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Probate and Estate Administration Price and Services

Bereavement Advice, Probate and Administration of Estates

Bereavement is one of the most traumatic experiences anyone can go through. At Tollers, our empathetic team offers a bespoke service to Personal Representatives (both Administrators and Executors), designed to guide them through the legal requirements of the estate administration and probate processes with minimum stress.

We can help with estates where the person passed away with or without a Will. Find out more by contacting one of our team or read on below for more information about our services and fees.

Application for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration only

We will:

  • Review such documentation as you send to us
  • Draw up the HMRC Return and Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) application
  • Send the relevant paperwork to you for signing
  • Submit the application to the Probate Registry (additional third party fees will apply, see below)
  • Send you the Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) and the requested number of Court sealed official copies

We will not:

  • Contact any third parties or handle any funds except in so far as they are required for the payment of fees.

Our fees for this service for estates where a full HMRC account is not required (a short-form HMRC account form IHT205 can usually, but not always, be submitted where the estate is worth less than £325,000 or exceeds this but the bulk of the estate passes to spouse) range between £950 plus VAT (a total of £1,140) and £1,500 plus VAT (a total of £1,800). There will also be Swear Fees of a minimum of £5 and a Probate Court Fee to pay which will be £155 plus 50p for each Court sealed official copy you require.

Please contact us to discuss the cost for estates which do require a full HMRC Return (form IHT 400) as the cost will depend on the number and type of assets involved. In these cases we would charge for the time spent on the matter at our hourly rates and the fees will range between between £950 + VAT (a total of £1,140) and £3,000 + VAT (a total of £3,600).  The rate charged will depend on which member of our team is dealing with your matter, please see below for our team and their rates. In addition there may be Inheritance Tax to pay. This will (in most cases) need to be paid prior to the Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) being issued. We can advise on the different options available for the payment of this Inheritance Tax.

Collecting in the information relating to the estate and making the Application for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration

We will:

  • Review such documentation as you send to us
  • Contact the organisations where the deceased held assets or owed monies to establish the balances.
  • Draw up the HMRC Return and Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) application
  • Send the relevant paperwork to you for signing
  • Submit the application to the Probate Registry (additional third party fees will apply, see below)
  • Send you the Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) and the requested number of Court sealed official copies

We will not:

Claim or handle any funds except in so far as they are required for the payment of fees or pay any debts of the estate

Our fees for this service for estates where a full HMRC account (form IHT 400) is not required range between £1,500 plus VAT (a total of £1,800) and £2,500 plus VAT (a total of £3,000),.  There will also be Swear fees of a minimum of £5 and a Probate Court Fee to pay which will be £155 plus 50p for each Court sealed Court sealed official copy you require.  Should we be required to attend at a property to allow agents access for valuation purposes this will incur an additional charge. The charge will also increase if any of the organisations we need to contact are outside of the UK. 

Please contact us to discuss the cost for estates which do require a full HMRC account (IHT 400) as the cost will depend on the number and type of assets involved. In addition there may be Inheritance Tax to pay. This will (in most cases) need to be paid prior to the Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) being issued. We can advise on the different options available for the payment of this Inheritance Tax.  Our fees for this service would be based on the time spent on the matter charged at our hourly rates and are likely to range between £1,500 + VAT (a total of 1,800) and £5,000 + VAT (a total of £6,000). The rate charged will depend on which member of our team is dealing with your matter, please see below for our team and their rates.

Full Estate Administration Service

If you choose our full estate administration service Tollers will;

  • Provide you with your own dedicated and experience advisor, supported by junior members of the team and supervised by a Partner in the Department.
  • Identify the correct Executors or Administrators and guide them through the estate administration process
  • Advise the Executor or Administrator on how to protect themselves from personal liability when dealing with the estate
  • Obtain the relevant information to allow the accurate completion of the paperwork to obtain the Grant of Representation
  • Arrange for the payment of the funeral bill from the deceased’s own accounts (provided there are sufficient funds available)
  • Complete the HMRC Return and prepare the Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) application
  • Assist in arranging the payment of any Inheritance Tax due
  • Submit the Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) application on your behalf (additional third party fees will apply, see below)
  • Identify and communicate with the beneficiaries of the estate
  • Collect in the deceased’s assets and draft an accurate account of the estate
  • Arrange for the transfer or sale of any properties (additional conveyancing and third party fees will apply, see below)
  • Submit a corrective account to the HMRC where asset or liability values have changed during the administration period.
  • Carry out the required financial and identity checks on the beneficiaries
  • Distribute the estate in accordance with the Will or the Intestacy Rules

Supply the Executors or Administrators and Beneficiaries with final copies of the accounts

The vast majority of estates can be dealt with without the need for a full HMRC account (IHT 400) and in such cases we anticipate that the administration of the estate will take approximately 6 months to compete. This timescale is subject to any property sale, where required.

