WE ARE REQUIRED BY THE SRA TO PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING COSTS INFORMATION IN RELATION THE SPECIFIC SERVICES OUTLINED BELOW.

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE FULL RANGE OF SERVICES WE OFFER, PLEASE CLICK HERE. FOR INFORMATION ABOUT HOW WE CHARGE FOR OUR OTHER SERVICES PLEASE CONTACT THE RELEVANT DEPARTMENT.

We specialise in administering both simple and complex estates.

Alison Armstrong acts as a consultant for Joelson on private client matters.  She qualified as a Solicitor in 2003 and has a wealth of experience handling work relating to the administration of estates, as well as Wills and estate planning, mental capacity and Powers of Attorney.

During her career, she has dealt with many high value and complex estate administration cases Involving UK and international assets.

Depending on the value and complexity of the affairs of the person who has died, the role of Personal Representative of an estate is a big responsibility.  It can be overwhelming and time-consuming.

Even fairly simple estates can be challenging to administer without the guidance of an experienced professional.  Potentially, HM Revenue & Customs can levy personal penalties on a Personal Representative who has not taken due care when submitting the Inheritance Tax account or has submitted incorrect or false information.

In estates where complex inheritance tax calculations are required, we strongly advise using a specialist probate solicitor.

If you would like some help to administer an estate, we can deal with the day-to-day matters on your behalf.  Our fees would be payable out of the estate.

What does our probate service provide?

We offer a full estate administration service, guiding you through the process from start to finish.

The service would typically include:

  • Meeting with you to take your instructions.
  • Investigating the assets and liabilities in the estate, including obtaining professional valuations of property, investments and other assets.
  • Preparing a first set of draft Estate Accounts.
  • Preparing the probate papers, including the Oath and necessary HMRC forms.
  • Liaising with HMRC with regard to the Inheritance Tax liability of the estate, and arranging the payment of inheritance tax.
  • Applying for and obtaining the Grant of Representation from the Probate Registry.
  • Collecting in the assets of the estate and/or transferring assets to beneficiaries.
  • Dealing with any income or capital gains tax liabilities of the estate, for the administration period.
  • Preparing final estate accounts.
  • Distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries

What is the cost of applying for probate?

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter, including:

  • the size of the estate,
  • the complexity of the deceased’s financial affairs and the estate, including whether the Deceased had a large number of accounts and other investments,
  • whether the estate includes foreign assets, trusts, or business interests,
  • whether the deceased left a Will (and how well it was drafted) or whether the estate passes under the Rules of Intestacy.

Unlike most banks (who on average charge around 4% of the value of an estate to deal with the administration) we charge based on the time we actually spend administering the estate.  Our hourly rates are between £125 and £325 plus VAT.

As a general guide, our fees for the full administration of an estate are usually between £7,500 and £10,000 plus VAT and third-party costs.  However, we will provide an estimate prior to beginning work.

In addition to our fees, there will also be third party costs (known as “disbursements”).  We handle these payments on your behalf to ensure that the administration progresses smoothly and efficiently.

Examples of these fees are as follows:

Probate court fee £155 plus 50p per copy
Swearing of the oath From £5 per person
Advert posted in the London Gazette £69.50 plus VAT
Advert posted in local newspaper Variable
Landmark Financial Assets Search (Lost Assets Search) £162 plus VAT
Copy death certificates (per copy) £9.25 – £23.40
Copy divorce papers £10 – £65 depending on whether court and case number known

Potential additional costs

If there is no Will or there are potential issues arising out of disputes between beneficiaries, there are likely to be additional costs.

We also specialise in Will and estate disputes and will be able to give a more accurate idea of costs once we have more information.

Our fees do not include dealing with the sale or transfer of any property within the estate.

They also do not include any fees relating to any tax planning advice that you may ask us to provide in relation to the assets that you and the beneficiaries under the Will have inherited

How long does Probate take?

On average, estates that fall under the Inheritance tax threshold are dealt with within 12 – 18 months.   Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-8 months. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 8-12 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4-8 weeks.

Higher value, taxable and more complex estates (especially if the distribution of the estate is disputed) can take far longer to finalise.

Probate Team:

Alison Armstrong
Sally Hoyland