James, Hayley and the rest of the team (Sarah Dede and Joanna Lando) will deal with your matter: James Winfield – Director and head of our Private Client department with well over 10 years of experience dealing with Estate Administrations, member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners and Solicitors for the Elderly Hayley Bholah – Associate Solicitor with over 10 years of experience dealing with Estate Administrations, member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners and Solicitors for the Elderly
Our charges will be calculated according to the time spent dealing with the estate (which will include meetings with you and perhaps others; considering, preparing and working on papers; correspondence; and making and receiving telephone calls), together with a value element.
These charging rates are reviewed annually and we will notify you in writing of any increased rate.
James Winfield’s and Hayley Bholah’s hourly charging rate is £250 plus VAT and any other work (e.g. visiting/clearing property and other work not requiring legal training) carried out by other members of the firm will be charged at £150 + VAT. The time taken will be recorded in units of 6 minutes (1/10th of an hour) and routine correspondence sent or received and routine telephone calls made or received will be charged at a minimum of one such unit. The above rates are subject to change but we will always notify you first in writing. In addition to the above hourly charging rate we also charge a value element as follows:-
Solicitor acting as agent for executor/administrator
Value of Gross estate less residence 1% Value of residence 0.5%
Solicitor acting as executor
Value of Gross estate less residence 1.5% Value of residence 0.75%
I envisage that the non-value element of the fees will be within the following ranges depending on what work is required (and including obtaining the information to apply for the Grant, obtaining the Grant, realising the assets and distributing the estate): 1. Small estate, no inheritance tax payable, no Grant of Representation required – below £1,000. 2. Medium Estate, no inheritance tax payable, Grant of Representation required – between £1,000 and £4,000. 3. Larger estate, full inheritance tax account to prepare, Grant of Representation required – between £3,000 and £7,500.
There are a number of other factors unique to a particular matter that may increase the above estimated costs further including whether the Estate passes under the intestacy rules, if there are large numbers of beneficiaries, if there are missing beneficiaries, if there are any claims on the estate or there are problematic beneficiaries or if there are international assets/beneficiaries.
These estimates exclude VAT and disbursements. These estimates are our best estimate that we can make and are not intended to be fixed. If they need to be changed due to unforeseen developments and/or complications then we will advise you of any revised estimates as the matter develops.
If this firm does not complete the work, we will charge you for the work we have done; our bill will also include VAT and expenses.
We will always be glad to discuss fees with you and provide at any stage a cash account giving details of all money handled on your behalf and the state of the ledger at any given time.
We set out below other things, aside from our costs, which you are likely to have to pay for. These are very often payable from the estate, but if there are no funds in the estate, you may initially be asked to pay these to be reimbursed when there are monies in the estate.
When payment is likely to be needed
Probate Court fees
On application for Grant of Probate
£155 plus 50p per certified copy
Required to assess the size of the estate to obtain Grant of Probate
Normal time scales
Once we receive the completed Probate Questionnaire back from you we will normally take 1-2 weeks to review this and to send out initial letters. Depending on the number of letters sent out we would expect full replies within a further 4-6 weeks and will then take a further 1-2 weeks to prepare the Probate documentation for the signature of the executors. Once this is received back we will submit the full inheritance tax form and, if applicable, pay any inheritance tax to HM Revenue & Customs (this can take a few weeks depending on how quickly funds are released to pay the inheritance tax) and we can then submit the application to the Probate Registry and would hope to receive the Grant within a further 1-3 weeks. Once we have the Grant of Probate we would expect it to take another 4-6 weeks to realise or to transfer the assets. We may then be in a position to make a distribution but it may be an interim distribution if there are outstanding issues (usually with HM Revenue & Customs to obtain clearance for inheritance tax and income tax or with the sale of a property if applicable). A final distribution would be made on completion of all the outstanding issues.