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Administration of Estates

Our work in this area can vary considerably depending on the complexity of the situation and the amount of work that we are required to do

Our costs for the administration of estates are charged on a time basis at £240 to £260 plus VAT per hour

For estates that were completed in the period 1st April 2017 - 30th September 2018:

  • The amount of time spent on a matter ranged between 2.5 and 87 hours work.  The average time spent was 23 hours
  • The total costs ranged from £550 to £20,105 plus VAT.  The average cost was £5,234 plus VAT
  • As a percentage of the gross value of an estate, the total costs ranged from 0.15% to 8.85%, with the average at 1.54% plus VAT


The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter.  For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range.  If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property, and multiple bank accounts and other assets, costs will likely be at the higher end

We can handle all or part of the full process of administering an estate for you. The stages and processes which need to be completed in order to administer the estate are set out as follows:


Stage 1

Meeting with the executor and initial correspondence


Stage 2

Investigate and obtain various valuations for all assets and liabilities


Stage 3

Prepare Inheritance Tax (IHT) forms and lodge with H M Revenue & Customs


Stage 4

Prepare Oath for Probate to be sworn by executor

Send Oath with Will and IHT receipt to Probate Registry


Stage 5

Collect in all assets with Grant of Probate

Pay liabilities.

Transfer assets to beneficiaries named in the Will


Stage 6

Finalise Estate Accounts

Pay all Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax



Preparation of Tax Returns for period of administration

Corresponding with HM Revenue & Customs

Estates where the total costs will be towards the lower end of the scale would be in the following type of situation:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than one or two bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 2-3 beneficiaries
  • 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 full account to H M Revenue & Customs
  • There are no claims made against the estate
  • If the above do not apply, but we are asked to prepare the H M Revenue & Customs account for Inheritance Tax and application for Probate only


On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-12 months

Estates where the total costs will be towards the higher end of the scale could be in the following type of situation:


  • There is no valid will
  • There is more than one property
  • There are multiple bank or building society accounts
  • There are other intangible assets such as stocks and shares and other types of investment
  • There are multiple beneficiaries, some of whom may need to be searched for and identified
  • There are disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets
  • There may be business assets involved
  • There is Inheritance Tax payable
  • There are claims made against the estate
  • If there is a lot of time required to be spent going through large amounts of paperwork belonging to the deceased, in order to determine the assets held
  • The deceased was a self assessment taxpayer or their Income tax affairs prior to the date of death have not been properly declared to H M Revenue & Customs


On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 12-24 months

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.  VAT may apply to some of the disbursements that arise

Disbursements usually incurred during the administration of an estate:

  • Probate application fee of £155 plus £0.50 for each additional copy required
  • £7-9  Swearing of the oath (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £200  Post in The London Gazette - Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
  • £150  Post in a Local Newspaper - This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.
  • Land Registry searches - £3 per document required
  • Payment of funds due to a beneficiary directly to their bank account - £50


Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.  Our colleagues in our property law department would be pleased to assist in this regard if required

Our team has over 24 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to wills and estate administration.  We have particular expertise in high value estates and inheritance tax matters

We have two dedicated Probate Solicitors who may work on your matter, who will be ably assisted by an experienced administration team. The department is supervised by Neil Sapsed, Partner and Head of Private Client

Please see our ‘Our Services’ page for further details of the fee earners concerned. If you would like to contest a will, our specialist dispute solicitors can help you inherit what is rightfully yours.