Estate Administration

When someone you were close to dies the emotional strain you experience can be exacerbated by the burden of having to deal with what can seem like an overwhelming amount of bureaucracy and paperwork.

You may not:

  • know if they left a Will or where a copy of that is to be found
  • know who are the Executors responsible for sorting their affairs
  • or even know where to start

As an Executor or Administrator, you are under strict legal obligations to:

  • ensure that the debts of the Estate are settled
  • that any Taxes are paid and that
  • the assets of the Estate are distributed in accordance with the terms of the Will or the Rules of Intestacy

If the person registered their Will you should find among their papers a Registration Certificate and in any event you can have a search carried out by us checking whether a Will exists anywhere in England or Wales.

You can call on us to help you through this distressing and difficult time by letting us help

  • assist with the funeral arrangements
  • arrange a valuation of assets in the Estate
  • calculate Inheritance Tax on assets and advise on possible means of reducing any potential liability
  • obtain the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
  • settle any tax liabilities arising during the winding up of the Estate
  • arrange a sale or auction of assets
  • arrange payment of any debts and legacies
  • collecting in and distribute the assets amongst the beneficiaries
  • administer the deceased’s estate correctly according to the law and distribute the assets to those who are entitled to them. This may be in accordance with a Will or the Intestacy Rules when no Will has been made

You will receive a detailed set of accounts at the end of the Administration showing exactly what has been dealt with and how the Estate has been distributed.

Our experience is that from time to time disputes arise between beneficiaries as well as between those included in a Will and those excluded. You will probably find it difficult to remain impartial if those involved are known to you so if that situation arises let us assist in whatever way we can. See Probate Disputes for further information on this service provided by our specialist Dispute Resolution Team.

Our aim is to help you through what can be a very distressing time by putting our expertise at your disposal and simplifying what can be a complex procedure.

What is not covered by the work that we do for you?

Your cost estimate is based on the hours it will take us on your case.The assumptions on a standard probate matter are that there there is a will, there are no overseas assets, no dispute and that the estate of the deceased has not got complex business assets or significant Inheritance Tax (IHT) Issues.If any of these factors apply we will advise you of the revised quote at the time that these factors become clear.

The work does not cover the legal conveyance of any property or asset which may be required to put the wishes of the deceased into effect.These would be dealt with as separate matters and we will provide you with costs figures on these if required

The work does not cover any setting up of Trusts that may arise from the distribution of the estate.

We do not ordinarily carry out site visits if this is required a supplemental charge may apply.

The work does not cover any house clearance that may be required.

How long will it take?

Timescales depend on a number of factors.  The average process takes between 4-6 months if this is a standard probate matter however if this becomes non-standard (see above) this can increase the time it takes to up to 3 years and this will increase the cost.

In such, a situation additional charges may apply and we will tell you if they do before carrying out the work.

How much will it cost

The work will be carried out based on an hourly rate.  We will provide you with the details of that rate and our estimate of the fees when you instruct us. In most instances we would estimate that a standard probate matter would cost between £2,700 to £4000 . A standard probate is defined as a probate where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 1-5 beneficiaries and those beneficiaries can be located
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on 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
  • There are no foreign assets
  • There are no assets requiring complex valuations
  • The deceased is not bankrupt or the subject of an IVA.

In addition the following disbursements may also apply to your case depending on the circumstances:

  • Probate application fee of £ 156.50
  • £5 Swearing of the oath and £2 per exhibit (per Executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£3 per Beneficiary)
  • The cost of putting a post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • The cost of putting a post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.

Who will do the work for me?

We have a very experienced team headed by Thomas Rimmington, a specialist private client solicitor with over 25 years’ experience

Click on the profiles of the team under Meet the Team to see who carries out probate work at Brown Turner Ross.