Why Choose Us to Help
Because we are a solicitors practice regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), we are required to provide information about the fees payable when we are instructed to assist with the administration of an estate.
This is a welcome development as other organisations, such as banks, probate companies and accountants are not subject to the same regulations. Indeed, probate administration is not a reserved legal activity, which means that unregulated providers can offer the service and may not have suitable insurance, experience or be qualified to provide the necessary advice.
At Progeny Private Law we have comprehensive and specialist legal insurance, and all matters will be dealt with and/or supervised by qualified solicitors or chartered legal executives. As such, we are able to receive monies into our client account during the administration service, which not only provides you with the security of the SRA compensation fund but also saves you the time and hassle of opening up an executors bank account.
Our Probate Service
Because of our many years’ experience, we know that every family (and therefore every estate) is different. A ‘one size fits all’ solution is not usually appropriate.
We therefore offer alternative solutions to suit you and your family
- A full service in which we will deal with all aspects of the estate administration process
- A partial service in which we agree which elements of the process you and your family may wish to deal with yourself
- A ‘pre-Grant’ service in which we will only complete the IHT return and application for probate
We do not charge a percentage of the total value of the estate.
Wherever possible we will not charge on a time spent basis, although you can always choose this option if you prefer. We would usually only ever charge in this way for the most complicated estates when it may be impossible to say at the outset what will be involved, particularly if there may be disputed elements – this is rare.
We will therefore provide you with a written fixed-fee quote. In order to do this, we will need to know details about the estate. It may be that we will have to do some work for you before we can confirm the quote, but if this is the case we will provide a quote for that particular work.
Once we have provided you with our written quote, it will not change (unless of course circumstances change beyond our control – if they do we will of course contact you and discuss this to agree a revised fee if necessary).
Where there are liquid assets in the estate, our fees are usually payable out of the estate funds.
It may seem obvious, but there may be other costs involved in addition to our fees. These would typically include the probate application fee, any inheritance tax, and any income or capital gains tax.
How complicated the estate administration process is depends on what assets and liabilities there are, and therefore some of the main factors that affect cost are:
- Whether there is a valid will
- The number of assets (bank accounts, ISA’s, shares, life insurance, properties)
- Whether any inheritance tax is payable and/or which inheritance tax allowances need to be claimed
- Whether there are any disputes between beneficiaries
- Whether there are any claims made against the estate
- If the deceased owned a business or farm
- If there are any assets held overseas
- Whether the deceased had substantial liabilities
As we have said, each estate is different, and we will provide a written (usually fixed) quote for you once we have all the necessary information. However, here are some typical examples.
Where there is no inheritance tax payable (typically where the first spouse dies and everything passes to the surviving spouse).
Fee is usually from £1000 (plus VAT and additional expenses) to £2500 (plus VAT and additional expenses).
This would typically be when both parents have passed away and we are asked by the children to help following the death of the second parent, and where the value of the estate is over £650,000.
Our fee for our full service would typically be from £5,000-£15,000 (plus VAT and additional expenses) depending on the factors listed above.
This could either be because there is a dispute amongst the beneficiaries, or because there is a business or other complicated asset involved, or because of the number of assets and beneficiaries involved.
In these circumstances it is unlikely that our costs will be less than £10,000 (plus VAT and additional expenses).
- Probate fees – these are £155 plus 50p per copy (although please note that the Government have announced plans for a significant increase in these costs from March 2019).
- Oath fees – usually £7 per person (although the Government have introduced legislation which appears to scrap the need for these but have not issued any guidance on the replacement for 200 years of precedent court documents!)
- Bankruptcy searches – which should be completed for each beneficiary
- London Gazette and newspaper notifications – often needed to protect against unexpected claims.
We have often covered the cost of these until there are assets in the estate. If the Government reform of the probate court fee proceeds, we will not be able to offer this service.
What Our Full Service Typically Includes
Please follow this link to see what needs to be done when administering an estate and what our full probate service includes.
Please follow this link to see the members of our team who are able to help.