Marine Lake at Knightstone, Weston-super-Mare

Probate / Administrating Estates

Berry Redmond Gordon & Penney recognise that on a person's death the winding up of their affairs are dealt with quickly and tactfully.

The task of dealing with the affairs of a relative or friend who has died can seem daunting. Our experienced team of lawyers pride themselves on providing sound advice in a caring and sensitive manner ensuring that the estate is administered efficiently and that you are kept fully informed of progress at regular intervals.

Winding up an estate consists of:

  • Ascertaining the extent and value of the assets
  • Dealing with tax issues
  • Obtaining the correct grant which may be a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (depending upon whether there is a Will)
  • Collecting in assets and paying the debts Distributing the estate in accordance with the Will or under the Intestacy Rules
  • Setting up a trust when stipulated under the provisions of a Will or Intestacy

With professionalism and empathy, Berry Redmond Gordon & Penney can deal with probate, freeing you from the added stress and complication of the legal procedure during a trying time.

Call our office, or fill out our enquiry form for more information.

  • Our charges

    PROBATE FEES GUIDANCE

    We understand our clients want a variety of services from us and because of this we are pleased to offer a range of services that we have found to be in line with their requirements. We are mindful of the costs associated with our work and where at all possible allocate work in line with the level of experience of the solicitor or legal executive. We have provided a table that gives the qualification, level of experience and hourly rate of our staff.

    We have also provided information about our fees and other expenses in addition to our fees which are called ‘Disbursements’. We have also provided examples of our fees.

    Fixed Fee - Extraction of the Grant of Probate and there is no inheritance tax to pay

    Fixed Fee

    This means we will extract the Grant of Probate for you where the estate is straightforward and there is no inheritance tax to pay. Our fixed fee is £1,400 + VAT (at 20% this is the current rate and may change) £280.00 total £1,680.00. In addition to our fee there will be additional expenses called ‘disbursements’ which are payments paid to third parties and these are set out under the heading  ‘Disbursements’ below.

    Disbursements

    These are payments to third parties. We ask for £500 to be paid on account so that we can make these payments on your behalf:

    • Death certificates £4.00 each.
    • Probate application fee of £155.00 plus £0.50p for each Office Copy
    • £7.00 for Swearing the oath (per executor)
    • £77.75 post in The London Gazette (estimate) – protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors and is optional if the firm are not the appointed executors.
    • £76.00 (estimate) post in a local newspaper – this also helps to protect against unexpected claims and is optional if the firm are not the appointed executors.
    • Asset Search £135 + VAT (20%) £27.00 total £162.00 - helps locate assets that the executors may not be aware of. Optional if the firm are not the appointed executors

    How long will it take?

    We estimate it will take 2-3 months to obtain the Grant of Probate.

    We will:

    • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
    • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
    • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
    • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HM Revenue & Customs forms

    We will not:

    • Collect in any of the assets including a property
    • Pay any liabilities
    • Arrange payment of any legacies
    • Arrange payment of income tax, inheritance tax or capital gains.

    Potential additional costs on estates whether or not inheritance tax is payable

    • If there is no Will further work and costs will arise
    • If the estate consists of large portfolios or large amounts of individual shareholdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional work which will mean an increase in our fees.  
    • We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
    • If it comes to light that more work is required which was not known about at the start of the matter, additional costs will arise. We can give you a more accurate quote when we have more information.

    Full administration of the estate

    The second service we provide involves applying for the Grant of Probate, collecting and distributing the assets, payment of liabilities including inheritance tax if appropriate, arranging payment of legacies and specific legacies and liabilities and distributing the residuary estate and providing a full set of estate accounts. Conveyancing, income tax and capital gains tax work is not included in our fee and a separate estimate will be provided if these services are required. Payment of any of these taxes are not included in our fee but are paid by the estate.

    Our fee is based mostly on the amount of time actually spent by the solicitor and other staff in respect of any work they do on your behalf. In addition to our hourly charges we charge a ‘value element’ fee based on the size and nature of the estate. The value element is between 0.25% - 1% of the value of the deceased’s property and between 0.5% and 1.5% of the gross value of the rest of the Estate. It very much depends on the size and nature of the estate as to what percentage amount will be applied and we will provide this information at the outset. Half of the value element will be billed when the Grant of Probate has been issued and the rest as your matter progresses. We will also bill for the number of hours worked when the Grant of Probate is issued the remainder will be billed as the matter progresses.

    Example: Full administration of the Estate and inheritance tax is not payable

    Our fees

    • Illustration only.
    • The property is valued at £140,000 and the remainder of the estate is valued at £175,000
    Cost: How it is worked out: Amount: VAT (@ 20%)
    Our costs 25 hrs @ £220 per hr £5,500.00 £1,100.00
    Value element for property 0.25% of value of property (£140,000) £350.00 £70.00
    Value element for remaining assets 0.5% of value (£175,000) £875.00 £175.00
    TOTAL   £6,725.00 £1,345.00

    Total costs are £6,725 plus VAT £1,345 = £8,070.

