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Probate services pricing

Hill and Company work with our clients to provide the best service for them to suit their individual needs.

Full estate service

Hill and Company can offer a full estate service where we will handle the full process for you.  This is known as assisting you with the administration of the estate.

This includes the following:

  • Establishing the value of and dealing with assets such as building society accounts, bank accounts, investment portfolios and shares
  • Establishing the value and dealing with liabilities
  • Completing the relevant tax documentation
  • Preparing the oath and associated documents for the application for the Grant
  • Assisting you with dealing with valuing the property, please note a separate conveyancing fee will be provided for the sale of a property
  • Communicating with the beneficiaries
  • Paying legacies
  • Managing risk for the Personal Representatives by dealing with Trustee Act Notices and bankruptcy searches
  • Ensuring inheritance is paid if due and all other taxes are cleared
  • Making interim payments
  • Preparing draft and final estate accounts

In respect of full estate administration we work on an hourly basis of £275 plus VAT.  We believe this is more straightforward for our clients as this means that you pay for the work actually done.

By way of guidance a small estate without any property and a single bank account can cost between £1,500 and £5000 plus VAT and disbursements.  After our initial meeting we will provide you with a cost estimate and keep you updated as the matter progresses.  Please note that larger more complex estate can cost between £5,000 – £20,000 depending upon the complexity.

We are often appointed executors or joint executors to administer estates. When this occurs the burden on the firm is much higher and the firm can be personally liable. In these circumstances the administration of the estate is usually quoted at between £5000 and £20,000 plus value element however if the matter is complex and high net worth this amount can be exceeded and cost estimates increased in accordance with extra work required. Additionally if there are disputes, multiple beneficiaries, trusts and any other circumstances which take the matter outside a standard administration a quote will be given. This situation can also apply to matters where we are not appointed however the executors would be advised throughout.

For Estates over the value of £1 million in assets we aim not to exceed 3% of the estate subject to the complexities detailed above.

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

  • Probate application fee of £155.00 plus 50p per copy
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor with Will of £5 without)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £100 (estimate) Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • £100 (estimate) Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.

Potential additional costs

The following complicating factors will increase our fees and the time involved in dealing with the estate:

  • Further properties or assets
  • Foreign property or assets
  • Multiple beneficiaries
  • Charity beneficiaries
  • Business property relief or agricultural property relief applies
  • Lifetime gifts
  • The executors are disposing of assets with a value over £500,000 (whether or not there is a liability to Capital Gains Tax)
  • Assets increasing in value significantly between date of death and date of sale
  • Missing or damaged Will – affidavits required, may need to locate individuals
  • Missing beneficiaries or non-responsive /uncooperative beneficiaries
  • Missing share certificates – additional paperwork required
  • Missing documents relating to death of first death when NRB needs transferring
  • Unusual investments which require more paperwork, e.g. gift and loan trusts
  • Income tax affairs are not up to date
  • There are a lot of income producing assets or gross income is received during the administrations, which makes dealing with the income position more onerous.
  • There are a substantial amount of creditors
  • A dispute arises between executors or beneficiaries
  • We are required to carry out work normally carried out by family members such as organising valuation of property and jewellery or clearing the property
  • If a legal claim is outstanding against the deceased or a claim is made against the deceased’s estate or the deceased’s will is disputed

How long will this take?

It is difficult to predict how long estates can take to deal with as they are subject to various factors.  For example a house sale, taxation clearance. On average estates can take between 12 months and 48 months.

Grant only service

We are more than happy to discuss a fixed fee option with our clients in relation to obtaining the Grant only.  This is based upon the information provided by the client and depends on such matters as to whether there is tax to pay, transferable nil rate band available, the number and type of assets to be declared.  The fixed fee can range from £500 – £3,000 and is agreed in advance of clients deciding to instruct.

This service includes completion of the relevant tax documentation and the oath and other documents required to obtain the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration.

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

  • Probate application fee of £155.00 plus 50p per copy
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor with Will of £5 without)

How long will this take?

For estates where there is an IHT205 small estate completion we aim to obtain the Grant within 4 weeks of the clients providing full instructions.  For estates where the full IHT400 account is necessary we aim to obtain the Grant within 8 weeks.  However please note this is subject to payment of IHT and any delays created by a backlog at HMRC or the Probate court.

Legal Complaints

Should you be dissatisfied with any part of our service below are links to our regulation bodies:

Solicitors Regulation Authority

Legal Ombudsman

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