Estate Administration Fees

Probate fee information

We understand that the process of dealing with the legal issues that arise on the death of a loved one can be difficult and complex, especially at an already difficult time.

Our experienced Probate client team at Stone Rowe Brewer can assist you with all stages of the process.  We offer a range of services from assistance with the application for the grant of probate only to our complete probate and estate administration service dealing with everything on your behalf.

If you ask us to deal with the full administration of an estate, we will obtain asset valuations, complete the inheritance tax return, pay any IHT the is due and deal with all correspondence with HMRC, make the application for the Grant of Probate, collect in the assets, pay any debts and expenses and distribute the estate to the beneficiaries. 

Every Estate is different and we will always give you a personalised fee estimate in writing and will confirm the work that is covered by that estimate.

If you would like to know more about our team, including their qualifications and experience, you can view their profiles here.

Please get in touch with our team.

Request an estimate

We will always provide you with a personalised estimate of our costs to carry out the work you would like us to do before any costs are incurred.  We need to understand the make-up of the estate and read the Will.  We are happy to meet with you initially to discuss how we can help and can talk through all the options with you.  As the matter progresses we can update you on costs whenever you wish.  

We need to understand the estate and the assets that need to be dealt with before we can give you a personalised estimate.  We are happy to meet with you and learn about the estate and ask that you complete our questionnaire before the meeting, so that we can let you know how we can assist.

Example estimates of our professional fees

We want to be transparent about potential costs to help you understand the potential costs.  What follows is three scenarios with the likely fees for each set out.  Exact fees will depend on the precise details of each estate and we will always let you know in writing before starting work for you.

Example 1 Simple Estate:

  • owned a property valued at £300,000 in their sole or joint name
  • held up to three bank accounts with a balance of £75,000
  • investment account worth £25,000
  • had no debts, other than utility bills
  • left a valid will appointing executors
  • left the estate to a single beneficiary where no inheritance tax is payable

Our estimated fees in example 1 would be between £4,000 and £6,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

Example 2 – If the deceased person:

  • held a property valued at £700,000 in their sole name
  • held up to four bank accounts with a total balance of £125,000
  • managed investment portfolio worth £70,000
  • had no debts, other than utility bills
  • left a valid will appointing executors
  • left the estate to three adult children
  • where no inheritance tax is payable after claiming Transferable Nil Rate Band and Residence Nil Bands. 

Our estimated fees in example 2 would be between £6,000 and £10,000 plus VAT and disbursements. 

Example 3 – If the deceased person:

  • held a property valued at £950,000 in their sole name
  • held up to five bank accounts with a total balance of £250,000
  • up to three managed investment portfolios worth £500,000 in total
  •  Investment Bond worth £100,000
  • certificated shares in five publicly listed companies
  • personal effects and paintings valued at £25,000
  • made life time gifts to the value of £100,000
  • had no debts, other than utility bills
  • left a valid will appointing executors
  • left the estate to two children and four grandchildren as residuary beneficiaries
  • where inheritance tax is payable

Our estimated fees in example 3 would be between £10,000 and £15,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

The following factors may increase the cost of dealing with the administration of the estate:

  • not having all of the paperwork available
  • third parties not responding to our communications promptly
  • where the deceased has retained benefit of an asset he or she has purported to give away in their lifetime
  • where there have been significant gifts made or transfer of assets into trust which are required to be reported to HMRC
  • HMRC compliance enquiries
  • dealing with assets or items of unusual or complex nature (for example: fine art; timeshares; shares in private companies)
  • dealing with and advising on assets situated in foreign jurisdictions
  • dealing with a large portfolio of certificated shareholdings

If you think that you may have a complex issue or a particular asset that concerns you, we can discuss this with you and agree our costs for dealing with the issue.  If complications arise after we start work we will always contact you straightaway to let you know what the problem is, what our proposed solution is and the likely costs of that.  We won’t undertake that work until you have agreed the course of action and any additional fees.  

Potential costs to third parties (disbursements)

We may need to pay costs to third parties on your behalf; these costs are known as disbursements and commonly include the following:

  • probate registry fee £155*
  • bankruptcy searches £2 per search
  • HM Land Registry – Copy title deeds £3 for each property or title
  • Statutory notices in the Gazette and a Local Newspaper between £200 – £300. Notices may protect executors from unexpected claims made against the estate

*Probate fees are expected to increase significantly in April 2019. For further information please get in touch with our team.

There may also be other payments to third parties on behalf of the estate in which case we will let you know in advance.

The costs of selling or transferring property in the estate are in addition to our fees as shown in the above estimates. Most sales of estate properties are undertaken by our Probate team members.  Further information on our conveyancing fees can be found here