Full Estate Administration: Inheritance tax payable

Below we have set out examples of pricing structures for full estate administration where the 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 all matters detailed for a non-taxable estate [link to Full estate administration – no inheritance tax payable].

In addition we will advise on the Inheritance Tax position, compute the tax liability and advise whether there are any steps that can be taken to reduce the liability. Inheritance Tax is complicated and it is not possible to advise on the liability without detailed knowledge of the nature and value of the assets and liabilities and the relationship of the beneficiaries to the deceased. Additional information is also needed eg. a history of lifetime gifts made by the deceased in the 7 years preceding death. Inheritance Tax on an estate will never exceed 40% of the value of the estate and will usually be less due to the availability of reliefs and exemptions.

The taxable estate service includes the following additional matters:

  • Preparation of the full Inheritance Tax account IHT400 and tax calculation;
  • Applying for HMRC tax reference for the estate;
  • Calculating the portion of Inheritance Tax that has to be paid to obtain the grant of probate/letters of administration and advising the executors/administrators on raising funds to pay this portion of tax;
  • Advising on the option to pay some of the Inheritance Tax by instalments and the associated interest liability;
  • Dealing with enquiries raised by HMRC eg in relation to property valuations;
  • Preparing and submitting loss relief claims (if appropriate) in relation to sales of investments and freehold/leasehold properties at a loss;
  • Submitting a corrective account detailing adjustments to originally submitted asset and liability details;
  • Reviewing corrective assessments issued by HMRC and paying additional Inheritance Tax or claiming a refund;
  • Applying for and obtaining a clearance certificate (if required). The following are not included within this service;
  • Deeds of variation (which may be appropriate to reduce the Inheritance Tax on the estate or the future Inheritance Tax liability of beneficiaries)
  • Filing Inheritance Tax returns for the recipients of lifetime gifts made by the deceased.
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 the full estate administration service for a taxable estate will usually be between £7,000 and £10,000 plus VAT if the value of the estate does not exceed £1,000,000. The charges may be higher if the estate exceeds this figure. The factors affecting the actual charge will include those listed above for a non-taxable estate. In addition the charges will be affected by the requirement to disclose details of lifetime gifts for Inheritance Tax purposes and claims for exemptions and reliefs.

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 12 months although some aspects may take longer to complete, for example, if HMRC raise detailed enquiries with regard to property valuations or claims for exemptions.

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.