When faced with the death of a relative or friend and whether there is a Will or no Will, dealing with legal formalities can be overwhelming and confusing.
Whether an Estate is straight forward or complex, this firm can assist in dealing with matters for you, either by simply applying for the correct Grant of Representation, leaving yourselves to deal with the administration (ie. gather in assets, settle liabilities and distribution of an Estate) or, for this firm being appointed to deal with the Grant application and the full administration instructed by the Executor/Administrator.
Why choose Knowles Benning
In our dedicated probate departments across both of Dunstable and Shefford offices, we have highly experienced and compassionate staff to deal with all Probate matters to complete matters as efficiently and sensitively as possible.
Before confirming our fees we are happy to provide an initial free consultation to discuss your requirements.
Depending on the nature of the Estate, there are different Grant applications but we set out below the most common forms of Grant application and our standard fixed fees:-
Where a Deceased left a Will If a Deceased left no Will (Intestate)
We anticipate our fees for Grant only applications (on the basis that full financial information is available) :-
Grant of Probate application (Inland Revenue Form IHT205/IHT217 with spouse exemption claim)
Grant of Probate application (Inland Revenue Form IHT400/Inheritance Tax / Full reporting Estate)
|Additional fees for Property Exemption applications|
In addition to our fees additional charges may be incurred in dealing with third party “disbursements”
Statutory Creditor Notices (if required) (administration Estates) (to include Notice fees)
|Asset Search : searching for unknown assets (if required) (administration Estates)||£250.00+VAT|
|Certainty Search : searching for any / other /later Wills (if required)||£100.00+VAT|
|Court fees : Court application and 4 sealed copies of the Grant to enable administration||£157.00 ***|
** Estimated cost : advertisements appearing in London Gazette and local newspaper – costs can vary.
*** Subject to Court fee increases effective from April 2019.
Other than Inheritance Tax, some Estates required specialist Income Tax consideration and are out-sourced to an experienced firm of local Accountants (or a client’s own chosen firm) who will provide an indication of their fees in dealing with any Income and Capital Gains Tax matters.
When there are properties to consider in an Estate, either a home, property portfolio and commercial premises, it may be necessary for professional valuations for probate purposes to be obtained and such fees payable depending on the type of valuation required.
Administration Costs - (In addition to the fees for the Grant)
Following the Issue of the appropriate Grant - Our additional costs are calculated on the amount of work carried out.
Our fees include; administering the Estate, including completion of the required Inland Revenue Account, correspondence with banks, building societies, gathering in assets, settling liabilities, distribution of the Estate and production of Estate Accounts showing details of the assets in the Estate and its distribution. If any sale or transfer of a dwellinghouse or land is involved, a further estimate will be given for dealing with this, together with any appropriate disbursements.
We try to offer our clients an indication of the cost of administering an Estate at the beginning of a matter based on the information provided but this can vary should further matters or complexities come to light during the administration. If this is the case and additional fees appear likely, this will be discussed with our client prior to carrying out the additional work.
Standard Estates (no complexities and no Inheritance Tax)
Experience in dealing with Estate administration - our general costs for administration of Estates will range from £2,000.00 plus VAT - £5,000.00 plus VAT and disbursements.
Estates subject to Inheritance Tax / Full IHT400 Return
Experience in dealing with Estate administration - our general costs for administration of Estates are generally in the region of £3,000.00 plus VAT - £10,000.00 plus VAT and disbursements, however more complex Estates may be higher.
The formula used for calculating our administration (or any Estates we are not able to provide an Estimate for) are calculated on the following basis:-
Our charges will be calculated mainly by reference to the time spent by the staff in dealing with the matter, the numbers of letters and telephone calls, with the current rate from £17.50 per letter written received or per telephone call and at a charging rate of between £175.00 - £210.00 per hour plus VAT, dependent upon the level of fee earner and complexity.
In addition, our charges may also contain an element based on the value of the Estate. This is because the value is a reflection of the importance of the matter and consequently the responsibility falling upon the firm. The value factor applied will be in accordance with the Law Society guidelines and we would charge 0.5% on the main residence and 1% on the remaining value of the Estate.
In dealing with Estate administration beneficiary disputes and claims can arise and in the Probate department we do try to deal with these as sensitively as possible however in cases where such disputes and claims are not immediately resolvable, we have a Litigation Department who are experienced in dealing with contentious / litigious and mediation matters.
It is extremely difficult to foresee any difficulties or matters coming to light in dealing with an Estate and therefore our fees quoted above are provided on the basis of experience in dealing with routine Estates and our standard costs structure.
Non –standard applications
Our base costs may be increased by written agreement in dealing with more complex matters, (in cases such as a deceased is non-domicile, foreign assets, high value estates needing outside professional consideration and complicated investments and Trusts).
If an Estate includes a property to be sold or assented (transferred to beneficiaries) additional fees will apply as referred to in our Conveyancing price information.