Full Estate Administration: No inheritance tax

Below we have set out examples of pricing structures for full estate administration where no inheritance tax is payable.


What is involved in a typical case?

This service is available, whether or not there is a valid will. We will take responsibility for the entire estate administration to ensure that all assets are identified and collected, liabilities are paid and the estate is correctly distributed to the beneficiaries entitled. Full details are set out below. It will usually be possible for us to arrange for all receipts and payments to be made through this firm’s client account. This avoids the need for an executors’ bank account to be opened. This firm’s charges will usually be paid from funds received into the estate so you will not need to pay our invoices personally.

This service includes the following:

  • Checking validity of any will;
  • Meeting with proposed executors (will) or administrators (no will) to review the estate and obtain details of assets/liabilities;
  • Obtain all information required for Inheritance Tax account – balances on bank accounts, valuations of investments and properties etc, details of lifetime gifts;
  • Submit Unclaimed Assets Register search (if appropriate);
  • Review availability of Inheritance tax transferable nil rate band and residence nil rate band(s) and compile relevant documentation;
  • Preparing Inheritance Tax account (this has to be completed even though there is no tax liability);
  • Drafting executors’ oath;
  • Reviewing the documents with the executors/administrators and arranging signature;
  • Submitting the application to the Probate Registry;
  • Checking the grant when issued;
  • Placing statutory adverts for unknown creditors (if appropriate);
  • Registering the grant with all relevant financial organisations;
  • Closing bank/building society accounts and reconciling closing balances; Selling investments or transferring investments to beneficiaries as instructed by executors/administrators;
  • Settling all liabilities of the estate including executors/administrators expenses;
  • Paying legacies;
  • Arranging a distribution of most of the remaining funds to residuary beneficiaries while retaining a reserve for further expenses;
  • Preparing estate accounts detailing all capital and income transactions of the estate and obtaining approval of the executors/administrators;
  • Distributing remaining funds to the residuary beneficiaries and supplying each of them with a copy of the approved estate accounts.

Please note that the following are not included within our standard estate administration service:

  • Sale of freehold/leasehold property forming part of the estate (this firm’s conveyancing team will be pleased to provide a separate quotation for this work;
  • Income Tax returns – it may be necessary for an accountant to be instructed to deal with finalisation of the Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax position to the deceased’s death. We shall be able to liaise with the accountant to provide information required;
  • Supplying residuary beneficiaries with tax deduction certificates for their personal Income Tax returns;
  • Registration of death and arranging funeral – we are able to deal with these matters in some circumstances, however there will be an additional charge;
  • Collecting papers from the deceased’s property and arranging sale/distribution of personal possessions – there may be an additional charge for this work;
  • Advice on setting up and administering any trusts contained in the will or created by the intestacy rules.
What assumptions have we made?

Please note that all of the price guidelines below are based on the following assumptions:

  • All assets are located in the UK;
  • The estate does not include any business assets or agricultural property;
  • All beneficiaries can be readily identified and their whereabouts is known;
  • The deceased did not have an interest in any trust funds;
  • The terms of the will are clear;
  • There is no dispute regarding the estate.
What factors might mean your case is more complex?
  • The number of accounts/assets;
  • The nature of the assets;
  • The number of beneficiaries;
  • Whether a short form Inheritance Tax return (IHT205) or full account (IHT400) is required;
  • Whether there are claims for Inheritance Tax transferable nil rate band and/or residence nil rate band(s);
  • A partner in Gardner Leader is one of the executors.
How much would a typical case cost?

Our charges for this service will usually be between £2,500 and £6,500 plus VAT. The actual charges will depend on a number of factors as listed above.

What would we have to pay to others on your behalf?

In addition to our charges there will be the following expenses (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Valuation fees (for investments and freehold/leasehold properties)
  • Unclaimed Assets Register search fee – £25;
  • Oath fees – usually between £10 and £20;
  • Probate Registry fee – approximately £160;
  • Statutory adverts – approximately £350;
  • Bankruptcy search fees – £2 per beneficiary for each distribution.

You may need to provide funds to pay some of these expenses, particularly those that have to be paid before the grant of probate is issued.

How long would a typical case take?

We would usually expect the grant of probate to be issued within 6 months of receiving your instructions to deal with the estate administration. The estate will usually be fully completed within 9 months although some aspects may take longer to complete, for example, finalisation of Income Tax position.

Who would be handling my case?

Details of our team and their experience can be found here.

Once we fully understand your needs, we will assign your case to the most appropriate member of our team. All work done by the team is ultimately supervised by the Team Leader or one of the other partners in the team. The lawyers in our team are supported by paralegals and other assistants to ensure that your case is handled efficiently and cost-effectively.