You will come across some of these terms:
Executors these are the people who have the job of gathering in the assets of the Estate and distributing them
Estate this is the name for all of the property and assets belonging to the deceased person
Administering the Estate/administration matters this is the name for the job of getting all the assets in, paying off any debts and dividing what is left as per the Will or if there is no Will, as the law says
Grant of Probate this the document that proves that you can deal with the affairs of the deceased person order where there is a Will
Letters of Administration this the document that proves that you can deal with the affairs of the deceased person order where there is no Will
What do we do?
We can do as little or as much as you want.
We can offer a fixed fee service to handle getting the Grant of Probate and dealing with legal, tax, property and administration matters. You pay our fees and any disbursements from the Estate of the deceased person. We gather in the assets and pay what needs to be paid from there. If you only want us to do part of the work, we can do that too – for example if you need help in getting the Grant of Probate but will deal with sorting out the assets yourself, that is fine.
If we offer to work for you on a fixed fee basis, our fee will not change unless circumstances change or the information that we based the quote on turns out to be incorrect. In other words, if things are a lot more complicated that first thought, we may need to change the fixed fee to reflect that.
What does it cost?
Getting a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
Our charges are:
£500.00 + VAT as minimum for drawing up the papers to apply for the Grant of Probate. This is the usual cost but if your situation is complex, we will tell if it would cost more
There are disbursements (expenses) to pay of:
£155.00 for the court fee (The government sets this fee and they sometimes change it)
£ 7.00 per executor to be paid for the oath to be sworn
£ 0.50 per copy of the Grant (we get at least two more copies)
Administering the Estate
The cost of this depends on what the assets are in the Estate. The sort of things that need to be done are:
• Getting in money from bank accounts
• Redirecting mail and making sure all bills are paid
• Advertising for any unknown debts to come forward
• Considering tax which can be income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax
• If there is a property:
- Contacting the home insurance company if the property is empty
- Usually draining down the heating system if the property is empty
- Getting the property marketed and sold, so appointing and dealing with estate agents
- Getting an Energy Performance Certificate as part of the sale process
- Appointing a property lawyer to deal with the sale paperwork
- Clearing the property if there are items left that are not wanted
• Preparing the Estate Accounts to show what money there is, what has been paid out and then distributing the money as the deceased person wanted (if they left a Will) or as the law says (if they did not leave a Will)
£ 190.00 + VAT per hour for work we undertake
£ 1000.00 + VAT is usually the minimum cost.
£ 2900.00 + VAT is usually the average amount
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included in the figures above but we can arrange and liaise with a property lawyer for you if you would like us to.
£ 2.00 per name for a bankruptcy search
£ 63.00 for the cost of an advert in the London Gazette (to advertise for debts and give protection against unexpected claims)
£150.00 for the cost of an advert in the local paper (approximately)
How long does it take?
On average, basic estates are dealt with within 6 to 9 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 4 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 16-20 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 6 to 9 months.