In cases where a full HMRC account is required it is likely to take longer to deal with the estate.

How our fees are calculated

We charge for our services on the basis of the time spent of the matter and the rate charged is dependent on the person who is responsible for your matter. Please see below for our team and their rates.

In some circumstances we may charge a percentage rate, in addition to our hourly rates, but where applicable we will discuss this and agree it with you in advance.

The percentage rate reflects the importance and complexity of the work and the level of responsibility falling on us. Typical percentages are calculated as follows:

Probate and Estate Administration Price and Services

Our fees are usually less than 3% of the gross value of the estate and rarely exceed 5%.

In addition to the above there will be a number of payments to third parties (disbursements) which are in addition to the estimate above and are likely to be as follows:

  • Probate Court fee £155 (plus 50p for each Court sealed official copy, one will usually be required for each asset)
  • A minimum of £5 for swearing the Affidavit required to obtain the Grant of Representation (per Executor/Administrator)(there will be an additional £2 per Executor for the Will and each Codicil)
  • Bankruptcy only Land Charges Searches £2, required for the deceased and each beneficiary
  • Approximately £125 + VAT (a total of £150) for Notices to be placed in the London Gazette and a local newspaper where the deceased’s property is located to protect the Executors from unknown claimants

Lastly there are a number of payments to third parties (disbursements) which may be required in addition to the estimate above which are as follows:

  • Land Registry Transfer Fees, where a property is being transferred to a beneficiary, dependent on the value of any property (a table of fees can be found on the Land Registry website, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hm-land-registry-registration-services-fees
  • Conveyancing Fees, where a property is being sold by the estate
  • Estate Agents Fee, where a property is being sold by the estate
  • Property preservation costs including Insurance, Gas, Electric and Water and in some cases Council Tax until sale or transfer
  • Inheritance Tax dependent on the estate
  • Capital Gains Tax in certain circumstances where assets of the estate are sold for greater than the value declared in the HMRC Return
  • Income Tax, where income has been received by the estate

As fees can vary greatly between different types of estate, it will be helpful to provide a working example below.

Example of Fees for our Full Estate Administration Service

To give you an example of our fees, we will use a fictional estate.

In an estate where the deceased left a Will appointing two executors (not Partners of the firm) and leaving a property worth £150,000 (which is to be retained by a beneficiary) and four bank accounts with three different banks (with a total balance of £80,000 (all located in the UK), two credit cards and mobile phone bill and the estate is left to four beneficiaries we estimate that the legal fees will be between £4,000 and £6,000 plus VAT (£4,800 and £7,200 inclusive of VAT). This includes the value elements which would be £375 plus VAT (a total of £450) based on the value of the home and £800 plus VAT (a total of £960) based on the value of the remaining estate.

This estimate is based on the assumption that there are no disputes between beneficiaries and/or the executors, there is no need to submit a full HMRC account, and that no claims are made against the estate, all of which will increase the fee.  We estimate that it will take between 15 and 23 hours of work. The final fee will depend on the rate charged per hour which will depend on which member of our team is dealing with your matter, the individual’s charging rates can be found below.

In addition to the above there will be a number of payments to third parties (disbursements) which are in addition to the estimate above and are likely to be as follows:

  • Court fee £157 (£155 plus 50p for each Court sealed official copy)
  • £14 for swearing the Affidavit required to obtain the Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) (£7 per Executor)
  • Bankruptcy only Land Charges Searches £10, required for the deceased and each beneficiary at £2 each
  • Approximately £125 + VAT (a total of £150) for Notices to be placed in the London Gazette and a local newspaper where the deceased’s property is located to protect the Executors from unknown claimants
  • Land Registry Transfer Fees of £30

Total anticipated third party payments £361.00

There will also be ongoing costs to the estate in respect of Insurance, Gas, Electric and Water for the property up to the date of transfer.

