Price and Service notice – Administration of Estates

Legal costs

There are two main elements to the legal costs associated with winding up an uncontested deceased’s estate which will normally include obtaining a grant of probate or letters of administration, paying liabilities, reporting to HMRC on tax and distributing the estate:

  • our charges;
  • expenses we must pay out of your behalf

Our charges

Our hourly rates for estate administration are:

  Fee Earner Hourly Rate
  Solicitor-Advocate (Advocacy & Preparation therefor) £240 – 270
  Partner (Member)

Senior Solicitors with over 15 years’ experience

£240

£240

 Solicitors, members of CILEX and other fee earners with over 8 years’ experience £230
  Solicitors and members of CILEX

Other fee earners with over 4 years’ experience

£210

£210

  Clerks & Trainee Solicitors £120
  Support Staff £100

Costs will depend on the size and complexity of the estate and whether Inheritance Tax is chargeable. On average a non-tax paying estate takes 10 to15 hours to complete. This means that on average our charges will be £2,300 to £3,450. On average a tax paying estate takes 20 to 50 hours to complete. This means that on average our charges will be £4,600 to £11,500. We will provide you with an engagement letter once instructed, with an estimate of our charges for your specific case.

The exact number of hours it will take depends on the circumstances of your case, such as:

  • The number of client meetings, volume of correspondence and telephone calls
  • Is there a valid will;
  • The size and nature of the estate;
  • Whether there is a foreign element;
  • Taxation issues;
  • Number and location of beneficiaries;
  • Debts and liabilities;
  • Freehold/Leasehold Property considerations;

If  there is a valid will, no inheritance tax to pay and the estate does not include any shareholdings, our charges are likely to be at the lower end of this range. Please note that additional amounts may be payable for our charges and/or expenses if for example there is no will, the assets or tax situation are complex or distribution of the estate is contested.

We reserve the right to increase the hourly rates if the work done is particularly complex or urgent, or the nature of your instructions require us to work outside normal office hours. If this happens, we will notify you in advance and agree an appropriate rate.

We will review our hourly rates on a periodic basis. This is usually done each January. We will give you advance notice of any change to our hourly rates.

Our charges do not include VAT, which we will add to your bill at the prevailing rate.

Expenses

We would usually expect to incur certain expenses on your behalf which we will also add to your bill. The amount of expenses can vary and the following is an estimate only:

Expense Estimated amount VAT chargeable
Probate fees £155 (subject to upward variation during 2019) no
Copies of Grant of Probate (each) £0.50 no
Statutory notice in London Gazette & local paper £175 approx. yes
Law Systems Probate Plus £100 yes

Likely timescale and key stages

Administration of estates usually take 6 to 9 months from receiving your instructions to distribution. This is on the basis that there is a valid will, there is no inheritance tax to pay and the estate does not include any shareholdings. If there are additional issues as detailed above the administration will take longer. We will advise you if and when this occurs.

Most matters of this nature involve the following key stages:

  • Gathering information – 4 to 6 weeks;
  • Preparation of papers for submission to the court 2 to 3 weeks;
  • Dealing with post grant issues including transfer or sale of assets, collection of cash assets and payment of liabilities 12 to 26 weeks (longer if tax paying estate) ;
  • Distribution to beneficiaries (after tax clearance if tax paying estate) 2 to 4 weeks.

The ‘Estimated total legal costs’ specifically do not include:

  • the sale or transfer of any property forming part of the estate;
  • providing tax advice or dealing with HMRC enquiries about inheritance tax;
  • providing accountancy advice;
  • providing advice on the validity of a will.

Price and service notice – Residential Property

Our charges

We will provide you with a clear and accurate estimate of our charges in writing on application. Please note that an increase may be applied if the number of client meetings, volume of correspondence and telephone calls are excessive.

