Full Administration Service

This is where we fully administer the estate on behalf of, or acting as, Executors of the estate where there is a Will, or where the deceased has died intestate without a Will.

Due to the very variable nature of estates which all have their own set of facts and complexities, we always provide a bespoke estimate of costs at the outset of a matter.

We have prepared a factsheet which is available here which provides further detail about likely steps to be taken in an administration process and applicable timescales.

What is included?

In any full estate administration we will:

  • Notify asset holders and creditors and obtain details of all assets and liabilities including obtaining valuations of properties and investments as necessary
  • Notify all legatees and beneficiaries and carry out identity and bankruptcy checks
  • Insert statutory notices if required
  • Carry out an asset search
  • Prepare HM Revenue and Customs forms (where necessary obtaining valuations), calculate any Inheritance Tax payable and arrange for an advance or loan to pay first instalment
  • Pay IHT from the deceased’s funds, negotiate with HMRC and pay balance when due
  • Prepare the Legal Statement of Truth and meet personal representatives to go through and sign paperwork. However, paperwork can be sent in the post and the contents discussed over the telephone or video call
  • Lodge the Legal Statement of Truth and relevant tax forms with the Probate Registry and pay the Court fee
  • Forward copies of grant to you when received
  • Collect in all assets or arrange their transfer in accordance with requirements
  • Pay all debts and legacies
  • Obtain necessary details to prepare and lodge tax return or repayment claim
  • Make interim payments as appropriate to beneficiaries
  • Lodge administration period tax return as necessary
  • Prepare final accounts and submit them to personal representatives and then residuary beneficiaries for approval
  • Forward to residuary beneficiaries their entitlement and all necessary tax deduction certificates

What is not included?

  • Investigation of Department for Work and Pension claims
  • Dealing with missing items or beneficiaries
  • Advice in relation to deeds of variation
  • Any dispute or litigious matter
  • The conveyancing on a sale of a property
  • Dealing with assets that fall outside of the estate such as life policies or trust assets
  • Setting up or disbanding any trusts created by the Will or intestacy

What will it cost?

We are able to offer a fee estimate based on the complexity of the estate, the value of the estate and the time we think it will take to deal with the administration of the estate. Other than a fee estimate, we also offer other options – for example, a fixed fee.

Hourly rates

The Wills and Trust Department current hourly rates range between £125 and £275 per hour plus VAT depending upon the level of seniority and experience of the team member. It will be usual that during the course of an estate administration that work will be carried out at different hourly rates to ensure that the work is carried out as cost effectively for you as possible.

Value element

A charge reflecting the value of the assets we are dealing with in administering the Estate will be included. The value is a reflection of the importance of the matter and consequently the responsibility of the firm and individuals. The value element therefore also varies depending upon whether or not we are appointed Executors or Trustees, and is set out below.

Wolferstans not acting as an Executor

Value of gross Estate less the residence 1%
Value of the Deceased’s share of the residence 0.5%

Wolferstans acting as Executors

Value of gross Estate less the residence 1.5%
Value of the Deceased’s share of the residence 0.75%

The exact costs will depend entirely up on the individual circumstances of the matter. We have set out below some approximate costings based upon typical estates, but an estate could fall within the ranges given. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of a range, but if there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple assets, costs may be at the higher end.

Example 1 – a typical estate where:

  • The estate is solvent and valued at less than the current nil rate band amount (£325,000)
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are no more than 5 debts of the estate
  • There are up to 4 residuary beneficiaries
  • There are up to 4 legatees
  • 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 detailed inheritance account (IHT400) to HMRC
  • There is no claim made against the estate.
  • We anticipate that the costs for such an estate (including work carried out on hourly rates and the value element) will be between £1,950 and £7,950 plus VAT. In addition, there will be expenses that are incurred on your behalf (known as disbursements) which are listed below.

Example 2 – a typical estate where some or all of the below applies:

  • There is a valid Will
  • The estate is solvent and valued at between the current nil rate band amount (£325,000) and £1million
  • There are no more than 3 properties
  • There are no more than 10 bank or building society accounts
  • There are other intangible assets such as shares or investments
  • There are no more than 10 debts of the estate
  • There are up to 8 residuary beneficiaries
  • There are up to 8 legatees
  • 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 inheritance tax payable and the executors need to submit a detailed inheritance account (IHT400) to HMRC
  • There is no claim made against the estate

We anticipate that the costs for such an estate (including work carried out on hourly rates and the value element) will be between £7,950 and £19,950 plus VAT. In addition, there will be expenses that are incurred on your behalf (known as disbursements) which are listed below.

Example 3 – a typical estate where some or all of the below applies:

  • There is a valid Will
  • The estate is valued at in excess of £1million
  • There are multiple properties
  • There are multiple bank or building society accounts
  • There are other intangible assets such as shares or investments
  • There are multiple debts
  • There are multiple residuary beneficiaries
  • There are multiple legatees
  • There may be business or agricultural assets
  • There may be associated trust assets
  • 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 inheritance tax payable and the executors need to submit a detailed inheritance account (IHT400) to HMRC
  • There is no claim made against the estate

Such cases are of necessity individual, but we anticipate that the costs for such an estate (including work carried out on hourly rates and the value element) will be in excess of £20,000 plus VAT. In addition, there will be expenses that are incurred on your behalf (known as disbursements) which are listed below.

In estates where there is no valid Will (known as an intestate estate) it is expected that additional work caused by the intestacy would be a further £1500-£2500 plus VAT in addition to the costs listed above.

The following fees will be in addition to the costs listed for any of the example estates listed above:

  • Probate Court fees (£155 plus £1.50 per copy grant required)
  • Land registry fees for Office Copy Entries (if required) (£3 plus VAT per property)
  • Inheritance tax, for an indication as to the likely Inheritance Tax charge please see here
  • Asset search fee (approximately £165 plus VAT)
  • Statutory notices (approximately £165 plus VAT)
  • Bankruptcy searches (£2 plus VAT per person, per search – each person likely to need 2-3 searches during the estate administration)
  • Conveyancing fees for land transaction and related Land Registry Fees (see our separate conveyancing pricing pages)
  • Costs of obtaining death certificates, marriage certificates etc (£11-£35 for the first certificate)
  • Valuation fees for shares, property and contents (variable but likely to be of the order of £200-£300 per valuation)
  • Cost of clearance of a property (if required) – variable
  • Accountant’s fee for preparing a tax return (if required) (approximately £350-£750 plus VAT)
  • Cost of a Certainty Will Search (between £45.60 – £238 plus VAT dependent upon search opted for)
  • Income tax for estate administration period, capitals gain tax, stamp duty. For further details on these taxes please see here.
  • Property insurance costs (variable depending upon the value of the property)
  • Insurance such as for missing assets or beneficiaries (rarely required, and dependent upon the case)
  • Tracing agent fee for missing beneficiaries.
  • In the event that additional work is required for any reason or an unforeseen complexity arises that means that the above pricing structure is no longer appropriate we would advise you of this at the outset, or as the situation arises.

How long will it take?

Our estate administration factsheet sets out the approximate timescales for estate administration in smaller and larger estates and each stage throughout the process.

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