Probate Solicitors Limited - Pricing Policy

Prices for Probate and Estate Administration

All our probate work is undertaken personally by our two senior solicitors who are both directors of the firm and both fully qualified members of STEP (Society for Trust and Estate Practitioners). Richard Arney is also a Notary Public.

On this page you will find our estimated costs for probate services.  The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter.

At PSL we aim wherever possible to undertake work on a fixed fee based on the amount of work involved.  For example; costs for an estate with one beneficiary, no Inheritance Tax, no property and a bank account will be at the lower end of our scale whereas costs for an estate with multiple beneficiaries, Inheritance Tax, property, shares and investments will be at the higher end.

We cannot give you a firm fixed fee quotation until we have met with you to discuss the estate and what is involved so we have tried to give you all the information you need to consider here.

We offer a Full Administration service which is detailed below. In some circumstances we can offer a reduced service for a reduced price. Obviously the price will depend upon what you ask us to do for you and what you do yourself.

Full Administration service
What could this include? 
If you choose this service we take the burden, of dealing with the estate, off your shoulders.  The personal representatives can have peace of mind that everything will be completed in line with the requirements of Administration of Estates Act 1925 and other current legislation.  With fully insured, specialist qualified solicitors and trust practitioners dealing with your matter.
Below is a comprehensive list of all the services that we can provide to help personal representatives.  The simpler the estate the less services will be required
Items marked with * may incur an additional charge

  • Initial meeting with a qualified solicitor and TEP
  • Advising on the validity or otherwise of the Will
  • Arranging to pay the funeral directors bill
  • Liaising with asset holders to establish value at death and collect in funds including:
    • DWP regards benefits/pensions
    • HMRC
    • private pension companies
    • banks & building societies
    • NS&I
    • share registrars
    • estate agents
    • surveyors/valuers
    • utility providers
  • Obtaining share valuations*
  • Placing any required statutory advertisements (excluding cost of ad itself)*
  • Making a search for any other existing Wills*
  • Searching for lost accounts*
  • Calculating any Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax owed
  • Calculating and arranging for the transfer of any Nil Rate Band tax relief
  • Calculating and arranging for the transfer of any Residence Nil Rate Band tax relief*
  • Completing the Income Tax return from 6th April to the date of death *
  • Completing either an IHT 205 or IHT 400 Inheritance Tax Return
  • Completing the Capital Gains Tax return, if required*
  • Correspondence with HM Revenue & Customs in relation to the above
  • Registering the estate or trust with HMRC*
  • Taking any corrective action required by HM Revenue & Customs
  • Ensuring payment of any outstanding tax from the estate or by the beneficiaries*
  • Corresponding with the acting Personal Representatives throughout the estate administration
  • Preparing the necessary documentation for the Grant of Probate / Letters of Representation
  • Arranging for the oath to be sworn
  • Applying to the Probate Registry and obtaining the appropriate Grant of Representation
  • Special delivery of Will and papers to Probate Registry*
  • Gathering assets of the estate
  • Paying any debts and liabilities from the estate
  • Transferring jointly held assets into sole name, including property
  • Arranging property insurance*
  • Arranging the sale of a property*
  • Arranging the purchase of a leasehold*
  • Appropriating a property*
  • Preparing the accounts of the estate for the beneficiaries in simple cash book format
  • Setting up any trusts relevant to the estate*
  • Winding up an unwanted Nil Rate Band Trust*
  • Conducting bankruptcy searches against the beneficiaries*
  • Distributing the estate in accordance with the Will or Laws of Intestacy as appropriate*
  • Additional work relating to a defective Will or chain of executorship*
  • Arranging a loan to pay Inheritance Tax*
  • Preparing a deed of variation*
  • Dealing with assets outside England and Wales*
  • Dealing with beneficiaries living or domiciled outside England & Wales*
  • Dealing with missing beneficiaries*
  • Dealing with business or agricultural assets*
  • Dealing with disputes over the estate*

What are the potential additional costs?
Some of the additional costs above refer to disbursements.  Some disbursements are required and others are recommended or optional.  Examples of disbursements would be fees for:

Disbursements for dealing with the estate (all costs include VAT)

Disbursement

Fee or estimated fee

Required/
Recommended

Swearing the oath – per person

£5 plus £2 for every exhibit
eg: for one executor with an oath and a Will the charge would be £7 or for two executors £14.

Required

Court application for the grant

£155 (increasing dramatically for applications made from April 2019 to be related to value of estate)

Required

Copies of the grant of probate

50p each

Required

Statutory advertisements

£120-£180 depending on paper (to include the London Gazette and 1 local newspaper)

Recommended

Search of the Certainty Will Register

£45.60

Recommended

Our fees for other services that may be required

Special Delivery Postage

£12

Recommended

Bankruptcy search

£24 per beneficiary

Required

Money laundering & ID search

£24 per client

Required

Payment by cheque

Free

Optional

Payment by BACS

£30

Optional

Payment by CHAPS

£60

Optional

Payment to foreign bank

£60

Optional

  • Obtaining share valuations*

Assets must be valued at date of death in accordance with the rules from HMRC.  Where an estate has a large share portfolio we will instruct a stockbroker to prepare a valuation, to ensure that the valuation is accurate.  The stockbroker may make a charge for this service and we will advise you of any charge at the time.

