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Estate Administration and Probate

Estate Administration and Probate

When a person dies, their estate must be administered by the appointed executor or closest living next of kin (personal representative), which includes:

  1. Registering the death and obtaining the death certificate.
  2. Notifying all relevant third parties of the deceased’s passing.
  3. Determining the extent of the estate, including identifying all assets and all liabilities, and obtaining date of death balances.
  4. Completing the Inheritance Tax form IHT400 or Return of Estate Information form IHT205 and submitting the same to HM Revenue and Customs; applying for inheritance tax exemptions; settling any inheritance tax due; and, obtaining final clearance from HMRC that the estate’s tax is settled.
  5. Applying for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and providing copies of the same to all relevant third parties.
  6. Dealing with all assets, such as sale of the property*; closing bank accounts, and sale of, or transfer of, shareholdings. The proceeds would constitute estate funds and would be remitted to our client account. All client money held by us is subject to the regulations and protection set out by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
  7. Advertising for creditors of the estate via Section 27 Trustee Act Notice and settling all known liabilities from estate funds.
  8. Preparing estate accounts to detail all monies received in and out of the estate during distribution; and, preparing a distribution account detailing how, and to whom, the estate is to be distributed to.
  9. Carrying out identification checks and bankruptcy searches against beneficiaries of the estate and remitting the funds due to them.

*The sale of any property in the estate would be dealt separately by our conveyancing department and the conveyancing fees are in addition to our probate fees (see below).

Our fees for estate administration are charged at the hourly rate of £250 plus VAT. Many estates vary in size and complexity. Our fees for a relatively straight-forward estate start from £2,500 – £5,000 plus VAT. After your initial consultation, we will provide you with an estimate of our fees.

Depending on the complexity of the estate and the work necessitated, we may charge a percentage of the estate value to reflect the responsibility assumed in administering the estate.

The percentage charged is 0.5% of the value of any property and land in the estate, and 1% of the remaining estate.

There will be disbursements incurred in the administration of an estate, including but not limited to:

  1. Grant of Probate/letters of Administration application fee- currently £155 plus £1.50 for each court sealed copy.
  2. Section 27 Trustee Act Notice – £100-£200.
  3. Bankruptcy searches for the estate’s beneficiaries. £2 for each UK beneficiary. International bankruptcy searches range between £100-£200 per search.
  4. Any insurance policies required by the estate, including house insurance for estate property.
  5. Stockbroker/Registrars fees for valuing, selling, or transferring shareholdings.
  6. Financial Asset Search -£155.
  7. Conveyancer’s fees and estate agent’s fees, if selling a property.
  8. Applying for certified copy Grant of Probate for a related estate – £1.50.
  9. Applying for marriage certificate from the court – approximately £11.

VAT

Where VAT is charged, it will be at the applicable rate (currently 20%).