Full Estate Administration Service

We can help you navigate the process of administering the estate of someone who has died and deal with the estate administration on your behalf.

Get in touch

Caroline Foulger
Partner and Head of Private Client

We can help you navigate the process of administering the estate of someone who has died and deal with the estate administration on your behalf. At an initial meeting (free of charge) we advise on the administration process and outline the duties and powers of personal representatives.

Wherever possible we charge for this service on a fixed charge basis, which we agree with you at the outset prior to starting work on your behalf. These fixed charges will be provided to you following an initial meeting once we have gathered from you all the information we consider relevant to being able to provide an agreed fixed charge. These fixed charges are paid from the estate as a cost of the administration and as such are normally a cost borne by the residuary beneficiaries of the estate.

What this service includes

As part of our fixed charges we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced specialist solicitor or chartered legal executive to work on your matter;
  • If required, register the death and arrange the funeral to include liaising with funeral directors;
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries;
  • Advise you on the terms of the Will or, where there is no Will, on the intestacy provisions;
  • Review the estate papers and obtain valuations of the estate assets and liabilities in the sole and joint names of the deceased;
  • Verify and value shareholders and obtaining professional valuations as required;
  • If necessary, visit the deceased’s property to secure premises, take meter readings and comply with insurers’ requirements;
  • Check the tax position to date of death, and prepare and submit all necessary returns to the date of death and for the administration period;
  • Investigate any lifetime gifts made and any trusts in place and report to HMRC;
  • Investigate, prepare and submit relevant applications for Inheritance Tax (IHT) allowances, such as the Transferable Inheritance Tax Nil-Rate Band, Residence Nil-Rate Band, Transferable Residence Nil-Rate Band;
  • Prepare and submit HMRC Inheritance Tax Accounts with full supporting schedules and documentation;
  • Complete the Probate Application and apply to the Probate Court on your behalf;
  • Advise on funding and payment of Inheritance Tax in full or by installments, interest rates and due dates for payment of tax;
  • Register the Grant of Probate with financial institutions;
  • Collect or transfer assets and settle liabilities;
  • Deal with payment of ongoing utilities and administration expenses;
  • Advise you on protection of Personal Representatives and placing adverts for creditors in London Gazette and local newspapers, and conduct Certainty searches as applicable;
  • Liaise with HMRC and District Valuer’s office as required to agree valuations;
  • Report adjustments and obtain the Inheritance Tax clearance certificate;
  • Conduct bankruptcy searches of beneficiaries and deal with ID formalities to ensure compliance when dealing with the distributions;
  • Correspond with the beneficiaries regarding distribution of assets, payments of legacies and interim and final distributions;
  • Prepare Interim and Full Estate Accounts; and
  • Report to Executors and beneficiaries throughout the administration and provide the beneficiaries with tax certificates as required.

Likely timescales

On average, for estates with assets of less than £325,000 it will take 4-8 months to deal with the administration. In relation to estates that exceed this value and require a full Inheritance Tax Return and payment of Inheritance prior to the Grant of Representation being issued, it will often take between 6-24 months to deal with the administration. We would though stress that this is a guide only and is dependent on the number and extent of the assets involved and whether the estate is taxable.

How much does this service cost?

Our fixed costs usually range from £4,500 to £36,000 plus VAT and disbursements. The level of the fixed fee is dependent on the nature and extent of the estate and whether or not there is a Will. One of the main factors in determining the charges will be whether the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax and the exemptions available with regards Inheritance Tax that can be claimed by the Executors. We have included below the assumptions that the above price range is based on:

Breakdown of costs:

Fixed Legal Charges: £4,500 to £36,000

VAT on Fixed Legal Charges @ 20%: £600 to £7,200

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.

Probate Court fee: £155

Additional copies of the Grant £1.50 each: the number of copies needed will be based on number of assets to be administered.

Assumptions

The above indication of charges are based on various assumptions which include:

  • The deceased only owned assets in England and Wales only;
  • The deceased was domiciled in England for Inheritance Tax purposes;
  • The deceased’s estate has a net value for Inheritance Tax purposes of less than £3,000,000;
  • If the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax, there are sufficient directly accessible assets in the estate or available from beneficiaries to fund any Inheritance Tax payable prior to obtaining the Grant and a loan is not being applied for;
  • There are no claims against the estate by relatives, creditors or others, no disputes over the validity of any Will and there are no caveats lodged at the Probate Court;
  • The personal representatives provide us with all relevant paperwork and information for the applications for the Inheritance Tax allowances at or shortly following the initial meeting.
Our team

Click here for more information about our team, their qualifications, experience, and details of their supervisors.

What next?

If you would like to speak to somebody at TWM Solicitors about our probate services, please contact Caroline Foulger, Partner and Head of Private Client.

Related services

Obtaining a Grant of Representation

We can help you begin to navigate the process of administering the estate by obtaining the Grant of Representation on your behalf.

Probate and the Administration of Estates

We understand that the period following the death of a relative is a difficult time which is why our probate solicitors are here to take care of everything.

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