An inspirational speech was given by our Managing Director and President of the Sussex Law Society, Jacqueline Hardaway, at the annual charity Ball on Friday 17th May 2019. To an audience of over 240 guests at The Grand Hotel in Brighton, Jacqueline...
When you are faced with dealing with the paperwork and practical matters after someone has died, you may not know which way to turn. It can be a difficult and emotional time and we are here to guide you through the various aspects of administering the estate. If there is a Will, the estate will pass to those named in it. If there is no Will, then the Rules of Intestacy apply.
How can we help?
We will help the Executors of a Will or the Administrators under an Intestacy to establish the size of the estate, which may include property, investments, money and personal possessions, to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration so that the Executors or Administrators can deal with the assets and administer the estate, including paying debts and liabilities, including funeral expenses and ensuring that the beneficiaries receive their entitlement. We can advise you about the preparation of a Deed of Variation if necessary and liaise with Revenue and Customs about tax affairs both up to the date of death and during the administration period.
There may be Trusts arising from the terms of the Will or under the Intestacy and we can guide you through the rules and regulations relating to these. In addition and with the help of our Litigation department we offer effective solutions and practical advice on the many issues that arise under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 to Personal Representatives, beneficiaries and potential claimants. We will advise and support you in a professional and efficient manner, but we pride ourselves on our sympathetic and personal service.
Your choice of service:
Our expert Private Client team can provide you with the following services, depending on your particular requirements and budget:-
GRANT ONLY APPLICATION: Obtain a Grant of Probate (where there is a Will) or a Grant of Letters of Administration (where there is no Will).
- ESTATE ADMINISTRATION: Administer the estate once a Grant has been obtained.
- DISPUTED ESTATES: Advise you in relation to a disputed estate.
Our charges are calculated by reference to the time actually spent by the solicitors and other staff in respect of the work which they do on your behalf and we set out an example of the fees below.
GRANT ONLY APPLICATION
Our charges to obtain a Grant in a simple matter will, in general, not exceed £1,250 plus VAT, where the estate is an excepted estate and an IHT205 is completed. A further £250 plus VAT will be charged where a transferrable nil rate band is claimed.
Our charges to obtain a Grant where there is no inheritance tax to pay and IHT400 is required will, in general, not exceed £2,500 plus VAT.
Our charges to obtain a Grant where there is inheritance tax to pay, requiring IHT400 to be prepared will, in general, not exceed £3,500 plus VAT.
Following receipt of the Grant above, we can then continue to handle the full process for you, giving you peace of mind and certainty that everything has been completed. Our costs for administration of an estate after a Grant has been obtained are generally in the region of a further £2,500 plus VAT. The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter and this estimate is based on a estate where:-
- There is a valid will.
- There is no more than one property and it sells within a reasonable period of time.
- The income tax affairs of the deceased are up to date.
- There are no foreign assets.
- There is no more than 2 bank or building society accounts.
- There are no intangible assets.
- There are no more than 4 beneficiaries (all of whom are identified and contactable).
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise, this is likely to lead to an increase in costs.
- There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC.
- There is no claim made against the estate.
In general, the total cost of estates which we administer rarely exceeds 2% of the gross value of the estate.
Additional fees and disbursements
Disbursements are the costs of third parties that are incurred during the administration of an estate. We set out an indication of the disbursement costs we anticipate, although the costs of disbursements may fluctuate.
- Probate Registry application fee - £155 (No VAT). This fee is likely to rise in April 2019.
- Sealed copy Grant (per copy) - 50p
- Swearing of the Oath (per executor) (up to 1 codicil) - £5 to £9 (No VAT)
- Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department Search (per search) - £1 (No VAT)
- Statutory Notices to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors - approximately £200 plus VAT (Total £240.00)
Factors affecting our fee quote:-
Where there is no Will or the estate consists of multiple assets or multiple beneficiaries, these factors will add further time and costs in administering the estate. We will always give you a fee quote based on the particular circumstances of the estate before we progress with any work. We can also give you a fixed fee quote to deal with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate.
How long will it take?
On average we expect to obtain the Grant within three months from the date of instruction. Gathering in the estate assets is likely to take a further three months.
In most cases we expect to pay the estate liabilities and legacies, obtain clearance from Revenue and Customs and make the final distribution to the Residuary Beneficiaries within a year of the date of instruction.
These time limits will vary from estate to estate because there are matters over which we have no control such as the amount of time it takes to sell a property, or where we are waiting for clearance from third parties such as Revenue and Customs of the Department of Work and Pensions.
We specialise in dealing with disputed estates. Our charges for advising you about disputed estates are calculated by reference to the time actually spent by the solicitors and other staff in respect of the work which they do on your behalf. Costs vary, depending on the nature of the dispute. We can provide you with an estimate of costs once we have had an initial discussion with you to find out details of the dispute and assess the way forward. Please email Jenny Mayhew for further information on dealing with a disputed estate.