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Probate Prices

Estate Administration Services (Probate)

At Coles, we offer two different service levels to our customers to assist with administering the affairs of someone after their death, depending on the level of involvement Executors named in a Will, or family under an intestacy (no Will) wish to take.

A solicitors traditional Probate service would assist in the entire estate administration, ending with the production of estate accounts and making payment out to those entitled. This service is listed below as Full Probate Service.

Often, Executors or family are willing to undertake most roles but with the security that the actual Probate application legal forms are completed by professionals, including the IHT tax form that has to be completed for HM Revenue & Customs. For this reason, we offer a “Grant Only” service which primarily involves the completion of the key documents to obtain Probate / Letters of Administration.

Grant Only £700 plus VAT               Full Administration 1.8% plus VAT         or        2% plus VAT   (see below for details)

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Full Probate Service

A full estate administration comprises three parts. The first is to confirm the extent of the estate and the value of the assets, the second is preparing the application for Probate/Letters of Administration based upon this and obtaining the same, and the final part is using Probate/Letters of Administration to collect in those assets and distribute them in accordance with the Will or Intestacy provisions.

Our standard retainer includes:

  • Dealing with Executors and up to 5 beneficiaries;
  • A valid Will or readily ascertainable close family entitled under the Intestacy provisions (spouse or children);
  • Assets in the UK;
  • contacting the assets holders and creditors to obtain valuations of all the assets and liabilities as at the date of death;
  •  preparation of the probate papers, including those which need to be submitted to HMRC;
  •  submitting the probate application to court;
  • collection of all assets in the estate;
  • payment of all liabilities;
  • production of Estate Accounts
  • distribution of the assets in the estate to the beneficiaries; and
  • dealing with the payment of income tax liabilities during the administration of the estate (if appropriate).

Our Charges

To ensure clarity in our prices and at the request of our clients, rather than operate on an hourly rate basis, we offer our probate service on a fixed % of the gross estate value reportable to HMRC. Currently those charges are:

Estates below £1m  – 1.8%  or 2% where the Directors of the firm are appointed executors or co executors.

Estates exceeding £1m – 1.25% or 1.5% where the Directors of the firm are appointed executors or co executors.

Where those charges would would significantly exceed the anticipated work, due to a single high value asset, we may agree with you a fixed fee alternative to ensure fairness in our charges.

Exclusions from our standard retainer

The following is not included in our standard retainer and is chargeable in addition. This is due to the work is not always required to be undertaken in standard matters and would cause additional work to be undertaken.

  • Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax issues outstanding at the date of death and to the date of death and IHT enquiries by HMRC . We would open a separate matter for this and and charge you accordingly on a time spent basis.
  • Disputes arising over the estate. We would open a separate matter for this and and charge you accordingly on a time spent basis.
  • more than 5 beneficiaries
  • foreign property & assets
  • determination of entitlement under an Intestacy
  • documentation requested by the Probate registry due to issues arising with a Will, for example Affidavits of Due Execution.
  • lifetime gift valuations and reporting to HMRC – including regular gifts out of income
  • Variations of the estate (Deeds of Variation)
  • Trusts established under a Will or intestacy.
  • Any property work/transfers

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Grant Only Service

With this service we will prepare the Probate / Letters of Administration application to secure the Grant of Probate/ Letters of Administration.

We will:

  • Prepare the Statement of Truth (replaced Executors Oath)
  • Prepare IHT205 account for HMRC

Our Charges

£700 plus VAT

Exclusions from our standard retainer

The following is not included in our standard retainer and is available for additional charges if required due to the work is not always required in standard matters and would cause additional work to be undertaken.

  • valuation of assets
  • Forms to claim Transferable Nil Rate Bands
  • IHT400 accounts for HMRC
  • Contact with beneficiaries
  • encashment of assets
  • preparation of estate accounts

Disbursements

In both probate services there are a number of additional amounts payable to third parties (disbursements) that are in addition to our fees:

  • Probate Fee                               £155 (and 50p per copy)

In the full administration service the following disbursements may apply in addition:

  • Bankruptcy Search                        £2 per beneficiary
  • Official Copies of title deeds        £3*
  • Trustee Act Notices                       £variable on publication (£140-£250*)
  • Financial Asset Search                  £135*
  • Probate Plus fee                              £80*

(*Prices are exclusive of VAT which may be applied)

Time Estimates

For our Grant Only service we would anticipate having the Grant or Probate/ Letters of Administration obtained within 4 weeks of instructions.

For full administration services, time frames largely depend on the complexity of the estate and/or whether a IHT400 full inheritance tax account is required to be lodged with HMRC. As an indication only where no IHT is payable we have included this timesheet to give you an indication of the length of time it can take to undertake “Probate” based upon time estimates for each stage. Certain elements are dependent on 3rd parties and so we have been cautious with the estimates given. In general, the following timeframes are a guide.

Task Estimate for Task Total time
Confirmation of the value of the estate as of the date of death

 

8 weeks 8 weeks
Completion of the Probate application and signature by all Executors

 

4 weeks 12 weeks
Issue of the Grant of Probate by the Court

 

3 weeks 15 weeks
Registration of the Grant with Asset holders to obtain account closure forms

 

2 weeks 17 weeks
Closure of accounts, transfer of assets not being sold, confirmation and settlement of any debts. 8 weeks 25 weeks
 

Preparation of Estate accounts and approval by Executors.

 

4 weeks 29 weeks
Payments out to Beneficiaries 3 weeks 32 weeks

 

If a property is being sold as part of the administration, the estate administration cannot be completed until the property has sold which is entirely dependent upon the property market.

It may be possible to consider making interim payments to beneficiaries during this period once accounts have been closed dependant on the value of the estate.