  • Placing any required statutory advertisements (excluding cost of ad itself)*

We recommend that Personal Representatives place statutory advertisements in the London Gazette newspaper for a minimum period of two months. If the deceased owned property, a statutory advertisement should also be placed in the paper local to where the property is situated, also for a minimum of two months. No distribution of funds or appropriation of assets should be made from the Estate during the advertisement period.  By placing the advertisements the Trustees/Executors/Personal Representatives protect themselves against being held personally liable for any claims from creditors or Beneficiaries in the future.

  • Making a search for any other existing Wills*

We recommend that the Personal Representatives conduct a search to check that the Will they have is the most up to date Will.

  • Searching for lost accounts*

If required we can carry out a search for any lost or dormant accounts

  • Calculating and arranging for the transfer of any Residence Nil Rate Band tax relief*

Reliefs for IHT are not automatic and must be claimed by the person dealing with the estate.

  • Completing the Income Tax return from 6th April to the date of death *

If the individual completed a self assessment tax return pre death, HMRC will usually require this to be completed for the year of death.

  • Completing the Capital Gains Tax return, if required*

If the estate has made capital gains for example, on the sale of a property, a tax return will be required.

  • Registering the estate or trust with HMRC*

If the estate has a tax liability, it must be registered with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by 5 October of the tax year after the person died

  • Ensuring payment of any outstanding tax from the estate or by the beneficiaries*

 

  • Special delivery of Will and papers to Probate Registry*

The original Will must be sent to the probate registry with the application.  It is therefore imperative that it is sent by tracked mail.

  • Arranging property insurance*

The executors are responsible for protecting assets during the administration period.  It is therefore vital that any property is insured.  Many commercial insurers will not insure empty properties for any length of time.  We used specialist providers to arrange unoccupied property insurance.

  • Arranging the sale of a property*

We offer a service where we will manage the sale of a property, liaising between client and conveyancing solicitor.

  • Arranging the purchase of a leasehold*

 

  • Appropriating a property*

In some circumstances is advantageous (for tax purposes) to appropriate a property to a beneficiary.

  • Setting up any trusts relevant to the estate*

Where a Will includes a Trust then the trustees must ensure that their duties, in dealing with the trust assets, are fulfilled.  This may require trust assets to be put into the names of the trustees or trust documentation to be prepared.

  • Winding up an unwanted Nil Rate Band Trust*

Where a Will includes a Nil Rate Band Trust which is no longer required then the trustees can wind up the trust.  This does require trust documentation to be produced, just as it would if they decided to keep the trust in place.

  • Conducting bankruptcy searches against the beneficiaries*

Executors and administrators are responsible for ensuring that they pay legacies to the correct people.  If the beneficiary named in the will has been made bankrupt, the money must be paid to the Trustee in bankruptcy.  Failing to follow the correct procedure could leave the executor personally exposed.

  • Distributing the estate in accordance with the Will or Laws of Intestacy as appropriate*

We will normally distribute the estate by sending the beneficiaries cheques.  We prefer this method as it is less open to fraud than other methods.  If however we are asked to send electronic payments we will make an additional charge.  We will also require the beneficiary to send us a bank statement showing their name, address and bank details.

  • Additional work relating to a defective Will or chain of executorship*

Sometimes a Will may require additional work in order that the Will can be proved at the probate registry.  This may be getting an affidavit sworn by a witness or rectifying a faulty Will.

  • Arranging a loan to pay Inheritance Tax*

Inheritance tax must be paid before the grant of probate can be applied for.  On some occasions it may be necessary to get a loan to pay the IHT.  We can help the executor or administrator with this.

  • Preparing a deed of variation*

Sometimes it does not suit a beneficiary to receive an inheritance and they would rather redirect it.  This can be done by a deed of variation.

  • Dealing with assets outside England and Wales*

Assets which are based in another jurisdiction add a level of complexity to dealing with an estate.  It is common these days to have clients with assets in Ireland, Jersey, Spain, France or even the USA.  Retrieving an asset from abroad is not the same procedure as retrieving an asset in the UK.  There is likely to be an extra charge made by us to deal with foreign assets as well as charges to tax in the other country and even legal bills in the other country.

  • Dealing with beneficiaries living or domiciled outside England & Wales*

If a beneficiary is living abroad and requires their legacy to be paid in different currency there will be additional fees charged for non sterling payment.

  • Dealing with missing beneficiaries*

If we are required to track down a missing beneficiary there will be extra charges to include our time taken (charged at our hourly rate)  and any third party costs.

  • Dealing with business or agricultural assets*

When claiming relief for business or agricultural assets there is the possibility that we may need to enter into correspondence with accountants and HMRC.  If this is the case the extra work will be charged at our hourly rate.

  • Dealing with disputes over the estate*

If there is a dispute about the estate, including disputes about the validity of the Will or a claim against the estate under the Inheritance Act, this work will be dealt with separately to the administration of the estate.  Any work undertaken in this instance will be at our hourly rate.

If you would like help on this please contact us on 01564 758055

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Probate Solicitors Limited t/a PSL is authorised & regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in England and Wales No. 545298   
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