As a guide only our range of charges for the sale and purchase of standard properties which are registered at the Land Registry, are not listed buildings, have no apparent complex issues and which reflect the risk to the firm, are as follows:

Price of Property Freehold Leasehold
£0 – £150,000 £600 – £700 £725 – £825
£150,001 – £200,000 £650 – £750 £775 – £875
£200,001 – £250,000 £695 – £795 £820 – £920
£250,001 – £300,000 £795 – £895 £920 – £1,020
£300,001 – £350,000 £925 – £1,025 £1,050 – £1,150
£350,001 – £400,000 £975 – £1,075 £1,175 – £1,275
£400,000 – Our fee will normally be no less than 0.25% of the sale price. Please ask for an estimate in writing as our estimate will depend on the nature and complexity of the transaction Our fee will normally be no less than 0.25% of the sale price. Please ask for an estimate in writing as our estimate will depend on the nature and complexity of the transaction

If a matter or transaction does not reach a conclusion, we reserve the right to charge for the work done, using our normal charging basis as follows:

  Fee Earner Hourly Rate
  Solicitor-Advocate (Advocacy & Preparation therefor) £240 – 270
  Partner (Member)

Senior Solicitors with over 15 years’ experience

£240

£240

 Solicitors, members of CILEX and other fee earners with over 8 years’ experience £230
  Solicitors and members of CILEX

Other fee earners with over 4 years’ experience

£210

£210

  Clerks & Trainee Solicitors £120
  Support Staff £100

This applies even where an estimate has been agreed for the whole matter.

Our charges do not include VAT, which we will add to your bill at the prevailing rate.

Expenses

Even where we have provided an estimate of our charges, we would usually expect to incur certain expenses on your behalf which we will also add to your bill. The amount of expenses can vary and the following is an estimate only:

Sale
Expense Estimated amount VAT chargeable
Land Registry fees £3 – £20  no
Freeholder/Management Company fee £350+ yes
Indemnity Insurance premium for such things as defective title, missing building regulation documents Premium will depend on risk

 

Purchase
Expense Estimated amount VAT Chargeable
Search pack £300 approx. yes
Land Registry and Bankruptcy searches £10 approx. no
Land Registration fee This varies according to value – see the land Registry’s online calculator at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fees-hm-land-registry-guides
Stamp Duty Land Tax This varies according to value and status – see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/stamp-duty-land-tax-calculator-service-availability-and-issues/stamp-duty-land-tax-calculator-service-availability-and-issues
Notification of transfer to 3rd party £50 – £250 yes
Deed of Covenant or certificate of compliance £150 – £350 yes

Additional costs

The ‘Estimated total legal costs’ shown above assumes that the property to be sold is registered at the Land Registry with no unusual related issues. Additional amounts may be payable for our charges and/or expenses and some examples are as follows:

Issue Cost
Dealing with unregistered land From £150 + VAT calculated on our hourly rate
Arranging Indemnity Insurance £75 + VAT for each policy
Purchase in the name of a limited company From £100 + VAT + Companies House fees
Help to Buy – additional documentation From £350 + VAT
Property subject to a tenancy From £150 + VAT
Property with solar panels From £250 + VAT
Lender with separate solicitor or dealing with more than one lender From £100 + VAT
Use of Help to Buy ISA From £75 + VAT
Declaration of Trust to reflect contribution of each party From £250 + VAT
Gifted deposit – source of funds check From £50 + VAT

Likely timescale and key stages

Completion of property transactions are often dependent on matters beyond our control. For example a purchase may depend on the issue of a mortgage offer from a lender or the seller’s related purchase. You will be advised of any likely delay by us, your mortgage broker or estate agent.

Our Terms and Conditions set out details of our complaints procedure 

 

 

Solicitors in Warminster and Westbury, Wiltshire and Andover and Stockbridge, Hampshire

Karen Seymour
Practice Director

Please Contact
kseymour@middletonssolicitors.co.uk

01985 214444

Middletons Solicitors have a reputation for excellence with offices based in Warminster, Andover and Stockbridge. With more than 50 years’ experience delivering comprehensive legal services, our team of legal experts provides the highest standard of advice and service.

Speak to one of the team by calling our

Warminster Office: 01985 214444
Andover Office: 01264 333 336
Stockbridge Office: 01264 810 910

or email enquiries@middletonssolicitors.co.uk or Make an enquiry

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Just a short note to once again express my sincere thanks to you, Sue and the M&U team, for all your help, cooperation and first class professional support. I am most grateful to you all.

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