Our Fees for Estate Administration
Our policy is to charge for our services in connection with the administration of estates on the basis of:
(a) Time spent, letters written and received and
(b) Valuation of the estate at the date of death for Probate and Inheritance Tax purposes
Time Spent by a Partner
- Our Fee – £175 per Hour
- VAT – 20%
- Total – £204 per Hour
Time Spent by a Solicitor
- Our Fee – £150 per Hour
- VAT – 20%
- Total – £180 per Hour
Time Spent by a Junior Solicitor
- Our Fee – £125
- VAT – 20%
- Total – £150 per Hour
Standard outgoing letters are assumed to take 6 minutes to prepare. Standard letters received are assumed to take 3 minutes to read and deal with and will be charged accordingly unless otherwise charged as a timed attendance.
A charge equal to 0.5% of the value of the estate up to £500,000 will be made. There will be an additional charge of 0.25% on the part of an estate valued between £500,001 and £1,000,000. The part of the value of an estate above £1,000,000 will be charged at 0.125%.
Therefore the cost of administering an estate will vary according to the composition and value of the estate and how the assets need to be administered. Some estates are relatively simple and will involve the transfer of assets jointly held from the name of the deceased person to the survivor. Others might involve the sale of all the assets or the transfer of some assets and sale of others.
Some estates may involve research to track down assets or missing beneficiaries named in a Will or members of the family entitled where there is no Will. Some estates are Inheritance Taxable. Others are not.
You may wish us to advise about varying the disposition of property under a Will or intestacy by means a post-death Deed of Variation.
We will be able to give you an estimate of the costs of administering the estate once we have the details.
The following is an example of the costs of administering an estate worth £750,000 comprising a residential property worth £500,000 and £250,000 of investments.
- 10 Hours to Grant of Probate – £1,750
- 10 hours for Administration – £1,750
- 10 hours to finalise accounts and distribute estate – £1,750
- Subtotal – £5,250
- Plus VAT at 20% (£1,050) – £6,300
- Value charge - £3,750 including VAT
Total Cost including VAT – £10,050
What Our Fees Do Not Cover
Our fees do not include the following, which are payable in addition:
- All taxes (including Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, and Income Tax) due on administration of the estate
- Fees for statutory advertisements to protect executors against claims being made after the estate has been distributed
- Probate fees – the Court fees payable upon application for a Grant of Representation to an estate
- Search fees to trace missing beneficiaries
- Oath fees payable when the Executors Oath is sworn
- Fees for extra copies of the Grant of Representation to the estate
- Fees paid to value assets for Probate purposes, e.g. furniture and contents belonging to the deceased or a portfolio of shares, house clearance and house price valuation
What Are the Factors That Might Increase the Cost of Administration of an Estate?
- If there is a dispute about the validity of a Will, e.g. the deceased lacked testamentary capacity or made the Will under duress or the Will was incorrectly executed – we may have to cease acting or refer a beneficiary to another solicitor for separate advice
- If missing beneficiaries need to be traced
- If we are required to register the death, arrange the funeral, or manage the deceased’s property pending sale or transfer
- Multiple assets needing to be administered or multiple liabilities needing to be settled
- If the estate is insolvent, i.e. where the liabilities of the estate exceed the assets in value
- If there are a large number of beneficiaries
- Where one of the partners or solicitors in the firm is the executor
Unless we agree to a variation with you, our fees will include the following services:
- Ascertaining the composition and value of the estate at the date of death
- Assessing any Inheritance Tax payable
- Preparing the Inland Revenue Account or Return of Estate Information to forward to HM Revenue & Customs
- Applying for the Grant of Representation - Probate or Letters of Administration - to the estate
- After the Grant issues collecting in the assets and settling all liabilities
- Preparing the Estate Accounts and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries
- Assessing and settling any administration period Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax
- Finalising the deceased’s pre-death Income Tax affairs
The Experience and Qualifications of our Probate Practitioners
Non-contentious Probate work and administration of estates is carried out at Barker Gooch & Swailes by Colin Roer, Kevin McGarry, and Odette McBride.
Colin Roer is the senior solicitor supervising this work at Barker Gooch & Swailes. He has been administering estates for over 40 years and completed an estimated 250 estates himself. Currently, this work occupies about 40% of Colin’s time. He also performs a supervisory role.
About 60% of Kevin’s time is taken up in administering estates. He has 40 years’ experience of this type of work. He has administered an estimated 250 estates.
Odette McBride has been working as a solicitor for Barker Gooch & Swailes since 2004. She is a team player and mainly assists Colin Roer and Kevin McGarry in advancing particular sections and stages in the administration of estates such as preparation of estate accounts, preparation of tax returns and preparation of deeds of variation. She also drafts Wills and other probate-related documents.