Administration of Estates
Administering an estate when someone dies can be a daunting task. There may be a variety of assets to deal with, for example, business assets, real estate or foreign property. There may also be inheritance tax to pay and potentially HMRC enquiries to address.
If you are appointed as an executor of an estate then we can assist with the administration process from start to finish. We have a depth of experience and knowledge in dealing with estates, particularly those of a complex nature, with sensitivity and professionalism to help you through this difficult time.
We also have expertise in dealing with estates where an individual dies domiciled outside the UK but lived or owned assets in the UK, and so we are used to working closely with lawyers and other professionals in overseas jurisdictions. We can advise on the administration of the UK estate in accordance with the correct governing law and ensure that all UK tax and compliance issues are dealt with.
Key stages of the work
We deal with a range of different estates. However, we would typically expect the scope of our work to involve some or all of (but not limited to) the following:
We would not ordinarily deal with the following tasks (which we would typically outsource):-
We are able to provide expert advice in relation to post-death tax planning, including deeds of variation, but this would be in addition to the services we provide in dealing with the administration of an estate.
We use our comprehensive costing matrix to provide a costs estimate for dealing with the work required to deal with the administration of the estate from start to finish when you initially instruct us. However, we cannot rule out the possibility of our fees being more than this estimate. Consequently, any estimate provided is for guidance only and is not a guaranteed cap or quote to which we are committed.
Our hourly rates for the members of the team range from £160 (probate executive) to £450 (partner). These rates are exclusive of VAT at 20%.
A fixed fee provides a measure of budgetary predictability and certainty within the scope, assumptions and exclusions that will be set out in our engagement letter. Most of the fee risk sits with us. If there is a cost overrun, that arises from something within the scope assumptions and exclusions, we will absorb the additional cost and will not pass it on to our client.
This option does not completely remove all of the cost risk from the client. If there was a departure from the scope, assumptions and exclusions for any reason, it is likely that our fee will need to be adjusted upwards to cover the extra time incurred. However, we will discuss this as soon as we become aware of the possibility.
Other pricing options
Experience tells us that the administration of an estate tends to run very efficiently when we are asked to deal with it from start to finish. However, we are conscious that some clients like to undertake certain tasks themselves and we work with clients to accommodate this. Consequently, we are able to offer alternative pricing arrangements depending upon the extent to which the client wants us to be involved.
Illustrative costs estimate
The variety of estates that we deal with means that it is very difficult to provide a generic estimate of our costs in dealing with the administration as each estate is different.
However, if we were asked to provide a cost indication using our costing matrix in the case of an uncontested estate with the Executors, beneficiaries and assets located in the UK, a typical fee range for dealing with this type of estate from start to finish could be from between £5,000 to £10,000 plus VAT and disbursements (payments made to 3rd parties on your behalf), depending on the extent of the assets in the estate, the number of beneficiaries to correspond with and the extent to which we would need to liaise with HMRC (and any other complications that may arise that were not apparent at the outset).
We must emphasise that this costs indication is for illustrative purposes only and we would need a significant amount of background information about an estate before we would be able to provide a reliable range of costs.
Usually, there will be disbursements to pay in addition to professional costs and these could include:
How long may your matter take?
How long an estate administration may take will depend on many factors as outlined above. However for illustration purposes only using the example provided above, the time taken may be from 6-12 months.
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