the grant of representation 
  • arranging payment of inheritance tax as applicable
  • obtaining the grant of representation
  • collecting in/transferring the assets to the beneficiaries
  • arranging the sale of property as applicable
  • paying any legacies
  • paying liabilities and administration expenses
  • considering the income and capital gains tax affairs to death and during the administration period and instructing appropriate external advisors to assist where necessary
  • preparing estate accounts
  • accounting to the residuary beneficiaries of the estate and making interim and final distributions.

What is not included in our fee

  • any conveyancing work relating to the sale of property
  • implementation of, or advice on, trust arrangements beyond an initial explanation of the terms of the Will 
  • work in relation to contentious matters/claim against the estate, including claims made by the DWP
  • deeds of variation or disclaimers
  • personal tax advice for the beneficiaries
  • negotiating with HMRC and/or the District Valuer in relation to inheritance tax enquiries
  • preparation of full income tax returns to the date of death or enquiries received from HMRC in relation to tax affairs prior to death
  • property management work such as dealing with repairs and/or routine maintenance
  • home insurance claims
  • third party accountancy costs for complex income / capital gains tax affairs 
  • dealing with the administration of assets held outside England and Wales
  • tracing beneficiaries where their whereabouts are unknown

If you do require us to provide any of the above services then we will be able to provide you with an estimate of the likely fees payable.

How long will the administration of the estate take to conclude?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the administration of the estate being completely finalised is difficult to estimate and depends on the factors listed above. However, typically we expect to receive the grant of probate within 3 to 6 months of being instructed.

Please bear in mind that we are generally dealing with a large number of third parties i.e. banks and HMRC, and therefore timescales are often dictated by how long it takes them to deal with and process correspondence.

If there is are properties to sell, the administration of the estate will not be fully concluded until the transaction completes and the final bills relating to the property are settled.

We do not need to wait for matters to be completely finalised before we are able to make interim distributions to beneficiaries.

Appointing executors

What should I do if there isn’t a will?

If a person dies without leaving a Will, or there is no executor to obtain probate, a statutory order of priority exists which sets out who can apply as an administrator of the estate.

In this case, the document issued is called a Grant of Letters of Administration and our highly skilled team of probate solicitors can talk you through the process of making an application.

Get in touch with us

Ellen Lambert Partner Trust Tax Probate asb law Maidstone

Ellen Lambert

Partner
Ellen has considerable experience of private client work including wills and estate planning for high net worth individuals.

To talk to us about your concerns and find out how we can help, call Ellen on 01622 656586.