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Our Guide to Estate Administration Costs

A Guide to Probate fees at Rogers Legal

Each estate is individual and different, it is therefore difficult to give an absolute ‘cost’ without a review of your specific circumstances, so we try and give you a range of costs depending upon the services that you need.  Occasionally we will give you a fixed cost but in our experience; this isn’t always in the best interests of our clients. We find working on an hourly rate with an agreed cap/fee structure suits our clients.  Estate administration is essentially a two-part process:

Applying for the Grant - Stage One 

All estates have some common basic requirements for their administration:

Assets and liabilities need to be identified and their values recorded – we usually contact relevant third parties to ascertain these values.

Estates generally need an inheritance tax account to be completed, either an abbreviated account (known as the IHT 205) for simpler estates or the full account (known as the IHT400) for more complex estates – we usually complete these documents using the information that we have managed to obtain.  Estates requiring the submission of a full inheritance tax account tend to need more time and thereby incur greater costs.

There is a probate Court fee of at least £158 for each estate and Land Registry fees of at least £6 for each property within an estate.

Simple estate: We would normally estimate our charges for collating values and completing a simple inheritance tax account to apply for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in the case of intestacy at between 8 and 15 hours of our time at our normal hourly rate of £250 plus VAT being £2,000 plus VAT to £3,750 plus VAT (being £2,400 to £4,500 including VAT). These are our initial fees to apply for the Grant of Representation. 

Complex estate: If the estate has one or more of the following elements, we would classify the estate as ‘complex’ and expect that our costs would increase compared to those of a simple estate:

  • completion of a full inheritance tax account
  • dealing with trusts (in a Will or upon intestacy)
  • business or farming assets
  • more than one property in the estate
  • foreign assets
  • reporting pension allowances/calculations to HM Revenue & Customs

In such circumstances we would expect our charges to be between 25 and 30 hours at our usual hourly rate of £250 plus VAT being £6,250 plus VAT to £7,500 plus VAT (being £7,500 to £9,000 including VAT).  These are our initial fees to apply for the Grant of Representation.

Collecting and distributing the assets - Stage Two (Complex and Simple Estates)

Having obtained the grant of representation, we can collect in and then distribute the assets in accordance with the provisions of the Will or according to the rules of intestacy.  We would estimate this to take between 10 and 30 hours of work at £250 per hour plus VAT. Our estimated costs after the Grant of Representation would be between £2,500 and £7,500 plus VAT (being £3,000 to £9,000 including VAT).  There are other factors that can increase these costs (please see below – Additional Costs & Disbursements). We will let you know on a case by case basis of any specific complications. 

There is an additional disbursement charge of £2 per beneficiary called a ‘bankruptcy search’.  This is required before we distribute funds to the beneficiary.

Please note:

If we need to transfer property at the Land Registry, this may incurr Land Registry fees which are assessed according to the value of a property being transferred.

If we need to transfer stocks/shares this may also incur additional fees or costs payable from the estate.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there are multiple beneficiaries, more than one property, missing details for a first spouse for the transferrable nil rate band and/or multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end. 

If there are uncooperative beneficiaries/third parties regarding the estate or assets in more than one jurisdiction we will give you an updated and specific guide to our charges because they will be unique to your circumstances. 

If the Will or intestacy involves Trusts or the deceased was a beneficiary of trusts during his or her lifetime this could also increase the costs of our fees purely on the basis of the additional work that will be required to deal with such matters.

If disputes arise between beneficiaries, this is likely to lead to an increase in our costs.

Additional Costs & Disbursements:

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.  We recommend that you may want to consider extra issues depending upon the circumstances of each estate

£98.00 plus VAT Certainty Search for Missing Will – in the case of intestacy or concerns about the last Will.

£62.15 plus VAT Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.

£185.00 plus VAT Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.