Private Client

Our probate service can cover as much or as little of the administration of an estate as you require. We do not insist on taking over the entire administration but are happy to provide a full administration service if required.

We are proud to hold Lexcel Accreditation, issued by the Law Society. This involves the firm undergoing a rigorous audit process which ensures we maintain the highest levels of client care.

Our fees for dealing with probate administration will vary depending upon the size and complexity of the estate. Complexity is not always linked to the value of the estate as small but complex estates can sometimes be more difficult and time consuming to deal with than a large straightforward one.

An initial consultation will allow us to provide you with a more accurate and bespoke estimate of fees.    We are also happy on occasion to agree a fixed fee with you (depending on the circumstances of the matter).  The following information sets out our usual costs:-

Grant only service

Our minimum fee for obtaining a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration (where the estate is not subject to Inheritance Tax) is £1,500.00 + VAT and disbursements.

Key stages of the transaction

This includes ensuring the appropriate application is made, including completion of the inheritance tax return and Statement of Truth required to apply for the grant based on information you have provided.  We will rely upon you providing us with accurate and full information up to the point where the application for the grant can be made.  If you would like us to deal with any of the work leading up to the application of the Grant of Probate, dealing with the estate on receipt of the Grant or any work in connection with winding up the estate we will require further instructions and will agree a further fee with you for this work.

We will store the original grant free of charge and provide sealed copies to the personal representatives so that they may complete the administration of the estate.

How long will this take?

When applying for a Grant where there is no Inheritance Tax to pay the approximate time for receiving the Grant is within 3 – 6 months including the time for the Probate Registry to issue the Grant.

Full estate administration service

Our fees are calculated by reference to the time a lawyer spends working on the matter. A value element is also sometimes charged.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. We will provide you with an estimate based on the information given at the outset.

Key stages of the transaction

  • A dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter;
  • Locating the Will and ensuring it is the last Will and is validly made;
  • Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries;
  • Identifying the type of probate application required and obtaining the relevant documents to make the application;
  • Completion of the relevant HM Revenue & Customs forms and drafting a statement of truth;
  • Making the application and ensuring the appropriate grant of administration is obtained;
  • All assets made known to us are gathered in and liabilities, including tax, discharged;
  • The net estate is distributed in accordance with the law and the will;
  • Estate accounts are prepared and approved by you to conclude the administration;
  • Dealing with tax returns for the administration period;
  • Tax certificates are prepared where appropriate for beneficiaries’ personal tax records.

We would anticipate costs for the full service will be between £4,000 and £6,000 exc VAT based on the following assumptions:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than five bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are no more than five beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between executors or beneficiaries.
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HM Revenue & Customs
  • There are no claims against the estate
  • All assets are UK based

In addition to our hourly rates we sometimes charge a value element based on the size and nature of the estate. Where we act as the Executor named in the Will the value element is 0.75% of the value of any home plus 1.5% of the gross value of the rest of the estate.

Where someone at Lyons Bowe is not the Executor of a Will, the value element will be 0.5% of the value of any home plus 1% of the gross value of the rest of the estate.

The final fee depends on the individual circumstances of the Deceased, their chosen beneficiaries and the value and complexity of the estate.

There are many variables some of which we will not know about at the outset which means that the estimate may end up being higher or lower than the final costs charged.  We will let you know during the course of the matter where fees are in relation to the estimate. If it appears likely that we are going to exceed the estimate we will let you know and we will also explain the reasons why and agree further costs with you.

If we don’t have full knowledge of the assets and liabilities in the estate at the outset we can only give a range of estimated fees. Once we have further knowledge of how the estate is made up and what will be involved we can provide a more accurate estimate.

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Disbursements

There are usually additional expenses payable to third parties as part of the administration process.  These can vary depending on the assets but the following are an example:

  • Court fees for obtaining a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration: £273+ 1.50 for each additional sealed office copy.
  • Statutory advertisements (protects against unknown creditors): £150 to £200 based on The London Gazette and one local newspaper.
  • AML Check £14 + VAT per client
  • Bankruptcy searches: £3.20 per beneficiary.

Potential additional costs

The following are likely to lead to additional costs, which will vary depending on the estate. We can provide an accurate quote once we have full information:

  • If there is no will.
  • If beneficiaries need to be traced.
  • If there are additional assets, such as shareholdings.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property. Where we are acting as Executors Lyons Bowe will also undertake the conveyancing work. To find out about our conveyancing fees please look at our conveyancing calculator
  • Preparing tax returns for the period to the date of death.

How long will this take?

Estates which fall within the range above usually take around 8-12 months to administer. Gathering the additional information and preparing the grant application can take 6-8 weeks. Obtaining the grant takes approximately 12-16 weeks from when the application is submitted. Collecting the assets can take between 6 – 8 weeks.  Dealing with winding up the Estate can take a further 6 – 8 weeks.

The time guidelines are approximate and will vary depending on the assets and matters involved and the information provided to us.