Estate Administration Costs

Estate Administration Costs

The amount of time spent working on an estate varies and depends upon a wide range of factors, such as the number of assets in the estate, the number of beneficiaries and whether there is a will or the estate is intestate. Time is charged at £250.00 plus VAT at 20% per hour. Hourly rates are normally reviewed every 6 months.    

Our charges to you are based on a combination of the time spent working on your case and a value element based upon the size of the estate.

The value element is calculated at 0.5% of the gross value of the deceased’s main residence plus 0.75% of the gross value of the rest of the estate.

In our experience we estimate that our costs are usually between 1% and 2% of the gross value of an estate. The exact cost will however depend on the individual circumstances.

All our charges are subject to VAT at 20%.

Our costs do not include the preparation of Deeds of Gift, Deeds of Variation, setting up Trusts or any work carried out in relation to the sale or transfer of any properties. In the event any of this additional work is required we will provide you with a fee estimate.

Additional Costs

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax may be payable to HM Revenue and Customs. The amount of tax payable is based upon the value of the estate and other factors such as any allowances, exemptions or reliefs available. We will advise you of the extent of the tax liability at the appropriate stage of the administration. 


These are costs which may be payable to third parties. The most common examples include:

  • Probate Court Fee of £273.00 plus £1.50 for each additional copy of the Grant of Representation
  • HM Land Registry Bankruptcy Searches costing £3.00 plus VAT at 20% per beneficiary
  • HM Land Registry Official Copies of Register of Title costing £4.00 plus VAT at 20% per property

Estate Administration Process


Every estate is different, however a typical outline of the process in an Estate where there is a valid will, is:

  • Taking instructions and going through the paperwork.
  • Contacting the relevant parties and obtaining valuations of all assets and liabilities.
  • Drafting the necessary Inheritance Tax forms and paying any Inheritance Tax due.
  • Applying to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Representation, if required.
  • Collecting in (or transferring) the assets of the estate. If there are properties to sell, we can refer the sale to our conveyancing team.
  • Paying the debts of the estate.
  • Settling the tax position of the Estate.
  • Preparing the Estate Accounts.
  • Distributing the Estate as per the Will or Intestacy rules.

If an estate is intestate (the deceased left no valid will) additional work must be done to establish who is entitled to administer the estate and benefit from the estate. 

How long will it take?

The length of time it will take between instructing us and the conclusion of the administration of the estate varies from estate to estate. A general guide is 9-12 months, however if an estate is complex it may take longer. Similarly, if there are few assets and a Grant of Representation is not required, it may be dealt with more quickly.

Obtaining Grant of Probate Only

If an estate is straightforward and you only want us to apply for the Grant of Probate, we can offer a fixed fee, starting from £800.00 plus VAT at 20% and disbursements. Our fixed fee depends upon the work involved, for example if an IHT400 is required or if you wish to apply to use any reliefs or exemptions such as the residence nil rate band, the fee is likely to start from £1,000.00 plus VAT at 20% and disbursements.

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