Subject to there being no complications it is likely to take approximately 3 months to obtain the Grant of Probate and a further 3 months to finalise the estate. This is not a case where we would expect any payment from you in advance and our fees and the relevant third party costs would be deducted from the assets of the estate when we receive them.

Where there are fewer assets, debts, beneficiaries or when there is no property to deal with, our costs for dealing with the estate will be lower. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs with you and can then provide you with a more accurate estimate or in some cases a fixed price.

Where might our fee be higher than the estimate above

Estates are very individual matters and will vary from person to person, the estimate above is to give you a guide only as to what the likely cost might be. There are things that will mean that the time required to be spent on a matter and therefore the costs will be higher, some examples are listed below;

  • If there is no Will and investigation is required to establish the correct beneficiaries of the estate.
  • The estate contains a property which is to be sold, the costs are likely to depend on the length of time it takes to reach completion of the sale.
  • The estate is required to submit a full HMRC Return, this could be for a number or reasons but this is usually where there are assets of over £325,000.
  • Where beneficiaries cannot be easily located or contacted.
  • Where the deceased was the beneficiary of a Trust
  • Where there are more complex assets to deal with such as shares or business interests.
  • Where we are expected carry out regular inspections of a property (a typical requirement of unoccupied property insurance)
  • Where there is a dispute between any parties
  • Where there is the possibility of any claim on the estate
  • Where there is an actual claim against the estate

Our Team

All of our team are experienced in estate administration and work together to provide you with the best possible service. They regularly attend both internal and external training events to ensure that they are fully up to date on all legal and regulatory matters.

You will usually be allocated to a member of the team based on your location and the complexity of the estate in question but if you have a specific preference then please let us know when you get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Although you will have a dedicated specialist responsible for your matter they will be assisted by more junior members of the team and where junior members of the team are carrying out a particular piece of work, lower hourly rates will apply.

Barry Rogers – Solicitor, Partner and Head of Department

Barry qualified as a solicitor in 1981 and has over 40 years’ experience in dealing with the administration of estates including those of high value and include complex assets such as businesses. He also specialises in Wills, Court of Protection, Powers of Attorney and Trusts. He is a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) a qualification which recognises excellence in this field. Barry is also a member of the Law Society Private Client Section, Solicitors for the Elderly and the Personal Finance Society. Barry is also a Notary Public.

Barry is based at our Corby office and charges £275 plus VAT per hour (a total of £330 per hour). Barry also sees clients at our Kettering Office.

Martin Hill – Solicitor and Partner

Martin qualified as a solicitor in 1987 and throughout his working life has advised on high value estates, estates including foreign property, Wills, Court of Protection, Powers of Attorney and Trusts. Martin is also a Notary Public, Panel Deputy appointed by the Office of the Public Guardian, full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), member of the Law Society Private Client Section and a Full Accredited Member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).

Martin is based at our Northampton Office and charges £275 plus VAT per hour (a total of £330 per hour).

Jeremy Simmonds – Solicitor and Partner

Jeremy qualified as a solicitor in November 1997 having obtained an LLB degree from the University of Buckingham and studied for the Legal Practice Course at The College Of Law at York. He has been part of the Tollers team since December 2016, and is a Partner at the firm. Jeremy deals with Wills, Probate and Estate Administration, as well as Powers of Attorney and Court Of Protection applications

Jeremy is based at our Oakham office and charges £275 plus VAT per hour (a total of £330 per hour). Jeremy also sees clients at our Uppingham office.

Gary Kiely – Solicitor and Partner

Gary qualified as a solicitor in 2006, having obtained his Law Degree at Middlesex University followed by completion of the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law.  Gary is also a qualified Chartered Manager.

Gary was previously a partner with Blaser Mills of Rickmansworth for 10 years and was the Practice Group Leader at BP Collins LLP prior to joining Tollers. He is used to dealing with a full range of client work from simple to high value complex matters. Gary has a keen interest in tax and deals with non-domicile and cross boarder matters in addition to tax planning, Wills, Probate, Powers of Attorney and Trusts.

