When a person dies, someone has to deal with their affairs. This is called ‘administering the estate’.
If the person who has died leaves a will, it will usually appoint one or more executors.
If you are named as an executor, in most cases, you will need to apply for a grant of probate. Grant of probate is an official document issued by a section of the Court known as the Probate Registry.
If there is no will, an application for a grant of letters of administration will be needed. Together these two types of Grants are known as Grants of Representation.
TMJ Probate Options
We offer two probate services:
- Grant extraction only
We can obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration if you do not require assistance with the administration of the estate.
Our charge for this service is a fixed fee of £630 plus VAT of 20% (£756) and you will need to pay the Court fee (currently £273 plus £1.50 for each sealed copy of the Grant required). This would be different if you ask us to do this for a high-value estate when Inheritance Tax is due.
The following applies to those estates that only include assets located in England and Wales and where we are instructed to apply for the Grant of Representation only:
The work we will carry out for you includes drafting the appropriate Statement of Truth and obtaining the Grant of Representation. Our costs are usually £630 plus VAT of 20% (£756) and disbursements (at present court fee is £273 and £1.50 for each office copy of the Grant). This standard fee will normally apply when there is a Will or a straightforward intestacy, no Inheritance Tax to pay, and there are no other factors which complicate the estate. In cases where there is no Will and a complicated intestacy, Inheritance Tax to pay or there are factors which complicate the case, such as lifetime trusts, then our costs will be higher, and we would have to provide a bespoke quote.
- Estate Administration
Estate administration is an area of law where you may benefit significantly from advice and assistance. Dealing with an estate can be complicated and confusing at what is often a difficult time emotionally. We offer an efficient service and have a fair pricing policy and can offer a fixed fee and do not charge a percentage of the value of the estate.
We take pride in offering a transparent charging policy. Each estate is different; we prefer to provide a bespoke quote for our services when we have some information about your case.
Call one of our solicitors now to arrange an initial appointment to discuss your options or to obtain a quote, on 01429 235 616.
How much does Estate Administration cost?
Our costs for the administration of an estate are based on the time spent by the fee earners dealing with the matter. Hourly rates currently charged by our fee earners are as follows:
- Directors of the firm: £275 plus VAT of 20% (£330)
- Solicitors: £240 plus VAT of 20% (£288)
- Trainee Solicitors: £180 plus VAT of 20% (£216)
- Legal Assistants: £100 plus VAT of 20% (£120).
In cases where we are instructed to administer the estate, which comprises assets solely located in England and Wales;
The work we will carry out for you includes completing the Inheritance Tax Return (the form to be completed is determined by the value of the estate), applying for the Grant of Representation, retrieving the assets in the estate, discharging the liabilities of the estate and distributing the estate either in accordance with the Will or with the rules of intestacy, which apply where there is no Will.
Our costs for carrying out the work detailed above where there is no Inheritance Tax to pay are usually, on average, between £1,500 plus VAT of 20% and disbursements and £3,000 plus VAT of 20% and disbursements. These costs will vary depending upon the complexity of the estate and could be considerably more if the estate has a high value, has numerous assets and liabilities or is subject to complex legal matters.
For a straightforward case, such as a case where there are a few assets in the estate and a Will containing relatively simple instructions, our costs are likely to be on the lower end of the estimate. For more complex estates, such as where there are several bank accounts held with a variety of institutions, shares, or several beneficiaries, our typical costs will be closer to the higher end of the scale above.
Factors which would lead to more time spent on the matter, and therefore would increase the costs charged, include the following, although this list is not exhaustive:
- There is no Will
- The deceased had numerous bank accounts and other assets with more than one institution
- More than one property
- There are a large number of legacies in the will
- Inheritance Tax is payable by the estate
- There are disputes among beneficiaries
The above costs estimates do not include:
- The cost of dealing with the sale of property in the estate
- Preparing a Deed of Variation of the will or intestacy
- Dealing with any claims against the estate
- Dealing with or obtaining a Grant of Representation to be used in a foreign country
- Tax advice is given to beneficiaries
Disbursements are fees paid to third parties during the course of the matter, such as fees payable to the Probate Registry to issue the Grant of Representation.
The following disbursements are payable in addition to our costs in all cases:
- Probate Registry fee - £273 plus £1.50 for each sealed copy of the Grant of Representation requested
Because each estate is different, and third parties are involved in the matter, it is difficult to give an accurate timescale for the administration of an estate. However, we estimate that on average, a simple estate can be dealt with within three months, and where TMJ Legal Services is instructed only to obtain the Grant of Representation, the average timescale is roughly six weeks.
People dealing with your file
Day to day conduct of your file may lie with Clair Dunkerley, Solicitor and Director, who is head of the Private Client department, Catherine Turner, Solicitor, or Catherine Donworth, Solicitor. They may be assisted by Jacqui Moore, a Legal Secretary.
Feedback from real clients of TMJ Legal Services:
Catherine Donworth was very efficient, great communication and very helpful.
Thank you for helping me in such a difficult time. Very much appreciated.
TMJ Legal Services
TMJ Legal Services has been helping individuals and businesses since 1986. We offer a range of advice and services.