When an individual passes away the rights and obligations to administer their estate falls to the Executors named in their Will, or, if they have not left a Will, to the persons entitled to a Grant of Letters of Administration. The task can be complicated and worrying. Rita Sen has long experience of the administration of estates and can assist you with all aspects of estate administration.
A Grant of Representation needs to be obtained. This is a formal document that gives the Executors or Administrators the right to collect in the assets of the estate, pay any outstanding debts and distribute the balance of the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will, or as required by the Laws of Intestacy (the Law that governs how an estate is to be distributed in the absence of a Will). In order to obtain such a Grant a formal application needs to be made and information relating to the estate needs to be provided to HM Revenue and Customs.
Where appropriate Inheritance Tax needs to be paid before the Grant can be obtained (and, accordingly, often before the person seeking the Grant is able to access the funds of the deceased). HM Revenue and Customs have the power to impose substantial penalties in cases in which Inheritance Tax is not properly paid, or is not paid within the statutory time limit.
Once the Grant has been obtained, assets need to be collected in, liabilities discharged and throughout the process the estate needs to be protected, for example by making sure that any unoccupied property is secure and insured. When these processes have been completed the estate needs to be distributed. On occasions it is sometimes necessary to trace individuals, or even their descendants, to make sure that those properly entitled to receive their due share of the estate funds.
Rita Sen is full members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and our Solicitors have many years experience in dealing with the administration of estates of all sizes. By ensuring that a suitably qualified and experienced Team deal with all the estates in which Rita Sen Solicitors are instructed we make sure that the administration is dealt with efficiently, economically and, of course, in accordance with the Law.
Rita Sen Solicitors was the first Practice locally to be accredited under the Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme.
PROBATE – What will it cost?
Of course, the financial affairs of each individual are different; some are simple, some complex. In some cases, large amounts of money may be held in a single asset, while in other cases small sums may be spread across a host of banks and building societies. We are happy to prove a quotation for acting in the administration of any estate, whether the deceased left a Will or not.
In cases where there is Will our charges will be 2% of the Gross Estate (the total of the assets in the estate, including the value of any share of the jointly owned property before any debts are paid) plus VAT and disbursements (out of pocket expenses). This is subject to a minimum charge of £2,500 plus VAT.
There is a fee payable to the Government for the Grant of Probate. This is currently £155 plus £0.50 for each official copy required. Other out of pocket expenses depend on the circumstances of each case and we will be happy to advise on those likely to arise in your matter.
These fees cover the cost of our dealing with the administration of the estate in its entirety, save for any ancillary conveyancing charges.
There are occasions when we are asked to only obtain the Grant of Probate, leaving the individual Executor(s) to deal with financial institutions, tax authorities, creditors, beneficiaries, etc, directly. In such cases our fees are:
Where the shorter IHT205 return to HMRC is required – £2,000 plus VAT & disbursements
Where a claim for the “transferable nil-rate is made” in addition to above – £2,500 plus VAT & disbursements
Where a full IHT400 return to HMRC is required – £3,000 plus VAT & disbursements
We will be delighted to advise into which category your matter falls if you are not clear.