Probate Pricing

At Gordon Jones & Company, we recognise that getting a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and dealing with the administration of an Estate can be complicated.  It can take many months to make sure everything is done properly. If there is a Will then the Executors will need to apply for a Grant of Probate which will allow them the right to administer the Estate how the deceased requested it to be left.   Where there is no Will of if the Will is not valid for some reason or there is no Executor stated – Letters of Administration are applied for to enable someone to deal with the distribution of the Estate.

Gordon Jones & Co. have been in existence for over 50 years and have the experience, legal and technical knowledge to offer a complete Estate administration service.  We can deal with everything for you from obtaining the Grant, completing the necessary Inland Revenue Inheritance forms, collecting in the assists and paying any debts to distributing the Estate.  If you prefer we can offer a Grant only situation which is a cheaper option for you but more time consuming for you and you will not have the benefit of our expertise for tax and other matters. 

Every Estate is different. The deceased may have only one asset being a property, some may have a small or large amount of Stocks and Shares and some may have Stocks and Shares, Property and other investments. For this reason, at the outset it is difficult to provide a definite fee but we can provide you with an estimate as to the costs involved and will update you as the matter progresses or as soon as we are aware of the amount of assets.

Gordon Jones & Company have an experienced team to assist you with every aspect of the estate administration process which can be time consuming and advise you on decisions which need to be made when administering the Estate.   This comes at a time when you are vulnerable due to grief and high emotion and most people do not always know the process and legal requirements involved.

You will have a named lawyer looking after you to be able to speak to at certain times. We can also if necessary offer Saturday mornings and out of hours appointments

PRICING

Costs involved in Probate administration vary greatly depending on what is involved in the Estate itself and the individual circumstances involved. 

Administration – obtaining a list of assets and debts and obtaining the appropriate grant and dealing with the administration of the Estate, including the legal, taxation and administration matters – prices from £2,000 plus VAT and disbursements (see below) Our fees for estate administration are generally paid out of the estate so there may not be a need for you to fund the work 

Grant only – we will advise in connection with the obtaining of the appropriate Grant to the estate – price from £600 plus VAT and disbursements. You will only be asked to pay the fee and disbursements upon application of the Grant. 

We offer both a fixed fee option on the Grant only so that you exactly how much the fees are from the outset but an hourly rate charging on Estate Administration.   On the fixed fee this will not change unless instructions change. For hourly rate charging we can provide an estimate to give you an idea of the cost which depend on the circumstances of the case.  

Fees will vary depending on individual cases and circumstances.  If you would wish to contact us to discuss costs for both Grant only or to obtain the Grant and administer the Estate then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0121 453 8151.  We will need to know a variety of details about the Estate an idea of the assets involved.

Exclusions

Our fees include items details above but there may be other matters that might increase the fees involved.  Where there is likely to be additional costs we will inform you as soon as we are able and provide you with an estimate of those additional costs

Our fee does not include any action on the following:

  • Providing advice in relation to foreign assets although we can co-ordinate advice with professional advisors in other jurisdictions in relation to assets held abroad 
  • Provide advice in relation to dealing with actual claims made against the estate or contentious matters in dealing with the administration of the estate – these would be dealt with and costed separately

Additional services that would be charged separately include

  • Sale or transfer of property from the estate
  • Administering trusts created by the Will (or intestacy rules)
  • Completing a Deed of Variation to the Estate
  • Completing any additional outstanding income tax returns

Example of Costs

Dependant on the issues such as the number of beneficiaries and whether the estate includes any property this will vary our costs. Our fees may also increase depending on whether there are multiple assets and liabilities and the number and value of any property(s)

For Example

  • There is a valid will with us and the named Executors agree to act
  • There is no more than one property and related utility accounts
  • There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts and no separate debts
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of the assets 
  • Three is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full HMRC Inheritance Tax account form 
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Legal fee to obtain Grant only £600 plus VAT and any disbursements

Legal fee for the full estate administration – between £2,500 and £4,000 plus VAT and disbursements

What will increase the costs?

  • Not having all the paperwork available or having missing or incorrect information that needs investigation and correction
  • Third parties not responding to our communications promptly
  • Dealing with assets or items of unusual or complex nature (e.g. Fine art, timeshares, shares in private companies or unusual collections)

As soon as any complications arise we will contact you to discuss them and agree a fee for the additional work in advance of the work being undertaken by the firm.

DISBURSEMENTS

These are “out of pocket” expenses – basically costs that are payable to third parties such as the HM Land Registry or Court fees.   We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Disbursements are in addition to the legal ee for our Grant only or Estate administration service,   There are standard disbursements required to obtain a Grant and additional disbursements may be required for specific needs of the estate. 

Standard Disbursements 

Probate Court application fee  £155.00

Additional copies of the Grant (per copy)  £0.50

Bankruptcy search (per name)  £2.00

Anti-money laundering checks (per check)  £5.00

Additional disbursements (not exhaustive)

Statutory Notices Advertisements in the London Gazette £62.15 plus VAT

Statutory Notices Advertisements in the local newspaper £  varies on location 

Re-issuing uncashed dividend cheques (per cheque) from £10.00 plus VAT

Re-issuing lost share certificates (per certificate) from £40.00 Plus VAT

Stockbroker fees (for sale of shares – per holding) from £40.00 plus VAT

Registrar fees (for transfer of shares – per holding) from £40.00 plus VAT

Financial Asset search (per search) £108.00 plus VAT

Will search (per search) £108.00 plus VAT + possibly local paper cost

Property/asset valuations individual costings/quotation.

