Cost guides

Our costs relating to Probate

Probate (if a person dies with a will) or Administration (if a person dies without a will) are the terms commonly used to describe the legal process of obtaining the right for the personal representative (the executors if there is a will or the administrators if there is no will) to manage a deceased person’s estate.

Probate can also be referred to as administering an estate and Higgs & Sons has an experienced estate administration team who are skilled in all matters relating to this area of law. 

Our professional costs for acting in the administration of an estate will depend upon the specific circumstances and the level of assistance required. 

We appreciate it can be a particularly difficult time following a bereavement, so whatever the size of the estate, whatever type of assets form part of the estate and whether the deceased died intestate or has a will or trusts that need to be administered, our experienced specialists can help.

Probate is not always required and it is possible to administer an estate without the need to involve a solicitor or probate specialist.

Our professional costs for acting in the administration of an estate will depend upon the specific circumstances and the level of assistance required.

As we provide a range of services which can be tailored to your specific needs, we recommend that it is always worth getting in contact with a member of our team who can advise on the best course of action and provide an accurate estimate of the associated cost, on a no obligation basis.

We appreciate, however, that engaging with a solicitor can be daunting and for this reason we have outlined below a list of common circumstances for which we can provide you with an indicative cost along with some examples of our bespoke service offerings.

 

1. Grant only service

Our grant only service can be a cost effective way to obtain a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration where there is no Inheritance Tax payable. Using this service, Higgs & Sons will draft the required application to the court to obtain the grant using information provided by the executors or family.

Any application for a grant has to be accompanied by the appropriate Inheritance Tax form showing the assets of the estate. Once the grant has been issued by the court, the personal representatives will be responsible for dealing with the administration and distribution of the estate.

 

Our Grant only fees are:  

Where a simplified Inheritance form (IHT205) is submitted  £850.00 + VAT 
 Where a full Inheritance Form (IHT400) is submitted   £1,450.00 + VAT

 

Timescales

Where an IHT205 is submitted the typical timescale involved in providing a grant only service is 4 weeks from receipt of all required information.  

Where an IHT400 is required, the time taken for the grant to be issued can take up to 8 weeks due to the need to engage with HM Revenue & Customs.

 

2. Full Estate Administration Service

Our full estate administration service will provide you with expertise throughout the entire estate administration process. This could include some or all of the following:

  • meeting the personal representatives and family, if required, to answer any initial questions, collect the paperwork and to discuss any issues in relation to the estate
  • making the funeral arrangements and death registration (if required)
  • identifying anyone named in the will or advise on entitlements under the laws of intestacy
  • identifying, getting values for and securing assets of the estate and identifying liabilities
  • drawing up all relevant legal documents and applying for the grant of probate or letters of administration on behalf of the personal representatives
  • filling out and submitting all Inheritance Tax papers
  • liaising with the personal representatives and beneficiaries in respect of selling, transferring and collecting in assets and settling outstanding debts
  • settling all income and capital gains tax affairs on behalf of the deceased
  • obtaining all necessary tax clearances
  • creating a full estate account, clearly documenting all transactions taking place within the administration process
  • engaging with the personal representatives at every stage of the process and keeping the beneficiaries informed as appropriate

Our fees for this service will vary depending on the terms of the will, the size and complexity of the estate and the type of assets involved. However the following is given as a guide to indicative costs:

Full estate administation service will typically start from:

(for a fairly straightforward case*)   

 £3,000 - £5,000 + VAT

*We would define a straightforward estate as one that may have a property to sell or transfer, a range of bank and building society accounts and quoted stock and shares. All of the beneficiaries named under the terms of the Will would be known or if there wasn’t a Will, then the intestate beneficiaries would be easily identifiable.

We define a complex estate administration as one that may involve a business or a farm, overseas assets, taxation issues, potential disputes over who is entitled to the estate, claims against the estate, difficulties in interpreting the terms of a Will or identifying those entitled under the laws of intestacy. Given the uniqueness of how these issues may impact on the administration of an estate it is not possible to provide a guide as to the range of our fees.

Before undertaking any work, we will meet with the personal representatives to discuss the estate. We will then give a tailoredfee estimate – which is a range of costs that we believe we may incur when dealing with the estate. We will also provide details of any likely disbursements (additional costs to be incurred), such as probate court fees.

Timescales

Timescales for a full estate administration service are dependent on numerous and varied factors, however an average timescale would be in the region of 6-12 months. Obtaining the Grant typically takes around 6-8 weeks from instruction and the collection of any assets around 4 weeks after the issue of the Grant.

 

3. Hybrid service

We would also be able to provide a combination of the two scenarios outlined above based on the curcumstances and requirements of each situation.

Due to the individual nature of such an approach we are unable to provide an indication of costs here, however we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your requirements with you after which we would be able to give you a clear indication of the costs and timescales involved.

 

4. Other services

In addition to the above, our Probate team has extensive knowledge of dealing with:

  • Agricultural and business assets: not only from an Inheritance Tax relief perspective, but also ensuring the underlying assets are valued correctly and the estates interest in the business is protected during the course of the administration  
  • Assets in multiple jurisdictions: we have a wealth of experience in handling foreign aspects of the estates of deceased UK and non UK domiciled individuals
  • Mitigating inheritance tax or capital gains tax: we can advise on any opportunities to reduce tax on a deceased person’s estate
  • Trusts on death: we can advise on ensuring any trusts created under the terms of a Will are properly dealt with and also advise on all aspects of setting up and transferring assets into Trusts
  • Post death planning: we can assist the recipient of an estate to pass on assets through a Deed of Variation as part of onward Inheritance Tax and/or asset protection considerations
  • Higgs Trust Corporation: Higgs & Sons has its own Trust Corporation that can act as the executor or administrator of an estate as well as a Trustee or Attorney.

Due to the individual nature of each of these areas, we are unable to provide an indication of costs at this stage. However we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your particular requirements with you after which we would be able to provide a clear indication of the costs and timescales involved in dealing with your matter.  

 

Specialist advisers

Your case would be managed by a member of our Private Client team with specialist knowledge and experience in this aspect of law. Details of our specialist advisers can be found by clicking on the links below

Andy Bridge

David Morgan

David Nightingale

Chris Sawyer

Jamie Stott

 

 

Cost guides - Our costs relating to Probate

Meet our team

Cost Guides

Cost guides

You will find details of those specialist lawyers who will be delivering the service based on the costs we have provided, in the relevant Services area or via the Costs guide page.

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Brierley Hill
West Midlands, DY5 1LX

Email: law@higgsandsons.co.uk
Call Us: 0345 111 5050

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