Probate and Estate Administration

Dealing with the estate of a deceased individual can of course be a very upsetting and stressful time. Our experienced team of probate lawyers offer invaluable advice and support during these difficult times, and aim to do so in the most efficient and cost - effective way possible.

We offer a flexible approach to our services, and can provide you with as much or as little support as you require. We can deal with the entire process, or we can deal with certain aspects only. 

What can we do for you?

  • Advising on the terms of the Will
  • Where there is no Will, advising on the application of the intestacy rules in the relevant circumstances
  • Putting measures in place to protect property interests (by arranging insurance, for example)
  • Obtaining valuations of assets of the estate
  • Calculating inheritance tax
  • Providing advice on inheritance tax
  • Obtaining the grant of representation
  • Collecting in the assets of the estate, or transferring them to beneficiaries or trustees (as appropriate)
  • Completing tax returns
  • Taking steps to satisfy all tax and other financial liabilities
  • Preparing the estate accounts

What will it cost?

What are the costs involved in instructing us to act in the administration of an estate where a Grant of Representation (Grant of Probate/Grant of Letters of Administration) is required?

Where we have been instructed in the administration of an estate of someone who has died and a Grant of Representation is required, our services involve the following:

  • collate information and advise on inheritance tax implications (if any)
  • prepare the necessary tax return (this is required even if there is no tax to pay)
  • advise or arrange the payment of inheritance tax (if any)
  • prepare the documents necessary for an application to the Probate Registry and submit the application
  • encashing and/or transferring the assets
  • preparing and submitting any necessary tax return for the administration period
  • preparing the final estate accounts
  • arranging distribution

Our minimum costs for acting in the administration of an estate are £1,200 plus VAT.

Our average costs for acting in the administration of an estate are £3,000 plus VAT.

Our average costs, which depend on the value of the estate, are typically as follows:

Value of the estate Our Fees
£0 - £150,000 £1,200 plus VAT - £1,500 plus VAT
£150,001 - £400,000 £1,500 plus VAT - £3,500 plus VAT
£400,001 - £750,000 £3,500 plus VAT - £6,500 plus VAT
£750,001 - £1,500,000 £6,500 plus VAT - £11,000 plus VAT

Whilst the above are averages we will always aim to give you a fixed quotation once we have full details of the estate assets and liabilities.

If we are instructed to obtain a Grant of Representation only, without a full tax return or collating estate information or acting in the distribution of the estate, our fee will be £750 plus VAT.

What is included?

The fees quoted are based on estates where there are:

  • no claims made against the estate;
  • no disputes between the beneficiaries on division of assets.

The fees will increase within the above ranges (or may exceed the range) where:

  • a Deed of Variation is required;
  • there are Trusts;
  • we are appointed as executors of the estate.
  • there is a requirement to trace missing or unknown beneficiaries.

Any disbursements will not be included in the above prices. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties which may be incurred in the administrative process. Possible disbursements include:

  • Probate fee - £160.00
  • Oath swearing fee - £7.00 (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy search fee - £2.40 per name
  • Statutory Advertisements - £216.00
  • Land Registry registration fees - as set out on the Gov.uk Website (Scale 2)

How long will it take?

The timescales involved may vary from estate to estate. The value of the estate, number and type of assets and the number and extent of estate liabilities will increase the timescale.

On average, the estates which fall into the first range are dealt with within 10 weeks.

Those estates which fall within the other three ranges take longer, and the average timescale is 4-5 months.

Who at Berry Smith will be helping you?

Christopher Beames – is the Lead Partner of the Private Client department and the Managing Partner of Berry Smith. He has been a solicitor specialising in Private Client work for most of his legal career and has over 20 years’ experience in administering estates, wills and trusts.

Georgia Evans – is a Solicitor in the Private Client department and has 2 years’ experience in administering and dealing with estates.

Sharon Clare – is the department Legal Assistant/Secretary and has over 25 years legal experience. 

As part of our fixed fee we will keep you regularly updated with the progress of the estate and will be easily and readily contactable should you have any questions.

Further information and guides

For further information and to arrange a meeting, please contact us at probate@berrysmith.com or on 029 2034 5511.