Probate and Estate Administration

Probate and Estate Administration

The probate department is well established and highly regarded. An enviable reputation has been built on years of providing an excellent service to our clients.

We recognise the trauma of losing your loved one is never helped by having to deal with their affairs once they are gone.  Following the loss of a loved one, we offer a complete probate service and adopt a sensitive practical and creative approach dealing with the administration of their estate.

We understand all of our clients are individuals, and that any package of services should be tailored to their needs. We are therefore able to offer a complete service whereby we will undertake all aspects of the administration of an estate, form registering the death through to dealing with the application for probate, negotiating all relevant tax issues, dealing with the collection of assets, finalising income tax affairs or liaising with accountants to do so, through the ultimate distribution of the estate.

As an alternative, if the family wish to deal with parts of the administration themselves, we are able to provide a tailored service on a fixed budget agreed at the outset to assist with those aspects of the  administration with which they feel assistance is required.

We have extensive experience in dealing with a wide variety of issues arising out of the administration of an estate following the loss of a loved one, and are experienced in negotiating inheritance tax issues with H M Revenue & Customs, liaising with financial specialists, accountants and other professionals to ensure the administration is dealt with in a professional and prompt manner.

PROBATE AND ADMINISTRATION COSTS

Complete Probate Administration Service, including applying for the Grant, collecting and distributing the assets

Probate describes the administration of an estate when the deceased left a valid Will.

The exact cost of administration will depend on the individual circumstances and complexity of the matter. For example if there is one beneficiary, no property and only one or two bank accounts, the costs will be at the lower end of the range whereas if there is a property, multiple bank accounts and investments the costs will be at the higher end of the range.

You should always bear in mind that if there is any dispute during the administration period, costs will escalate and there is a risk the estate will be frozen until the dispute is resolved.

Some estates will be liable to inheritance tax, any inheritance tax payable is in addition to all professional fees and disbursements incurred during the administration of the estate. Until the value of the estate has been ascertained the exact amount of inheritance tax due cannot be calculated but you may wish to look at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/tools/inheritancetax/interest-rate-calculator.htm for additional information.

During the administration it is possible capital gains tax could be incurred on the disposal of assets, until a disposal is agreed, the amount of capital gains tax due cannot be calculated but you may wish to look at https://www.gov.uk/tax-sell-shares/work-out-your-gain and https://www.gov.uk/tax-sell-property/work-out-your-gain for further information.

We will handle the full administration process for you, this cost example is for an estate where:

  • There is a valid Will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other assets
  • There are only funeral expenses and usual household liabilities outstanding at date of death
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and a short form inheritance tax account can be completed
  • There are no more than 1 – 4 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes with creditors or beneficiaries
  • No claims are made against the estate

DISBURSEMENTS:

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are not payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

  • Swear fee £7.00 per Executor for a Will plus £2.00 per Executor for each Codicil
  • Probate Court Fee £155.00 plus 50p for each office copy of the Grant required
  • Bankruptcy search fees £2.00 per beneficiary per distribution
  • S27 Notices in London Gazette £70.95 plus VAT, variable
  • S27 Notice in local Newspaper (price variable)
  • Accountancy fees if Accountant instructed to deal with deceased’s income tax affairs

There may be additional disbursements if additional services are required, full details will be provided during the administration, if appropriate.

HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE:

Every estate is different but estates which fall within this range are dealt with within 6 – 9 months. Typically obtaining the grant of probate takes 4 – 12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4 – 6 weeks following which liabilities will be discharged and the finally the estate can be distributed.

Cost: 20 – 30 hours – cost range for an Executive Partner @ £235.00 plus VAT ph £4,700 – £7,050 plus VAT
For an Assistant Solicitor £185.00 plus VAT ph £3,700 – £5,550 plus VAT

INTESTACY

If the deceased does not leave a Will, the estate will be administered as an Intestacy, additional costs and disbursements will be incurred because it will be necessary to research the family the tree in order to ascertain who the legal beneficiaries of the estate are. Detailed cost information will be provided on receipt of specific estate information and background to enable us to prepare an estimate of charges.

TAXABLE ESTATES

If the estate is subject to inheritance tax and a full inheritance tax account must be filed, we would estimate that obtaining all the information required to prepare that account will usually take between 3 – 6 months to obtain. We usually estimate between 10 – 20 hours work, depending on number and complexity of assets, to obtain the valuations and prepare the inheritance tax, at an hourly charging rate of between £185.00 plus VAT for an Assistant Solicitor – £250.00 plus VAT for an Executive Partner. A full cost estimate will be provided when full details of the estate have been ascertained, inheritance tax has been calculated and we can assess the exact level of work required to complete the administration.

In such estates, time estimates for completion of the administration will be provided when we have obtained Probate and can properly estimate the work required to complete the administration of the estate.

FIXED PROBATE APPLICATIONS

We are able to offer a service whereby you as the client obtain all the information required to enable us to preparing the inheritance tax account and probate application and we then deal with the preparation of those documents and filing on your behalf with HMRC and the Probate Registry on a fixed fee basis:

  • Short form IHT205 & Probate application – non-taxable estates between £1,000 – £1,500 plus VAT and disbursements depending upon complexity
  • Full IHT400 & Probate application between £2,000 – £3,000 plus VAT and disbursements depending upon complexity

All costs information given here are examples, we will provide more precise and personalised cost information upon receipt of specific estate information from you.

PROBATE AND ESTATE ADMINISTRATION TEAM

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OUR OFFICES

Brighton Solicitors

Lanes End House,
15 Prince Albert Street,
Brighton BN1 1HY
t. +44 (0)1273 323231
f. +44 (0)1273 820350
info@coolebevisllp.com

Horsham Solicitors

14 Carfax,
Horsham,
West Sussex RH12 1DZ
t. +44 (0)1403 210200
f. +44 (0)1403 241275
info@coolebevisllp.com

Hove Solicitors

79 Church Road,
Hove,
East Sussex BN3 2BB
t. +44 (0)1273 722532
f. +44 (0)1273 326347
info@coolebevisllp.com

Worthing Solicitors

5 The Steyne,
Worthing,
West Sussex BN11 3DT
t. +44 (0)1903 213511
f. +44 (0)1903 237053
info@coolebevisllp.com