Estate Administration/Grant of Probate
Grant of Probate or estate administration is the process of dealing with a person’s legal, financial and personal tax affairs after they have died.
Estate Administration involves far more than obtaining a grant of probate which is just one element of the process. It means dealing with all the deceased’s assets (such as property, investments, and personal possessions) and their liabilities (such as outstanding debts and estate expenses) before transferring whatever is left to the beneficiaries, but also:
- Notifying beneficiaries and dealing with their questions
- Redirecting post and cancelling or transferring utilities
- Rehoming pets
- Dealing with any Income Tax liabilities
- Advising on the distribution of assets to avoid or mitigate tax liabilities
- Calculating and paying Inheritance Tax where relevant
- Dealing with specialist legal work
These are just some of the tasks that are involved and every estate is different. While some people decide to administer the estate by themselves, this can take a significant amount of time and effort. And it leaves them personally liable for any mistakes made during the process.
Whether their estate is simple or complex, the issues faced with the death of a loved one are rarely straightforward. Not least because it involves procedures most of us are not used to dealing with and at a time when financial matters are the last thing on our minds.
We offer a specialist estate administration and grant of probate service.
At Jennifer Melly Law we like to meet with our clients so that we can provide them with accurate quotes after taking into account all the information.
Grant of Representation and Estate Administration
Our fees are charged on a time spent basis, and the estimate below for obtaining the Grant of Representation and administering the estate is calculated on this basis. This estimate includes completing and submitting paperwork in relation to taxation, application for the Grant of Representation, discharging any liabilities and the administration of the estate on your behalf.
This fee relates to a simple estate containing the following:
- A property
- 2 or 3 bank accounts
- 1 or 2 shares
- One Legal Representative and one beneficiary
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
- Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
- Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
- Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
- Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
- Draft statement of truth for you to sign
- Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
- Obtain the Grant of Probate
- Collect and distribute all assets in the estate.
There may be additional tax due on the matter which would be separate to the estimated cost. For additional information on Inheritance Tax please visit www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax
The example fee does not cover the following:
- Estates with multiple properties
- Estates with multiple Legal Representatives and beneficiaries
- Preparing and filing tax returns for the administration period and to date of death
- Taxable estates or where form IHT400 needs to be filed at HM Revenue and Customs
- Foreign assets
- Domicile status and complications
- Administering and setting up trusts
- Claims made by the Department of Work and Pensions
- Resolving conflicts between beneficiaries and/or Legal Representatives.
- If the Will or distribution of the estate is contested or the Legal Representatives are in dispute
- If there is a claim against the estate under the Inheritance (Family and Dependants) Act 1975
- Insolvent estates
Fees may vary depending on individual circumstances and will increase with the complexity of the matter and value of the estate
Breakdown of Costs:
Hourly Rate: £111 (+VAT) for a Trainee Solicitor to £200 (+VAT) for a Director
Estimated Hours: 7.5 – 13.5
Legal Fees from: £1500
VAT on Legal Fees from: £300
Disbursements – £600 (further information below)
Average 6-9 months.
Typically, obtaining the Grant of Representation takes 8-12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take 2-4 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 3-4 weeks. Selling a property in an estate may increase the timescales dependent on how long the property takes to sell.
There are times where additional assets or liabilities can surface and we therefor reserve the right to revise our fees should there be reason to do so. Any fee adjustments will be discussed with the client.
Disbursements are costs related to third party services which we pay on your behalf.
- Probate Registry fee of £155 plus £1.50 per copy
- Swearing of oath £5 plus £2 per document (per legal representative)
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
- Post in the London Gazette—protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors if required £100
- Post in a Local Newspaper—this also protects against unexpected claims if required £150
Obtaining Grant of Representation or Letters of Administration
We offer a fixed fee for applications for Grant of Representation or Letters of Administration. The price below details what is included and what limitations there are for the service.
This service includes the completion and submission of the relevant forms and other required documentation for taxation and for obtaining the Grant of Representation.
- Providing you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
- Accurately identifying the type of probate application required
- Obtaining the relevant documents required to make the application
- Completing the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
- Drafting a statement of truth for you to swear
- Making the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf
- Obtaining the Grant of Representation
- Does not include:
- Estate Administration, this service places you as the Legal Representative of the estate
- Breakdown of Costs:
- Legal Fees: £650 to £1000
- VAT on Legal Fees: £130 to £200
- Probate Registry Fee: £155 plus £1.50 per copy
- Swearing the Oath: £7 (per Legal Representative); Swearing of additional documents if required: £5.00
- Obtaining the Grant of Representation for a typical estate can take between 8-10 weeks if there is a Will, or 12-15 weeks if there is no Will.
Get a more accurate quote
Every case is different, to get a bespoke probate estimate contact us today and we can discuss the specifics of yours.
Call: 01639 630057
Meet The Team
Supervisor, Director Solicitor, LLB
Jennifer’s reputation is unequalled in the field of Trusts, Wills and all aspects of Private Client work. She has recruited staff to work with her who share her ethos of always “going the extra mile” for her clients. She previously led a large team of lawyers at Hutchinson Thomas in Neath. She is a full member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners and a member of Solicitors for the Elderly
Chartered Legal Executive, FCILEX
Elisabeth trained at JCP solicitors in Swansea and has been working in the area of trusts and estates since 2001. She worked for Hutchinson Thomas in Neath alongside Jennifer Melly from 2006 and moved with Jennifer upon the opening of Jennifer Melly Law. Elisabeth also worked for Hugh James for 2 years and gained valuable experience in dealing with larger estate administration, returning to the firm in January 2019. Elisabeth is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly and the Society for Trusts and Estate Practitioners.
Nia graduated from Swansea University in 2013 and completed the Legal Practice Course the following year. Nia joined the firm from Sally Goldstone Family Law before qualifying as a Solicitor in 2016. Nia works alongside Jennifer practising in Private Client Law dealing with Trusts, Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney. She was also an Ambassador for Swansea University and acted in HMP Swansea as a Restorative Justice Facilitator
Trainee Solicitor, LLB
Kate is a Trainee Solicitor and joined the firm in September 2017 as a legal assistant after completing her law degree and Legal Practice Course at Swansea University. Kate undertook a law research internship at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in Boston. She is also a member of the Swansea Junior Lawyers Division
Valuing the Estate
At this stage we will go through the deceased’s papers and bank statements to establish their assets and liabilities. This can be quite straightforward, however in some cases there may be multiple investments, properties, and other personal belongings to consider.
At this stage we may need to contact banks, lenders, fund managers, pension providers, the local government, the DWP, and HMRC.
File Inheritance Tax Forms
Regardless of whether inheritance tax must be paid inheritance tax forms must be completed. One form is used for non-taxable estates, another for taxable estates.
The Legal Representative will complete the related forms as well as any additional schedules to establish the amount of tax payable.
Pay Inheritance Tax
If there is inheritance tax payable on the estate then it must be paid prior to obtaining the grant of probate. Funds can be transferred directly from one of the deceased’s accounts for this if there are sufficient funds.
File Probate Forms
Once we have assessed the size of the estate we will be able to complete the probate application form by applying to the Probate Registry.
The Legal Representatives will need to sign a statement of truth at this stage to confirm that the details of the application are correct.
Pay Probate Fees
At this stage we will pay the applicable probate fees on your behalf. These are fixed regardless of the size of the estate and are detailed above in the disbursements section.
Administer the Estate
We will collect in the assets of the estate, discharge the liabilities and subsequently distribute the estate in accordance with a Will or the rule of intestacy.