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What to do when someone dies


The task of administering the estate of a loved one can seem insurmountable, especially at a time when you are still coming to terms with your loss.

I can help with as little or as much of the practicalities as you like. If you wish you can gather up and leave all the paperwork you can find with me, and I will sort through everything – or you might already have all the figures you need for the Grant of Probate and the tax return, and you just need some help with the final steps. The procedures can be quite complex, and there are certain protections available to the Executors of an estate – if you take the right steps.

The charge for obtaining the Grant of Probate (the court document) is fixed, whereas for estate administration an estimate will be provided from the outset, and the relevant hourly rate will be provided. If you prefer we can agree a fixed fee for certainty – it’s up to you.

Please feel free to contact us and I will talk you through your options – with no obligation of course.

Talk through your options now?

If you are faced with sorting out the affairs of someone who has died you will likely be faced with lots of different terminology, Probate being the most common. But what is Probate? Probate is a Court issued document which confirms that the person who is named, is the person legally entitled to deal with the affairs of the deceased person. It will enable you to encase investments, transfer property and generally deal with all the affairs of that person.

If you have been appointed executor whether you need to apply to the Court is usually dictated by the asset holders, and the value of the estate. For example a person who is acting for their own spouse, who held all property jointly with them, would probably not need to obtain a Grant of Probate. Children or other executors that are not spouses, would usually need to obtain it. If tax is payable, then a Grant of Probate is always required.

How much will it cost?

There are different levels of service, and different costs depending on the complexity of the estate. If you have already spoken to most of the assets holders and have all the figures you need known as ‘Probate values’, then you could decide to request help applying to the Court only, and this is a standalone service known as ‘Grant only’. Once we obtain the Grant for you, you would then encash the holdings yourself.

The other option is ‘full administration’ – this is where you identify the different banks and investments, provide the basic details of all holdings and let us do the rest. This involves obtaining valuations, making the Court application, preparing tax returns for inheritance tax and ensuring personal and estate taxation is taken care of. We would encash investments and distribute these to the beneficiaries. A complete service!

Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration)

To obtain a Grant of Probate only (where you provide the probate values of the estate and the application is made to the Court for the Grant of Probate by us) the cost is fixed and starts from £750 and a disbursement of the court fee of £273 plus office copies.

Simple estate (unmarried) – under £325,000 – £900.00 (plus VAT)

Simple estate (married) – under £1,000,000 – £900.00 (plus VAT)

Estate (where spouse has pre-deceased) – under £650,000 – £1200.00 (plus VAT)

Estate under £1,000,000 (where spouse has pre-deceased and property owned jointly) – £1,500.00 (plus VAT)

Complex estate – long form IHT or tax payable (depending on types and numbers of assets) – £1,500.00 – £2,000.00 (plus VAT)

Probate / Estate Administration

The costs for full administration of an estate can vary depending on the amount of time it will take to administer, which is in turn dependent on the type of assets held and the number of people who will benefit. An accurate estimate will be provided on receipt of all the relevant information regarding assets. A straight-forward matter would start from approximately £3,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

We can provide a quote with a fixed fee, on request. This would usually be fixed at the upper end of the estimated costs.

Please feel free to call or email to have a no obligation discussion.