Administering an estate:
(Assisting in gathering assets, dealing with wills and HMRC, paying inheritance tax, applying for probate and the distribution of assets to the required beneficiaries)
We do not charge any success fee, as many other firms do – this is; they charge a percentage of the estate on top of whatever the hourly rate charged may be.
We charge for the above services on an hourly rate of £175.00 per hour plus VAT. We make an estimate at the beginning of any matter as to how many hours we estimate this is going to take and therefore provide a figure projected by the anticipated number of hours times the hourly rate. However, the initial figure is subject to review as the matter progresses, as often other matters become apparent during the course of a case which were not immediately apparent at its outset.
For smaller estates or where help is only required to grant of probate, we may agree a fee, for example, £1,000 plus VAT for taking matters to grant of probate.
We will agree the extent of the work required at the outset, so as to give an idea on costs from the starting point.
The type and extent of work can be renegotiated throughout the course of the matter, if it is decided that more or less work is required from us.
1. Probate court fee: it costs £155.00 to apply for probate if the value of the estate is more than £5,000. It is free if the value is less than £5,000.
2. Copies of the sealed grant of probate £0.50. (One will be required for each asset that needs to be realised as part of the estate).
3. Bankruptcy searches £2.00 for each beneficiary.
4. Swearing of the oath (this can vary but should be under £10.00).
Once we have obtained all the necessary information it can take the court between 4-8 weeks to grant probate.#
However, probate is sometimes disputed which makes matters more complicated and less straightforward. We would therefore have to advise on an individual basis depending on the case to help you understand the process and complexities of your situation.
Lasting Power of Attorney
If you become incapable of looking after your own affairs you need to think about how you would like your affairs managed and who is involved in this process. It should be someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf. Appointing an individual will avoid the difficulty of having to deal with an expensive application to the Court of Protection.
There are two types of Powers of Attorney. First, there is a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney who deals with your health decisions when you are unable to; which attracts a fee to the Office of the Public Guardian of £82.00.
Secondly, there is a Property and Financial Affairs Power of Attorney who deals with your financial affairs and which also has a fee due to the Office of the Public Guardian of £82.00.
In relation to the Office of the Public Guardian, there are exemptions or reductions of the fees where an individual is on a low income. (The Office of the Public Guardian is the public body that manages and oversees the process of obtaining and administering Powers of Attorney).
Elizabeth Russ, who carries out this type of work at the Practice, is a solicitor who qualified in 1993, and an affiliate of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. She is supervised by Lee Wilkins, a director of this Practice.