We recognise that the legalities arising from the death of a loved one can add to your burden at an emotionally distressing time. So our team is here to guide you through each stage of the process, giving you the reassurance that everything is being handled promptly and professionally as well as cost-effectively.

Whether you are a beneficiary or the executor of a will, you will have a dedicated solicitor and legal assistant working with you throughout, ensuring you can always speak with someone who has a clear understanding of the estate and its requirements.

How we can help

The breadth of our probate and estate administration expertise means we can handle everything from large, cross-border estates and complex disputes to the many administrative tasks that come with even the most simple estates.

Typical areas we help with include:

  • collecting in assets and arranging valuations
  • obtaining the grant of probate
  • calculation and payment of inheritance tax
  • calculation of Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax, and correspondence with HM Revenue & Customs
  • payment of debts and executor expenses
  • distributing the estate to the beneficiaries
  • disputes arising over who should benefit from an estate

Many estates require a property to change hands within the family or be sold, and our conveyancing team is on hand to offer advice and make sure the process runs smoothly.

For our clients with business assets and international connections, we work closely with specialists from our corporate and commercial, cross border succession, French and family teams. If an estate includes large gifts to charities or unincorporated associations, then our charity and social business team can help.

What others say about our probate and estate administration solicitors

“Efficient, empathetic and professional.” Chambers High Net Worth

“A professional team that has a keen eye for detail.” The Legal 500

If you would like to speak with a member of the team you can contact our solicitors on; Kingston office 020 3826 7529 or Putney office 020 3826 7515 or complete our enquiry form.

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As each estate is different, we provide a personal fee estimate at the outset and keep you updated each month so you can stay in control of costs. To help reduce the fees involved, we can also suggest less complicated and time-consuming elements of the administration that you can safely handle yourself.

In order to gauge the level of support you will need and give you an accurate estimate of the overall costs, we first need to learn more about the estate and what the administration process will involve. To obtain a quotation on either an hourly or fixed fee basis, you can either complete our enquiry form or call one of our team for an informal discussion.

Some fee examples

To give you an idea of the costs associated with different types of estate, we have outlined some typical fee levels:

Low complexity – fees between £3,000 and £6,000 plus VAT and disbursements

Where the deceased person:

  • owned a property valued at £300,000 in their sole or joint name
  • held up to three bank accounts with a balance of £75,000
  • had no debts, other than utility bills
  • left a valid will appointing executors
  • left the estate to a single beneficiary where no inheritance tax is payable

Medium complexity – fees between £9,000 and £14,500 plus VAT and disbursements

Where the deceased person:

  • held a property valued at £700,000 in their sole name
  • held up to four bank accounts with a total balance of £125,000
  • managed investment portfolio worth £70,000
  • had no debts, other than utility bills
  • left a valid will appointing executors
  • left the estate to three adult children
  • incurred no inheritance tax on their estate after claiming Transferable Nil Rate and Residence Nil Rate bands.

High complexity – fees between £22,500 and £28,000 plus VAT and disbursements

Where the deceased person:

  • held a property valued at £950,000 in their sole name
  • held up to five bank accounts with a total balance of £250,000
  • held up to three managed investment portfolios worth £500,000 in total
  • owned investment bonds worth £100,000
  • owned certificated shares in five publicly-owned listed companies
  • owned personal effects and paintings valued at £25,000
  • made life time gifts to the value of £100,000
  • had no debts, other than utility bills
  • left a valid will appointing executors
  • left the estate to two children and four grandchildren as residuary beneficiaries
  • incurred inheritance tax on their estate

Factors that can impact fees

There are numerous factors that can increase the cost of administering an estate. They include:

  • not having all the paperwork available
  • third parties not responding promptly to communications
  • cases where the deceased has retained the benefit of an asset they purported to give away during their lifetime
  • where significant gifts have been made or assets have been transferred into trusts that must be reported to HMRC
  • HMRC compliance enquiries
  • dealing with complex assets such as art, time-shares and shares in private companies
  • dealing with assets in foreign jurisdictions
  • dealing with large portfolios of certificated shares

Payments to third parties (disbursements)

When administering an estate, we routinely need to pay costs to a third party – these costs are called disbursements. Common examples include:

  • probate court fees - £155
  • bankruptcy search - £2 per search
  • HM Land Registry copy title deeds - £3 for each property or title
  • statutory notices (to protect executors from unexpected claims) – typically £200-£300

Selling a property

Where a property needs to be sold or transferred as part of administering an estate, this will incur additional fees. Our residential property team will be able to provide you with details of what is involved and the likely costs.