This range of fees apply where the estate administration is relatively straightforward and non- contentious, the deceased was domiciled in the UK and all estate assets are in England and Wales. If we are the executors and there is no immediate family to deal with practical matters, there may be additional charges due to the additional work involved.
Our charges are based entirely on time spent working on the matter which is charged at the hourly rate of the fee earner/s working on the file. We do not charge a percentage of the value of the estate in addition to our standard charges.
An initial fee estimate is given as early as possible and this is confirmed when full information about the estate assets, beneficiaries and relevant documents have been considered.
If it appears at any point that additional work which was not originally anticipated is likely to be necessary, we will confirm this in writing and provide an updated fee estimate before starting any work. Additional costs could be payable on a fixed fee (e.g. if a one off document is required), or at our hourly rates if more extensive work is needed.
|Estate not subject to Inheritance Tax||Our approximate fee
|Estate Value up to £5,000||£1,000 plus VAT
|Estate value over £5,000 up to £1million||£3,000-£5,000 plus VAT
|Estate value over £1million but no IHT due to spouse or charity exemption||£5,000-£7,000 plus VAT
|Estate Subject to Inheritance Tax|
|Our approximate fee
|If the estate administration is straight forward (for example there is a property and a bank account) then the charges will be towards the lower end of the scale. However, if the estate administration is more complicated (for example there are several share holdings, several bank accounts and a property) then the charges will be towards the higher end of the scale. ||£6,000 -£10,000 plus VAT
To find out whether the estate is subject to inheritance tax please visit www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax
What do our charges include?
- Obtaining your detailed instructions.
- Obtaining from you all deeds and documentation relating to the affairs of the deceased and reviewing.
- Registering the death with the asset holders and obtaining confirmation of date of death valuations.
- Checking that we have correct addresses for the beneficiaries.
- Obtaining any formal valuations which may be required by HMRC.
- Completing the Inheritance Tax account, and obtaining your approval.
- Preparing the personal representative’s Oath and arranging for it to be sworn by you.
- Obtaining from you the Probate fee and obtaining any necessary cheque for Inheritance Tax before submitting any Inheritance Tax to HMRC with the Inheritance Tax account. Alternatively, making a request for any Inheritance Tax to be paid direct to HMRC through the Direct Payment Scheme.
- When the Inheritance Tax receipt account is returned from the Capital Taxes Office, submitting the application for the Grant of Representation.
- When the Grant of Representation has been issued, registering it with all asset holders together with completed withdrawal forms to secure the release of estate monies.
- Placing Trustee Act Notices in the appropriate publications, where required.
- Ensuring all the deceased’s accounts are closed or transferred, as appropriate.
- Arranging for the sale or transfer of any of the deceased’s shares.
- Discharging all liabilities of the estate for which you have not taken responsibility.
- Paying all pecuniary legacies and making interim distributions.
- Finalising the deceased’s tax affairs.
- Preparing draft estate accounts and obtaining your approval to these.
- Obtaining clearance from the Capital Taxes Office that all tax has been paid and from HMRC to confirm that all Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax for the deceased and the administration period has been paid.
- Making final payments to the beneficiaries from the estate.
Potential Additional Costs
Our charges do not include payment of disbursements. Disbursements are costs relating to your matter that are payable to third parties. The likely disbursements are as follows:
- £155 probate application fee plus an additional 50p per sealed copy of the Grant of Representation required.
- £5 per personal representative to swear the oath plus £2 per attachment, e.g. a Will.
- Approximately £200 fee for posting ‘Section 27 Trustee Act 1925’ notices which protect the personal representatives from unknown creditors. This is not compulsory.
- £2 per beneficiary bankruptcy search where necessary.
- Surveyors fees to value property, where necessary.
- Genealogists to trace missing beneficiaries, where necessary.
Our charges also do not include dealing with the sale of any property on behalf of the estate as this will be dealt with by our conveyancing department.
How long does the process take?
We estimate that it will usually take approximately 12 weeks to obtain a Grant of Representation and thereafter approximately a further 3-6 months to deal with the estate and to finalise all other matters, save perhaps for finalisation of tax returns. This may take rather longer as we are of course bound to an extent by tax years. This is an estimate based upon the assumption that third parties respond swiftly to requests for information and that there are no unexpected complications. If any such problems do arise, we will keep you fully informed. If they are likely to increase the amount of time we spend dealing with your file, we will notify you in writing and let you have a new costs estimate.
Our Probate Lawyers
Jan heads the 11 strong private client team. She has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in all areas of probate, especially high value and international estate administrations. She is a registered Trust & Estate Practitioner (TEP) and her hourly rate is £300.
Maggie has over 30 years’ experience specialising in wills, probate and associated trust work. An additional area of interest is Court of Protection work and issues affecting the elderly. Her charging rate is £285 per hour.
After reading law at Cambridge University Ian ran a private client department in Cardiff before relocating to London to join Osbornes.
He is often instructed in high-value, complex estate administrations and cases involving vulnerable persons, both of which require particular care and sensitivity. His charge out rate is £210 per hour.
Ian is a registered Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP) and is featured in the Legal 500 directory, where he is described as “one to watch” and “impressive”.
Jenny in a solicitor in the Private Client department having qualified in August 2013. She specialises in both contentious and non-contentious private client matters including estate administration, Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Trusts, issues affecting the elderly, Court of Protection matters and disputed estates. Jenny, whose hourly rate is £200, is an affiliate member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.
Samantha is a solicitor in the Private Client department, having qualified in September 2016. Samantha specialises in Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and non-contentious Estate Administration and is currently studying towards her STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates. Her charging rate is £175 per hour.
Suzanna qualified as a solicitor after graduating from University College London. After her studies Suzanna worked in a boutique Corporate Finance company and a global advisory firm before returning to law in 2013. Suzanna qualified as a solicitor in 2016 and specialises in wills, estates, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection matters. Her charging rate is £165.
After graduating from the University of Birmingham and obtaining a distinction in his Legal Practice Course, Joe worked in finance in Nottingham and London. He then joined Osbornes as a trainee in 2014 and on qualification in 2018 he joined the Private Client Department. His charging rate is £150 per hour.