Gary is based at our Milton Keynes Office and charges £275 plus VAT per hour (a total of £330 per hour).

Ruth Markham – Associate Solicitor

Ruth qualified as a solicitor in March 2005 having attained her LLB Law Degree at University of Northampton followed by completion of the Legal Practice Course at Loughborough University. Ruth undertook her training contract at Tollers and qualified into the Trusts & Estates team. Ruth deals mainly with Estate Administration, the preparation of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney and has spent some time dealing with the Court of Protection and the administration of clients financial affairs.

Ruth is based at our Northampton office and charges £235 plus VAT per hour (a total of £282 per hour)

Kirstie Brownbill – Associate Solicitor

Kirstie Qualified as a Solicitor in March 2011 having obtained an LLB degree in Law from Leicester University and studied for her Legal Practice Course with the College of Law. She has been a part of the Tollers team since November 2007 and is currently undertaking the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) examinations. Kirstie deals with Wills, Powers of Attorney, Estates and the creation and administration of Trusts.

Kirstie is based at our Corby Office and charges £235 plus VAT per hour (a total of £282 per hour).

Sharon Brown – Senior Solicitor

Sharon Brown qualified as a solicitor in September 2009 having obtained an LLB degree in Law from the University of Hertfordshire. She has been a part of the Tollers team since June 2016 and deals with wills and estate planning, powers of attorney, probate and the administration of estates, and applications to the Court of Protection. Sharon is a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly.

Sharon is based at our Stevenage office and charges £235 plus VAT per hour (a total of £282 per hour)

Chris Lucas – Senior Solicitor (TEP)

Chris qualified as a Solicitor in February 2014 having obtained an LLB degree in Law and Spanish from the University of Sheffield and studied the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in London. He is fully Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP) qualified, having completed the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Diploma in Trusts and Estates following his training contract. He is also an associate member of Solicitors for the Elderly. Chris joined Tollers in January 2017 and deals with Wills, Powers of Attorney, Estate Administration and Trusts.

Chris is based at our Stevenage office and charges £235 plus VAT per hour (a total of £282 per hour).

Sarah Hayes – Solicitor

Sarah qualified as a Solicitor in March 2015 having obtained her LLB degree in Law from De Monfort University and studied for her Legal Practice Course at the same University. Sarah has been a part of the Tollers team since June 2006 and is currently undertaking the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) examinations. Sarah deals with Wills, Powers of Attorney, Estate and the creation and administration of Trusts.

Sarah is based at our Corby office and charges £225 plus VAT per hour (a total of £270 per hour). Sarah also sees clients at our Kettering Office.

Shireena Sheridan

Shireena will qualify as a Solicitor in December 2018 having obtained an LLB degree in Law from the University of Lincoln in 2014. She studied the Legal Practice Course with BPP Law School in Cambridge and graduated in 2015. She joined Tollers in September 2018 and she is currently undertaking a Masters degree in Business. Shireena deals with Wills, Powers of Attorney, applying for Probate and administering estates along with the creation and administration of Trusts.

Shireena is based at our Northampton office and charges £225 plus VAT per hour (a total of £270 per hour). Shireena also sees clients at our Milton Keynes office.

Julie Yates – Senior Manager

Julie has 17 years experience within the Tollers Trusts and Estate team. She specialises in the preparation of Wills and Powers of Attorney, Administration of Estates, looking after clients’ financial affairs, either under Powers of Attorney or Deputyship.

Julie is based at our Corby office and charges £225 plus VAT per hour (a total of £270 per hour). Julie also sees clients at our Kettering office.

Nicola Dodman – Senior Manager

Nicola is an Associate Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and has been a part of the Tollers Private Client team since August 2004.  Nicola works closely with Martin Hill, and advises on Wills, Inheritance Tax planning, Estates, Declarations of Trust, Powers of Attorney and the creation and administration of Trusts.

Nicola is based at our Northampton office and charges £225 plus VAT per hour (a total of £270 per hour).

Cathy Eaton – Senior Manager

Cathy has worked in the legal profession for over 30 years and has specialised in private client matters since 1994. She joined the team at Tollers in January 2014 and deals with all aspects of wills and estate planning, powers of attorney and probate and estate administration.

Cathy is based at our Kempston office and charges £225 plus VAT per hour (a total of £270 per hour)

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