.pepp-dl-vcard, .pepp-lk-email { display: none; } Probate | Pepperells

Administering an Estate

Dealing with a loved one’s estate can be stressful and traumatic. We aim to help make the process as smooth as possible at this difficult time. This will include establishing the extent of the Estate, preparing the application for the Grant of Probate and collecting/distributing the assets. We will confirm that tax is paid up to date and ensure that there are no outstanding HMRC claims, and prepare the Estate Accounts at the end of the matter.

Our charges are based on the amount of time spent on your matter. The exact cost will depend on your individual circumstances. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. However, if there are multiple beneficiaries, a property, a number of bank accounts and other assets that may include pensions, insurance policies and shares, our costs will be at the higher end of the scale.

We would anticipate that the average Estate matter will take between 8 and 20 hours. More complex estates can take longer.  Our team’s hourly rate varies depending on experience and are detailed below:-

  • Leanne Crellin is the Head of the department and an Associate Solicitor and her hourly rate is £260.00;
  • Loren Little is an Associate Solicitor and her hourly rate is £220.00;
  • Samantha Holt is a Paralegal and her hourly rate is £220.00; and
  • Joe Painter is a Trainee Solicitor and his hourly rate is £168.00.

A costs estimate will be given at the outset of the matter and we will keep you updated in this respect.  We will not go over our estimate without notifying you and seeking your approval.

The price range above covers Estates where:-

  • There is a valid will or a clear line of intestacy;
  • The Executors have knowledge of all assets/liabilities;
  • There is no more than one property and the property is registered with the land registry;
  • There are no intangible assets;
  • There are no disputes between executors or beneficiaries;
  • The assets are not complex and there is no Inheritance Tax payable to HM Revenue and Customs;
  • There are no claims made against the estate.

An increase in costs may be likely if the above are not satisfied.  This can be discussed on an individual basis and we are able to offer a free consultation in which we can provide a bespoke quote.

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. Disbursements that may be incurred include:-

  • Probate Court fee – £155.50 (plus 0.50 per additional copy of the Grant of Probate);
  • Oath fee – £7 per Executor (where there is a Will, or £5 per Executor where there is not);
  • Bankruptcy searches – £3 per beneficiary;
  • Section 27 notice in The London Gazette and a local newspaper (this protects you as Executor against unexpected claims from unknown creditors) – £196.60; and
  • Land Registry Office Copy Entries – £3 per property.

We must point out that dealing with the sale of any property within the Estate is not included and will usually be dealt with separately by our conveyancing department. We are able to provide a quote for the cost of dealing with such if required.  A simple transfer of a property to a beneficiary will be dealt with during the estate administration.  If this is not straight forward, it can lead to an increase in costs.

How long does it take to administer an Estate?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-12 months. When dealing with an Estate where a Grant of Probate is not required and there is no property, this may be completed much sooner. If the estate is more complex, it is likely that the estate will take longer to conclude.  If there is a property to be sold, timescales are dependent on finding a buyer for the property.  An estimated timescale will be given at the outset of the matter and we will keep you updated in this respect.

Applying for a Grant of Probate only

We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. This would include completing the relevant Inheritance Tax forms for HM Revenue and Customs and preparing the legal Oath to be sworn by the Executors. We will attend on you so that the documentation can be signed and sworn in the appropriate manner. We will then make the application to the Probate Registry and send the Grant to you to deal with administering the estate.

Provided that you provide a comprehensive list of all assets and liabilities together with their values at the date of death, our legal fees will be charged at a fixed fee of £500 plus VAT.

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. Disbursements that may be incurred include:-

  • Probate court fee of £155.50 (plus 0.50 per additional copy of the Grant of Probate); and
  • Oath fee of £7 per Executor (where there is a Will, or £5 per Executor where there is not).

We must point out that if instructed in this matter, you, as Executor, would remain responsible for the collection and distribution of assets. The application for the Grant of Probate would be based solely on the information you provide to us.

Once you have provided us with the relevant figures, we will be in a position to prepare the paperwork which we would expect would take no longer than 2 weeks. Once the application is ready to go to the Probate Registry we would expect that it would be returned on average within 4 weeks however it does depend on the how busy the Probate Registry is at the time. If the Probate Registry raise any queries or there is a caveat entered then there may be a slight delay.

If the assets are more complex and there is Inheritance Tax payable to the HM Revenue and Customs the above fee may be higher but this will be agreed at the outset.