Insurance individual costings

Missing beneficiary search individual costings

In the event there is no Will or the estate consist of any share holdings (Stocks and Bonds) there is likely to be an additional cost that could range significantly depending on the Estate and how it is to be handled.  We can discuss this in greater detail and advise of any additional fees

The cost of selling or transferring property is not included in our fees.  If you require this service please let us know and we will provide you with an estimate to deal with that. 

INHERITANCE TAX 

There may be factors that will affect any Inheritance Tax due on an estate, including the size of the estate and any measures that were put in place by the deceased to limit the liability

We cannot at this stage give an estimate of any tax that may be payable but you can visit the Government HMRC website to obtain an idea of Inheritance Tax which may be due.

Please look at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-tools-and-calculators#inheritance-tax-and-bereavement

TIMESCALES 

Estate administration can be a lengthy and time consuming process.  We believe however there are key stages common to all Estates:

  • Identifying the deceased’s assets and liabilities

After the initial meeting we will ensure that all assets and liabilities are identified.  Once identified we will produce information required to report to HMRC and avoid any delays later in the process.  This can take between 4 to 12 weeks depending on the speed of the third party replies

  • Completing the Inheritance tax return for HMRC

If the estate is simple and no tax payable, then this is relatively quick and straightforward.  If tax is payable or if the estate is complex then it can take between 4 and 12 weeks (or longer depending on their workload) for HMRC to process the return

  • Completing the application for the Grant

Executors or Personal Representatives have to provide a Statement of Truth in order to obtain the Grant.  This may take time to complete if multiple people are appointed and they do not live close to one another.   Once completed the application is sent to the Court to issue the Grant. This may take up to 5 weeks (or longer depending on their workload).

  • Collect the assets and pay the debts

Once the Grant is received it is sent to various institutions to collect the assets.  Depending on what the asset is then it can take several weeks. If the deceased owned a property then it can only be sold once the Grant is received.  It can be marketed during this time but bear in mind it could be months before it is completed due to having to wait for the Grant

  • Finalise matters

Certain Statutory time limits exist to protect the Personal Representatives from claims against the estate being made.  These time limits extend in certain circumstances up to 10 months after the issue of the Grant. This can be discussed with the Personal representatives at the time

In most cases, we expect the most simple and straightforward estate to take several months to complete the estate administration properly. 

Our Estate administration service includes dealing with the following:

  • Advice on the validity of any will in existence, where there is no valid will, applying the Rules of Intestacy to establish the identity of the personal representatives 
  • Prepare the Statement of Truth for the Grant application. 
  • Submit the application for the Grant to the Probate Registry and conduct all correspondence with the probate registry 
  • Advising on the correct distribution of the estate based on any will in existence or where there is no valid will applying the Rules of intestacy and 
  • Advise on the need to place statutory advertisements or to obtain insurance to manage claims against the estate 

Taxations matters

  • Advise on claiming appropriate inheritance tax exemptions and reliefs available to the estate including in relation to any Business 
  • Advise on claiming the appropriate inheritance tax transferable nil-rate band for the estate 
  • Calculate any inheritance tax owed
  • Prepare the appropriate inheritance tax return for HM Revenue and Customs for signing by the personal representatives
  • Arrange for payment of outstanding tax to HM Revenue and Customs payable from the estate or the beneficiaries and 
  • Conduct all correspondence with HM Revenue and Customs relevant to the completion of the tax returns above. 

Administration matters

  • Correspond with the personal representatives as agreed throughout the transaction 
  • Identify and correspond with beneficiaries as necessary throughout the transaction
  • Identify and correspond with all financial institutions, statutory bodies organisations and individuals relevant to the estate throughout the administration of the estate
  • Identify verify and arrange to value the assets and liabilities in the estate
  • Gather or transfer all assets of the estate as appropriate to carry out the administration of the estate in accordance with the instructions of the personal representatives
  • Pay and discharge all debts and liabilities of the estate from the funds within the estate or from the beneficiaries
  • Preparing the accounts of the estate for approval of the personal representatives and beneficiaries
  • Distribute the estate to the beneficiaries in accordance with any will or where there is no valid will applying the Rules of intestacy

If there is property in the Estate we will

  • Ensure that the building and contents insurer is aware of the change in circumstances and arrange the appropriate insurance is in place at the cost of the estate 
  • Arrange redirection of post if requested
  • Arrange appropriate valuations of the Property to meet with HM Revenue and customs requirements at the cost of the estate
  • Arrange for third parties to provide specialist property services as agreed by the personal representatives at the cost of the estate and 
  • Arrange for the conveyancer to transfer or sell the property at the cost of the estate. The cost of the property services to sell or transfer the property are separate to the charges for the estate administration and will be charged in addition to our fees for professional services.  Please see our property pages for an estimate of our costs to sell or telephone us on this matter

FINALLY

It can be difficult to work out fees and options for dealing with an estate as it will depend upon individual circumstances.  We can however, provide you with initial advice to help you – sometimes on a half an hour free dependant on circumstances. We would need a variety of details about the deceased persons estate and we usually do this with a face to face meeting at our office.   To arrange an initial appointment please contact us on 0121 4538151 or email dwatkins@gordonjonessolicitors.co.uk and we will be pleased to assist.