Probate & estate administration.

Holding your hand through the process of administrating the estate of a loved one.

Emotions can run high during this difficult time, so our experienced team are on hand to help guide you through the maze of probate and estate administration working with you to provide as much or as little help as you need. Where we have advised on the drafting of the will and wealth planning structuring, we can provide an insight to the arrangements and ensure that the deceased’s wishes are fulfilled.

PEM is licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to provide the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales. 

We work with the family to

  • Act as executors where appointed
  • Obtain the will
  • Protect assets during the probate and administration process
  • Determine all the assets and liabilities
  • Advertise the death to notify any creditors
  • Determine gifts made during the deceased’s lifetime
  • Complete the Inheritance Tax returns
  • Arrange for Inheritance Tax to be paid
  • Obtain a grant of probate or letters of representation
  • Collect the assets
  • Prepare the estate accounts
  • Advise on the most tax efficient payments to beneficiaries
  • Determine distributions for each beneficiary in line with the will
  • Make final distributions to beneficiaries
  • Prepare estate tax returns
  • Complete repayment claims for beneficiaries

Our timescale

There are number of factors that influence the time it takes to finalise an estate. Generally, timescales are determined by the complexity of the estate. If the estate has a foreign element, meaning there are assets in another country, or if there is a dispute over the estate, these factors can impact the timescale. 

Generally, a very simple estate with minimal assets can take a minimum of 6 months whilst a moderately complex estate can take a minimum of 18 months. A more complex estate can take up to 2-3 years.

Probate timescale
Probate fees

Our fees

We will give you a fixed fee based on our review of the estate as every estate has different assets and requirements.

We will also advise you of the disbursements or payments to other parties (such as valuers) which are not included in the fee quoted.

Should additional costs be incurred, due to unforeseen circumstances, we will advise you as soon as possible and agree the additional costs in advance of carrying out the additional work.

The following fees are a guide. Once we understand exactly what is required and the scope of the work to be undertaken, we will be able to provide you with a bespoke fee quote.

Administration of full estate

Simple estate

Our fees for a simple and straight forward estate typically range from £3,500 plus VAT. We would regard the following as a simple estate:

  • all assets are situated in the UK;
  • the deceased and beneficiaries are all UK resident and UK domiciled;
  • there’s a valid Will;
  • the estate has a single property and no more than two bank accounts;
  • there is no requirement to sell the property;
  • there are no other assets, such as, fine art or trust interests;
  • there are no legal claims made against the estate; and
  • no disputes between the executors or beneficiaries;

Administration of full estate:

Complex estate

Our fees for a complex estate range from £6,500 plus VAT. We would regard an estate having the following as a complex estate:

  • foreign interests and assets;
  • protracted correspondence with HMRC and other institutions;
  • claims to be made for tax reliefs;
  • sale and transfer of property;
  • interests held under trusts;
  • share and investment portfolios;
  • business interests;
  • post death planning and restructuring advice; and
  • untraced beneficiaries.

Administration of part of an estate:

Applying for grant of probate only

There are times when the executor requires us to apply for the Grant of Probate only. In this case our fees for obtaining the Grant with no further advice or administration required would be from £ 1,500 plus VAT.

Probate Expenses

Additional expenses 

The majority of estates would incur additional third-party fees. The following are general but not exhaustive:

  • Probate fees – £155.00
  • Copy of the Grant – £1.50 (per copy)
  • Statutory notice advertisement fees – £250.00 (per estate)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges searches – £2.00 (per beneficiary)
  • Search of Wills registers – £120.00 (excl VAT)
  • Land Registry search fees (per property) – £3.00 (per property) 

Our hourly rates

We prefer to charge a fixed fee for the administration of a deceased’s estate but there are times when we would charge our hourly rates if we are instructed to attend to additional probate work.

Hourly Rates (exclusive of VAT):
  • Trainees – from £41
  • Managers and Assistant Directors – from £195
  • Directors and Partners – from £325
Probate Hourly Rates

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