Find out how we can help with Probate and Estate Administration.
The team at Mullis & Peake LLP Solicitors can offer you a wealth of collective experience and deliver high quality work in all matters relating to Wills and estate administration, offering particular emphasis on inheritance tax planning.
You can expect a modern, collaborative approach from the department. You will have direct contact with one of our specialists, who will be directly accountable for your case. However, to ensure your matter always receives prompt attention, different members of the team may assist on your matter at any given time. This allows an efficient response to your queries and will minimise delay.
Services also offered in
Meet the team
All of the work carried out is supervised by Manzurul Islam, who is a Solicitor and Member in the firm and Head of the Wills & Probate department.
You can click on the team’s names to read more about them.
Manzurul Islam - Head of Wills and Probate
Behiye Karaman - Senior Associate Solicitor
Kristina Wolfenden – Solicitor
Shazia Akhtar - Solicitor
Hazara Patel - Solicitor
Our Expertise and Costs
There are two main services offered in Estate Administration. Below, you can find information on how our fees are calculated. The examples assume that the estate is uncontested and all assets are in the UK. There are also examples to show the kind of circumstances that wouldn't be covered by our generals fees set out below.
During what is otherwise a difficult time, you may prefer to pass on the entire burden of administering a deceased’s estate. We can deal with every aspect, both legal and practical, including:
- Confirming the existence and validity of a Will
- Corresponding with all asset and liability holders in the estate
- Arranging valuations of all assets
- Arranging house insurance where necessary
- Calculating inheritance tax liability and preparing relevant tax returns
- Applying applicable reliefs to reduce your inheritance tax liability and arranging payment of any tax liabilities
- Preparing the probate application
- Closing all accounts and collecting in assets
- Placing statutory notices to help protect against claims from creditors
- Finalising income tax and capital gains tax where appropriate
- Drafting estate accounts
- Confirming the identity of and distributing to beneficiaries
- Conducting bankruptcy searches
If the estate is one which attracts no tax liability, our charges are typically £4,000-£6,000 plus VAT and expenses.
Where an estate attracts any tax liability, our charges start at £6,000 plus VAT and expenses and are typically in the region of 1-1.5% of the gross value of the estate plus VAT and expenses.
Common expenses include:
- Probate application £155
- Statutory notices £250 (approx.)
Examples of circumstances that would not be typical and therefore might increase our fees are given below. This list is not intended to be exhaustive.
- Where there is no Will (known as an 'intestacy')
- Business or agricultural property
- Operating or selling a business
- Private company shares
- Assets abroad or of a specialist nature e.g. fine art
- A homemade or damaged Will
- Property issues such as unregistered title
- Deeds of variation or disclaimer or renunciation
- A large portfolio of certificated shareholdings
- Submitting a corrective account to HMRC detailing adjustments to originally submitted asset and liability details
A non-exhaustive list of examples of circumstances that would have a significant effect on our fee are as follows:
- Operating a business as an ongoing concern
- Complex intestacies where beneficiary tracing is required
- For client with no immediate family; registering the death, arranging the funeral, clearing the property and thereafter inspecting it for buildings insurance compliance
It would be rare for our fees to exceed 2.5% of the gross estate plus VAT and additional payments. The exact costs will depend on the circumstances of the matter. For example, an estate with a high value property, one bank account and one beneficiary may be cheaper to administer than a lower value estate with no property but multiple certificated shareholding and several beneficiaries.
Please note that the following are not included within our full service, although it might be possible to quote for such work separately:
- Changing the ownership or title of any properties – for example a sale or transfer (this firm’s conveyancing team will be pleased to provide a separate quotation for this work);
- Capital Gains or Income Tax returns – it may be necessary for an accountant to be instructed to deal with finalisation of the Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax position to the deceased’s death. We shall be able to liaise with the accountant to provide information required;
- Supplying beneficiaries with tax deduction certificates for their personal Income Tax returns;
- Registration of death and arranging funeral – whilst we may be able to deal with these matters in some circumstances, however there will be an additional charge;
- Attending at or collecting papers from the deceased’s property
- Storing or arranging for the sale/distribution of personal possessions
- Advice on setting up and administering any trusts contained in the Will or created by the intestacy rules
- Drafting any documents to vary a Will or intestacy retrospectively (deed of variation)
- Dealing with foreign assets
- Dealing with any IHT valuation challenge
- Engagement in litigation or threatened litigation including caveats
- Locating missing beneficiaries
Our case handlers typically charge between £200 - £330 per hour plus VAT and expenses. A typical administration involves around 30 to 40 hours’ work. The time taken to complete the work largely depends on third parties and is out of our control. A lot of time is spent waiting on organisations such as HMRC, the Courts, banks or for properties to sell.
Generally it takes in the region of 2-3 months to obtain valuation figures from third parties for all assets and liabilities. It can then take 3-4 months to obtain the Grant of Probate, assuming the Probate Registry can process the application within 8 weeks. Thereafter, it may take a further 4 to 6 months to encash the assets and draft the estate accounts. This assumes that all third parties release funds within 4 weeks of being requested to do so and that any property is formally transferred or sold within 8 weeks of the Grant of Probate being issued.
Our basic service is designed for those who are happy to undertake the practical elements of an estate administration themselves, but require assistance with the more technical elements.
This may suit you if you are a close family member and there are a limited number of beneficiaries who are all known to you.
For the basic service, our involvement will be limited to the following matters:
- Preparing the inheritance tax return and applying for additional relief where appropriate
- Preparing the probate application
- Arranging payment of inheritance tax
You would be responsible for collecting in and distributing the estate and providing all of the information we might need to extract a grant. This might include obtaining valuations and dealing with properties.
Because the work is limited, we are generally able to offer a fixed fee quote for the Basic Service. For simple estates which only require a short-form tax return (using an IHT 205 form), our fees would be £1,800 plus VAT and any expenses we need to incur on your behalf.
For more involved estates which require a full tax return (using an IHT 400 form), our fees would be £2,500 plus VAT and any expenses we need to incur on your behalf.
In terms of the expenses we anticipate incurring, this usually involves the Court fees payable to the Probate Registry.
If you wish to engage us to undertake additional duties, the charges for such work would be made on a time recorded basis, typically between £200-£330 per hour plus VAT and expenses.
Once you have supplied all required information to us, where a short-form tax return (IHT 205) has been filed we aim to obtain the grant within 8 weeks, although this timescale cannot be guaranteed as some factors (such as the response time of the Probate Registry) are beyond our control. Where a full return (IHT 400) is filed, the timescales are usually extended by a further 4 weeks.
Trusts and Probate Enquiry
Fill out the form and a member of our team will get in touch to discuss how we can help.
Our latest insights
Wills and Probate Team
Manzurul is a Member and heads our Wills and Probate team.
Martyn is our Chairman and the firms' Compliance Officer for Legal Practice