Applying for the Grant, collecting and distributing the assets – where there is no valid Will and no inheritance tax to pay
If you instruct us to deal with the whole of the estate for you, we will ascertain the assets and liabilities of the estate and obtain valuations for you, prepare the papers to apply for a grant of letters of administration, obtain the grant for you, collect and distribute the assets and pay any liabilities. We may also discuss with you making checks to ascertain the beneficiaries of the estate and their entitlement to the estate.
When we act for you, we charge on the basis of the time spent multiplied by the hourly rate of the person dealing with the matter. Our hourly rates range from £120 plus VAT to £215 plus VAT. We anticipate that, depending on the size and complexity of the estate, this type of matter will take between 23 and 42 hours of work. Therefore our costs estimate would be in the region of £4945 plus VAT of £989 (i.e. £5934 in total) to £9030 plus VAT of £1806 (i.e. £10,836 in total) plus disbursements (see below). Any costs payable are not usually met by the executors personally, instead the costs are deducted from the funds in the estate.
We will handle the full process for you and the estimates above are for estates where: –
- There are no more than two properties
- There are no more than 10 bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are no more than 5 beneficiaries
- There are no missing beneficiaries
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
- There are no disputes between the administrators. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs.
- There is no inheritance tax payable and the administrators do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
- The estate is solvent
- There are no claims against the estate
The exact cost depends 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.
Disbursements are charges 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. The disbursements that are likely to be payable are: –
- Probate Application fee of £155
- £5 swearing of the oath (per administrator)
- Bankruptcy Only Land Charges Department Searches (£2 per beneficiary name)
- £83.40 (including VAT) Notice in the London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims for unknown creditors
- £200 – £300 (excluding VAT). Notice in the local newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims. Please note this is an estimate and the cost of adverts in local papers vary depending on location and newspaper.
- £162 Search of the Unclaimed Assets Register – this is a check for unknown assets
- £114 Certainty Will Search – this safeguards the administrators by giving comfort that there is no existing Will
Potential Additional Costs
- If the estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks and bonds) there are likely to be additional costs that could vary significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information
- If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost 50p per copy (1 per asset usually)
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included
- We do not prepare tax returns to the date of death or during the administration period and we may need to instruct an accountant to deal with these on your behalf.
- If there have been gifts made and substantial investigations need to be made in ascertaining gifts, this is likely to increase costs
- If there are any foreign assets, this may increase costs and may result in having to instruct solicitors expert in other legal jurisdictions
- If there are any beneficiaries in the Will that cannot be found, this is likely to increase costs
All of the cost information provided above is general and we will be very happy to give you more precise and personalised information once we understand the specific circumstances so please do get in touch with us.
How long will this take?
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 7 to 12 months. Typically obtaining a grant of letters of administration takes 3 to 5 months. Collecting assets and paying liabilities then follows, which can take between 2 and 4 months. Once this has been done, we can prepare the estate accounts for the executors’ approval and distribute the assets, which normally takes 2 and 4 months.
As stated above, our legal fees are normally charged at an hourly rate and this rate depends on the experience of the lawyer in charge of your matter:
Helen is the head of the Private Client team at BTTJ. She qualified as a solicitor in 1996 and has specialised in Private Client work since 1998. She is a member of the Private Client Section of the Law Society.
Jill qualified as a solicitor in 1985, works as a Consultant for BTTJ and is hugely experienced. She is a member of both Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) and the Society for Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
Emma has specialised in Private Client matters since 2002 and was admitted as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Legal Executives in 2009. She is also a fully qualified member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP).
Lauren is a Legal Apprenctice and is currently working under the supervision of Helen.
We are very happy to discuss your individual situation with you and provide you with an exact price based on your specific circumstances, so please do get in touch with us.