    In addition to our fees there are expenses called ‘disbursements’ (see below)

    • Disbursements - these are payments to third parties. We ask for £500.00 to be paid on account so that we can make these payments on your behalf:
    • Death certificates £4.00 each
    • Probate application fee £155.00 plus £0.50p for each Office Copy
    • £7 for Swearing the oath (per executor)
    • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
    • £77.75 post in The London Gazette (estimate) – protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors and are optional if the firm are not the appointed executors.
    • £76.00 (estimate) post in a Local Newspaper – this also helps to protect against unexpected claims and are optional if the firm are not the appointed executors.
    • £135.00 + VAT 20% £27.00 total £162.00 asset search – helps locate assets that the executors may not be aware of. Optional if the firm are not the appointed executors.
    • Our fee does not include the payment of inheritance tax (https://www.gov.uk/browse/tax/inheritance-tax) or the payment of income tax or capital gains tax, these taxes are paid by the estate. Our fee also does not include work in relation to income tax, capital gains tax or conveyancing work. An estimate for this work will be sent separately if requested.

    There could be additional costs which are listed under the heading ‘Potential additional costs on estates whether or not inheritance tax is payable are listed above’.

    The exact costs will depend on the individual circumstances of each matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, then the amount of time needed to administer the estate will be less. If there are a lot of beneficiaries, more than one property and multiple bank accounts then our costs may be more.

    The above example applies to estates where:

    • There is a valid Will
    • There is no more than one property
    • There are no more than 10 bank or building society account
    • There more than 10 beneficiaries
    • 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 IHT400 Account to HM Revenue & Customs
    • There are no claims made against the estate

    We will:

    • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
    • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
    • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
    • Complete the Probate application and the relevant HM Revenue & Customs forms
    • Draft a legal oath for you to swear
    • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
    • Obtain the Grant of Probate and securely send two copies to you
    • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate
    • Pay all liabilities
    • Draft a full set of estate accounts

    How long will it take?

    • On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-12 months (depending on the sale of the property if there is one). Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate can take up to three months. Collecting assets then follows, which can take 3 -6 weeks. Once this has been done, we can arrange for all of the liabilities to be paid, including the payment of the legacies and our interim invoice. We can at that time arrange make interim payments to the residuary beneficiaries. The remainder of the work includes making sure all liabilities have been paid and drafting the estate accounts.

    Example: Estates where inheritance tax is due

    • Illustration only
    • The property is valued at £350,000 and the remainder of the estate is valued at £500,000

    Example: Full administration of the estate where inheritance tax is due

    Cost: How it is worked out: Amount: VAT (@ 20%)
    Our costs 45 hrs @ £220 per hr £9,900.00 £1,980.00
    Value element for property 0.25% of value of property (£350,000) £875.00 £175.00
    Value element for remaining assets 0.5% of value (£500,000) £2,500.00 £500.00
    TOTAL   £13,275.00 £2,655.00

    Total costs are £13,275 plus VAT £2,655 = £15,930.

    In addition to our fees are expenses called ‘disbursements’ (see above under heading ‘Full administration of the Estate and inheritance is not payable)

    There could also be additional costs which are listed under the heading ‘Potential additional costs on estates whether or not inheritance tax is payable are listed above’.

    We will:

    • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
    • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
    • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
    • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
    • Arrange payment of the inheritance tax due
    • Draft a legal oath for you to swear
    • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
    • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
    • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate
    • Pay all liabilities
    • Liaise with Capital Taxes Office
    • Draft a full set of estate accounts

    How long will this take?

    On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 12-18 months (depending on the sale of any property and subject to any enquiries raised by HM Revenue & Customs in relation to inheritance tax). Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate can take up to three months. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 3-6 weeks. Once this has been done, we can arrange for all of the liabilities to be paid including the payment of the legacies and our interim invoice. We can at that time arrange to make interim payments to the residuary beneficiaries. The remainder of the work is then dealt with, which includes drafting the estate accounts and obtaining the clearance letter from HM Revenue & Customs. HM Revenue & Customs have up to six months approximately from the date the IHT400 Account was signed by the executors to send their clearance letter and this could be longer if they have outstanding enquiries.

    Our legal team are experienced in the administration of estates that are taxable and non-taxable for inheritance tax. Approximately, sixty-five percent of their time is spent working specifically in this area of law.

    Supervision is provided by qualified solicitors/legal executives including the head of department. The range of post-qualification supervision ranges between 3 years, and in excess of 14 years.

    Probate department staff qualification, post-qualification and hourly rate table.

    Qualification: Post Qualification Experience: Hourly rate: VAT (@ 20%): Total:
    Solicitor/Legal Executive 7 years £220.00 £44.00 £264.00
    Solicitor/Legal Executive 3 years £145.00 £29.00 £174.00
    Paralegal 1 year £110.00 £22.00 £132.00

    To find out more, call us now or fill out our enquiry form.