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Probate Pricing

Experiencing the loss of a loved one is one of life’s harshest challenges.  Being responsible for sorting out their final affairs can be a confusing and overwhelming process, especially when you are grieving.  We are here to provide as much help as you need during this difficult time.

Often to administer a deceased person’s estate, you will need to obtain a Grant of Representation (colloquially referred to as ‘Probate’).  This is a document issued by the court that provides the personal representatives (also known as executors or administrators), with authority to deal with a deceased person’s assets.

We can help by providing: -

  • a fixed fee for obtaining the Grant of Representation based on information provided by you; or
  • a full administration service, where we do all the hard work so you don’t have to. This could be either up to the point of obtaining the Grant of Representation or through to distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.

Grant only - fixed fees

We offer a fixed fee service for obtaining the Grant of Representation on your behalf based on the information you provide to us.  The best prices we can give are: -

  • To complete form IHT205 and statement of truth – from £1,250 to £1,550
  • To complete form PA1P – from £1,500 to £1,800
  • To complete form IHT400 and statement of truth – from £2,000 to £4,000

Any advice or other services you require will be charged for at hourly rates set out below.

Please see below the disbursements that may be incurred and the likely timescales. 

Full administration

The role of Personal Representative can be very time-consuming and challenging as it will often require a good understanding of a wide range of legal and tax issues.  As a result, we offer a full service taking responsibility for obtaining the Grant of Probate (and other types of grant of representation) and dealing with the legal, Inheritance Tax and estate administration matters.

Our charges are calculated primarily by reference to the time spent on your behalf.  Our charges will be affected by the number of assets and liabilities, the number of beneficiaries and the complexity of the estate generally.  Unlike many firms, we do not charge a percentage of the value of the deceased’s assets.  An indication of our fees are set out below: -

  • Standard complexity - £3,250 to £4,750

This applies where there is 1 property; no more than 3 accounts with a single bank or building society; all investments are held by NS&I; there are no more than 3 beneficiaries and form IHT205 is used.

  • Medium complexity - £4,750 to £9,750

As with standard complexity but there are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts; investments are held with up to 3 providers; there are no more than 5 legatees and 4 residuary beneficiaries.

  • High complexity - £9,750 to £20,750

This applies if the estate does not qualify under with either the standard or medium complexity examples set out above.

Estimates are provided on the basis that all the work is carried out at the same time over a short period (without the momentum being lost which can cause extra time being required) and that contact between you and Taylor Fordyce will be moderate. We reserve the right to increase the estimates given if, for example, the matter becomes unduly protracted or more complicated than originally envisaged.  The work included within the above estimates include (where applicable): -

  • Advising on the contents of the Will or the Rules of Intestacy
  • Corresponding with the Personal Representatives and beneficiaries throughout
  • Identifying and valuing assets based in England and Wales and corresponding with all financial institutions and other relevant organisations
  • Completing the relevant Inheritance Tax form and arranging for payment of any Inheritance Tax
  • Preparing the Statement of Truth
  • Applying to the Probate Registry and obtaining the Grant of Representation
  • Placing Trustee Act notices to manage claims against the estate
  • Ensuring that the buildings and contents insurer is fully aware of the change in circumstances and checking whether appropriate insurance is in place
  • Arranging the re-direction of post to us
  • Gathering all the assets of the Estate
  • Transferring all jointly held assets into the survivor’s sole name, including property held as joint tenants
  • Paying any debts and liabilities
  • Preparing the accounts of the Estate
  • Distributing the estate in accordance the Will or the Rules of Intestacy.

Not included in this service are: -

  • Registering the death or arranging the funeral services
  • Obtaining details of lifetime gifts
  • Liaising with Trustees (or their agents) regarding any aggregated trusts for IHT purposes;
  • Claims from DWP in respect of means tested benefits
  • Registration of the estate as complex with HMRC
  • Income  and Capital Gains Tax returns
  • Negotiation of values with HMRC
  • Claims for loss reliefs to reduce Inheritance Tax
  • Tax planning
  • Deeds of Variation
  • Setting up or running any trusts
  • Registration of any trusts with HMRC’s trust register
  • Any disputes about the distribution of the estate
  • Conveyancing

VAT

Unless expressly stated otherwise, all of the fees and disbursements referred to are subject to VAT at the applicable rate from time to time.

Disbursements

We handle payment of fees due to third parties on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. The items listed below are examples of such fees and is not intended to be exhaustive.

  • Application for the Grant of Representation -  £273 (no VAT)
  • Sealed copy of the Grant of Representation - £1.50 per copy (no VAT)
  • Bankruptcy searches - £2 per beneficiary (no VAT)
  • Official copies of HM Land Register - £3 per title (no VAT)
  • Lost asset search – from £135
  • Estate agents fees if selling a property
  • Valuation fees (i.e. for property, personal possessions and investments) – from £80
  • Insurance and indemnities, i.e. for property and / or personal possessions and missing documents - £20 to £500
  • Trustee Act notices - £150 to £350

Timescales

  • Grant only – 3 to 5 months
  • Standard and medium complexity – 9 to 12 months
  • High complexity – 1 to 3 years

Once we are in receipt of all the relevant information, we aim to provide a draft of the Inheritance Tax Return and application for the Grant of Representation within 10-15 working days.

If you choose the full administration service, we will be reliant on third parties to provide us with information.  Some institutions reply quickly, whilst others can take months.

HMRC’s timescales vary and can often take 28-32 working days to process the Inheritance Tax Return IHT400. HMCTS ask that we only submit the application for the Grant of Representation once HMRC have processed the Inheritance Tax Return IHT400. 

HMCTS’s timescales vary and it can often take 8 – 12 weeks to issue the Grant of Representation.

If you choose the full administration service, once we receive the Grant of Representation we then arrange for assets to be sold or transferred to beneficiaries.  We will be reliant on third parties whose timescales can vary.

These estimates are based upon past experience and in the event of unforeseen events the timescales may change; if so, we will inform you accordingly as soon as realistically possible.  If the firm has to close as a result of COVID-19, then the timescale will be frozen until 7 days after we have returned to work.

Our Team

The person with either oversight or day to day conduct of your matter will be James Baker, who was admitted as a solicitor in 2008 having graduated from University College London. James trained and qualified at London’s leading private client firm, Charles Russell, where he gained valuable experience advising clients on wills, trusts and estates. James is a full member of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), and he is widely recognised for his expertise in both UK and US law, having been admitted to practice as a US Attorney in 2021 (The State Bar of California). James is supervised by Rory Fordyce, who was admitted as a solicitor in 1979 and is a director of Taylor Fordyce. Their hourly rate is £350 plus VAT.

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