Estate administration costs and Grant of Probate service

We can assist you with either applying for a Grant of Probate (also known as a Grant of Representation) or through the full estate administration process and will tailor the work according to your needs.

  • Grant of Probate service and costs:

    We can apply for a Grant of Probate on your behalf and offer this service as a fixed fee, when the estate is straight forward and no inheritance tax is payable. Our costs for this service are:

    • £995* plus VAT when only a short form IHT205 is prepared;
    • £1,500* plus VAT when a short form IHT205 is prepared with an IHT217;
    • £2,500* plus VAT when a longer form IHT400 is prepared.

    In addition to these fees we charge £50 for each executor who does not apply for the Grant of Probate to cover the cost of preparing the renunciation or notice that they are not proving the Will.

    *The above fees are based on the family providing details of the estate valuations in a form acceptable to HMRC. They exclude the preparation of income and capital gains tax returns for the deceased or following the death and also excludes the collection of assets, payment of debts and distribution of the estate.

    This service does not apply when the firm are the appointed professional executors.

  • Estate administration service and costs:

    Our specialist Estate Administration team can advise and help executors through the full estate administration process following a death. No one estate is the same and there are many factors to take into account in administering an estate. We tailor our advice and the work required to suit your individual situation and help you through the immediate practicalities and ease the burden during this emotional time.

    The fee for a full estate administration starts from £3,500 before VAT for a very straightforward estate and could range to upwards of £15,000 before VAT for complex estates. The cost will depend on whether someone has left a valid Will, the number of beneficiaries who inherit the estate, the number of assets to value and collect, whether inheritance tax is payable and the size and nature of the estate. It will also depend on whether there are family members who are able to assist with some of the practical arrangements provided there are no disputes.

    This information is not always known at the outset and we will provide you with a cost estimate, usually charged on an hourly basis, at each key stage of the process once full details have been ascertained. We will also meet with you before any work is carried out in order to give you a guide on the costs which will be incurred during the estate administration.

    As a guide, the average cost of a full estate administration will be in the region of between 2% and 4% of the gross value of the estate.

  • Examples of our work and the costs involved:

    Example one:

    We acted for the executors of a deceased person who owned a house and some shares and bank accounts. She left some legacies to her family and some charities and the residue of her estate to an adult child.  Her estate was worth around £260,000 and our costs to administer the estate were £4,750 before VAT, being 2% of the value of the estate.

    Example two:

    We acted for an executor who had been left the entire estate of her sister. There was an investment portfolio, a number of bank accounts and a related Trust which had been set up by the deceased’s husband. Inheritance tax was payable on the value of the estate. The estate and Trust was worth around £750,000 and our costs in the estate were £20,000, being 2.85% of the value of the estate.

  • What work is covered in the estate administration service?

    The work usually covered by our estate administration fee includes the following:

    • Providing initial advice to the executors or administrators;
    • Contacting financial institutions, family members and other parties to obtain valuations and details of the deceased, any lifetime gifts made and any Trusts set up;
    • Completing the Inland Revenue Account and application papers for the Grant of Probate and submitting the papers to HMRC and the Probate Registry;
    • Contacting beneficiaries of their entitlements and assisting with the preparation of a family tree for an intestacy;
    • Collecting in assets or transferring assets to beneficiaries once a Grant of Probate has been obtained;
    • Making payment of outstanding debts and administration expenses;
    • Liaising with HMRC on queries raised regarding the taxes arising in the estate;
    • Preparing Estate Accounts;
    • Preparing Estate Tax Returns;
    • Payment of legacies and issuing interim and final distribution.
  • Will there be any additional charges?

    In some circumstances it is necessary to charge an additional fee when extra work is required. If this is the case, will we always advise you of the additional costs ahead of any work being carried out. Below are some examples of when we would charge an additional fee:

    • Completion of outstanding income tax returns to the date of death;
    • Advice on any Trusts set up during the lifetime or included in the Will or on intestacy;
    • Tracing missing beneficiaries and liaising with a genealogist;
    • The legal work involved in the sale or transfer of the residence or other land;
    • Deeds of Variation for the beneficiaries;
    • Dealing with claims made against the estate.

    The additional charges applied by the courts and HMRC include:

    • Copy of birth, marriage or death certificates – usually £20 to £30 for each copy;
    • Probate court fee – currently £155 and 50p for each official copy;
    • Land charges search fees – £2 plus VAT for each name searched (there may be additional bankruptcy search fees if the beneficiary lives overseas).
    • Fee for placing Notices to Creditors – usually between £100 and £200.

    The prices listed above are correct on 3rd December 2018.

  • How long with the estate administration take?

    The time it takes to complete an estate will vary depending on how quickly valuations are obtained, whether inheritance tax is payable, whether assets are held overseas and whether all the beneficiaries can be easily traced. It will also depend on how quickly buyers can be found for assets such as a property.

    The usual time taken to obtain a Grant of Probate when no inheritance tax is payable is between one and three months, and between three and nine months if tax is payable.

    On average an estate administration matter may take one year to complete, depending on the above factors. Usually if no inheritance is due, the estate is straightforward and there is no house to sell it may take between four and six months. However, a more complex estate may take between one and two years to complete.

  • Who will work on the estate?

    Our Estate Administration and Probate team have specialist expertise advising on a range of estates from simple to complex matters. Members of our team are accredited by STEP (Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners) and have a wealth of years of experience and knowledge. We can also act as professional executors on the estate. Further details on the members of our team can be found here.

Contact us:

For more information on the estate administration process and how we can help, please contact our Estate Administration and Probate team on 0161 475 7676 or get in touch via our contact form.