Administration of Estates

Having the responsibility for the administration of a loved one’s estate may be daunting, especially at such a difficult time. At Beverley Morris & Co., our dedicated lawyers will lift the burden from your shoulders and keep you informed throughout the whole administration process.

How may we help you?

The first step is to ascertain the assets and liabilities of the deceased’s estate and whether any Inheritance Tax is payable. We then make an application to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.

Once the Grant has been obtained, we collect in the deceased’s assets, pay any liabilities and finally distribute the estate to the beneficiaries.

It is not always easy to predict how long a matter will take as it depends on the size of the estate and the assets owned by the deceased. If there is a property to sell, this can take some time.

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 4 – 12 months.  However, it will also depend on how long outside agencies, such as banks, HMRC and the Probate Registry take to respond to us – typically, obtaining a Grant of Probate takes 8 – 20 weeks.  Collecting assets may take around 2 – 26 weeks (for example, if there is a property to be sold, this may take longer than 6 months in some cases) and distribution of assets may take around 1 – 12 weeks.

We base our fees on a percentage of the value of the deceased’s estate; on average this will be around 2% + VAT but the exact cost will depend on individual circumstances. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, the costs will be lower. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, the costs will be at the higher end.  We will always discuss your individual matter with you and provide you with a detailed estimate of costs at the outset of your matter.

Please contact us for more information:

+44 (0)20 8852 4433

We will handle the full process for you. This estimate is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will.
  • There is no more than one property.
  • There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts.
  • There are no other intangible assets.
  • All assets are held in the UK.
  • None of the assets are business assets.
  • There are 1-3 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise, this is likely to lead to an increase in costs.
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC.
  • There are no claims made against the estate.

Disbursements not included in this fee:

Disbursements are costs 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 application fee of £155*
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £220 (approximately) Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • £250 – £300 (the price varies depending upon the publication) Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.
  • £3 per copy of title from the Land Registry

*This fee is £215 if the probate application is made by an individual.

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no Will or the estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks and bonds), there are likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate estimate once we have more information.
  • In order to value some assets, specialist valuations may be required in which case a fee would be payable to the valuer.
  • If any additional copies of the Grant are required, they will cost £0.50 each (1 per asset usually).
  • If the Will creates a Trust, there may be additional costs associated with the setting up of the Trust.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included. Please see our conveyancing fees or contact us for further information.

As part of our fee we will:

  • 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 a legal oath for you to swear.
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf.
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you.
  • Collect and distribute all the assets in the estate.

A solicitor who specialises in Probate matters will ensure that the administration of the estate is dealt with promptly and efficiently. They will also ensure that measures are taken to mitigate the amount of inheritance tax payable.

If you are seeking advice on the administration of estates that is not shown above, we may still be able to help. Please call or email us to find out more.
+44 (0)20 8852 4433

Administration of Estates Team

Geoffrey Cohen

Head of Private Client
Blackheath Office
Email Geoffrey

Leanne Bloomfield

Blackheath Office
Email Leanne