ADMINISTRATION OF AN ESTATE
At HMG LAW LLP we understand that coping with the loss of a loved one is difficult and that it can be overwhelming to know exactly what you need to do. Our team of Private Client lawyers have been assisting families in Oxfordshire for nearly 200 years.
We have a dedicated team who specialise in guiding families through the process of administering an estate, ensuring that it is as efficient and trouble-free as possible.
We understand that not every estate is the same and that not all families will require the same amount of assistance. As such, we have developed a tiered pricing structure that sets out our estimated charges for estates of varying complexity.
Please note that prices below are shown exclusive of VAT and disbursements. These are estimates and are subject to increase if additional time is required due to unforeseen factors such as missing parties (executors or beneficiaries) or information and documentation. Where assets are abroad, please speak to a member of our team to confirm the fee estimate.
£2,500 + VAT (fixed fee)
Our new Probate-Only Service will guide you through the process of completing an IHT205 inheritance tax return and applying for a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration. This is suitable for those who already have the information required for the application, but need assistance in preparing the legal paperwork.
Once the Grant of Probate has been issued, you will be able to finalise the estate at your own pace. We are, of course, always on hand to support you after the Grant has been obtained should you require.
Likely disbursements include:
Probate court fee: £155 + 50p per copy Grant
Swearing the oath (per executor): £5 + £2 per Will and Codicil
Where matters are more complicated, we offer a comprehensive legal package designed to support you throughout.
Tier 1: Straightforward Estates
Up to £9,000 + VAT (based on hourly rates)
Our Tier 1 estate package is suitable for simple estate administration, typically where there is no inheritance tax to pay, but you would like us to provide more support in gathering information and dealing with assets once a Grant has been obtained.
A typical Tier 1 estate would be one where the deceased left a valid Will, which appoints executors and may make some cash gifts or gifts of items, with the rest being left to no more than five beneficiaries. It will also be suitable for estates where the deceased died without making a Will, but there are suitable family members able and willing to act in the administration and the estate beneficiaries are known and over 18. The estate would consist of a small number of bank accounts or managed investments and personal possessions. This would not be suitable for an estate which includes a property.
We will assist in assessing the date of death values for the assets and liabilities of the deceased and using this information to compile the short form inheritance tax return (IHT205). We will also assist in claiming a transferable nil rate band where appropriate.
Once this has been completed, we will prepare the Oath for Executors/Administrators and submit your application to the Probate Registry.
Following receipt of the Grant, we will gather in the assets, settle any outstanding debts, deal with informal income tax and capital gains tax, and distribute the assets in accordance with the Will or the Intestacy Rules.
Throughout the matter we will keep Estate Accounts which can be provided to you on request.
Likely disbursements will be the same as our Probate-Only Service, but include the following:
Bankruptcy searches (per beneficiary): £2
Trustee Act notices in London Gazette and local newspaper: £250 (est.)
Tier 2: More Complicated Estates
£9,000 to £20,000 + VAT (based on hourly rates)
Our Tier 2 estate package is suitable for estates that are more complex, and where there is inheritance tax to pay.
We would expect a Tier 2 estate to consist of a property, multiple bank accounts, shareholdings and investments, or where there are more valuable personal possessions. It will also be suitable where the Will itself is more complicated or the application of the Intestacy Rules is more complicated, or where there are trusts involved.
This service includes everything shown in Tier 1, but also the preparation of a long form inheritance tax return and associated schedules (IHT400). We will prepare a calculation and application for claiming a transferable nil rate band and residence nil rate bands. This service includes organising payment of inheritance tax and correspondence with HM Revenue and Customs and obtaining inheritance tax clearance.
We will also deal with more complicated income tax and capital tax reporting where a formal return is required.
Likely disbursements are as per Tier 1 and:
Land Registry fees: £6
Where supplementary work is required such as arranging a funeral, tracing missing beneficiaries, visiting the deceased’s property and organising maintenance where needed, this falls outside the remit of Tier 1 and Tier 2 and will be charged at hourly rates.
Tier 3: Large and Complex Estates
From £20,000 + VAT (based on hourly rates)
Our Tier 3 estate package is ideal for large estates which are highly complex and require specialist technical tax or trust knowledge to complete.
This service includes everything shown in Tiers 1 and 2 and would be suitable for estates where there are domicile issues, business or agricultural interests, substantial shareholdings or multiple properties. There may also be complex trust matters to consider, or issues concerning the assets in the estate or the validity of the Will.
It is also suitable for estates where there are complicated inheritance tax calculations or claims to be made for inheritance tax reliefs such as business property relief, agricultural property relief, assets conditionally exempt from inheritance tax and assets offered in lieu of paying inheritance tax. It would also include estates where there are gifts made during the deceased’s lifetime which need to be reported to HM Revenue and Customs.
We would be able to assist with making funeral arrangements, visiting the deceased’s property and organising maintenance of the same, and tracing missing beneficiaries or missing documents. We would also assist with the preparation of ancillary documents to the estate administration such as a Deed of Variation or a Deed of Appointment.
We would also assist with the preparation of formal tax return, including reporting on income and gains for trusts arising out of the estate. This Tier would also include finalising the deceased’s income tax affairs to the date of death.
Likely disbursements are as per Tier 2 and you will be advised if any additional disbursements are likely to arise in your particular circumstances.
Meet the Team
Christopher Parker TEP, Head of Department
Christopher became a partner in January 2014, having joined the firm in April 2012. He heads up the firm’s Private Client. He is a practising Barrister with over 30 years’ experience in Chancery work, having been called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1984. He is a member of and examiner for the Society of Trust and Estate Planners (STEP).
His experience has been gained mainly, though not exclusively, in non-contentious work: all aspects of advising and drafting on such matters as the creation of wills, trusts and settlements with associated tax planning, the construction of trusts, wills and charities, powers of attorney and court of protection, probate and the administration of trusts and estates, real and personal property, landlord and tenant, partnerships, companies and pension schemes. Contentious work: bringing, defending and settling claims and making applications to the court up to and including the hearing.
Hourly charge out rate: £280 + VAT
Anna Casey-Woodward TEP, Tax Solicitor
Anna joined the firm in March 2018 and works in the Private Client Team.
Anna specialises in tax planning, Income and Capital Gains Tax compliance for individuals and for Trusts, Trust administration and Will drafting. She also assists clients with the preparation and registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney and the administration of Estates.
Anna is a full member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners and is working towards a qualification with the Association of Tax Technicians and Chartered Institute of Taxation.
Hourly charge out rate: £185 +VAT
Julie Alesworth, Senior Solicitor
Julie Alesworth qualified as a solicitor in 1990. She specialises in the fields of Tax & Estate Planning, Estate Administration and advising the Elderly Client.
She also handles litigation cases involving such matters as contentious probate and disputed Wills.
Having first embarked on a career training to become a Chartered Accountant, Julie switched to law and joined Herbert & Gowers in 1989.
Hourly charge out rate: £230 + VAT
HMG LAW LLP provides qualified and experienced professionals who can talk to clients sympathetically about the legal process of dealing with an estate administration.
If you have any further queries or would like to instruct HMG LAW LLP to assist in the administration of an estate, please contact us today to arrange an appointment at either of our offices.