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Fees

We charge based on the complexity of the work and the time taken.

The time taken to undertake the work necessary to take care of an estate will vary significantly depending on a number of factors. It is not possible to provide a general price for the work. However, we do not charge based on a percentage of an estate but instead on the complexity of the work and the time taken.

We can either work to a fixed fee or charge on a time basis. If the latter, we will provide you with an estimate in advance of undertaking any work. If we identify anything as the case progresses that is likely to significantly alter the fee, we will bring this to your attention as soon as possible.

There are various difference types of Estates and therefore the level of our input can vary hugely case by case as can the fee packages. 

Fee Estimates

A Simple or Excepted Estate

Preparation of the Short Inheritance Tax Return Form IHT205 and filing the online application for the Grant and obtaining Probate.

This will usually consist of main residence, bank/building society accounts, some savings or investment products and pensions. The final costs will depend on the number of Assets/ executors involved and whether there is a requirement to make a claim for the transferable nil rate band or assess the availability of the Residence Nil Rate Band further costs. We would expect that a valid Will is in place and all Executors are happy to act. 

  • Fee Estimate starts from £750 plus VAT

The Executors will provide all verified information and obtain all valuations required. We will not provide an Executors Bank Account or carry out any Administration of the Estate. All information will be passed back to the Executors for then to distribute and finalise the Estate.

  • Fee Estimate starts from £1,450 plus VAT

The Executors will provide all verified information and obtain all valuations required. We will provide an Executors Bank Account and collect the assets of the Estate, make payment of the Estate debts and distribute the Estate to the beneficiaries per the Will. The number of beneficiaries (Charity or individual) will be reflected in the fees charges. We will also prepare and provide Estate Accounts for the Executors (which will be quoted for separately)

Example 1: Mrs Smith died leaving a valid will and a small estate. Her husband had died several years previously. Her two daughters are the executors of the will. The total value of the estate is approximately £1,000,000 consisting of one property and bank accounts.

We were asked to help the executors obtain a grant of probate, however, they are happy to deal with the administration of the estate.

The estate was not complicated and involved one valuation and completing Inheritance Tax form IHT205

Total fees between £750 and £1,250 including VAT

A more detailed Estate

Preparation of the Full Inheritance Tax Return Form IHT400 and associated Schedules and filing the online application for the Grant and obtaining Probate.

If Inheritance is payable on a larger or more complex Estate then a full Inheritance Tax return and associated schedules may be required, they may be several different further types of assets to be identified and valued and relief claimed in these instances. We would expect that a valid Will is in place and all Executors are happy to act.

This will usually consist of main residence, a few bank/building society accounts, some National Savings or ISA’s. The final costs will depend on the number of Assets/ executors involved and whether there is a requirement to make a claim for the transferable nil rate band or assess the availability of the Residence Nil Rate Band further costs. We would expect that a valid Will is in place and all Executors are happy to act. 

  • Fee Estimate starts from £2,250 plus VAT

The Executors provide all verified information and obtain all valuations required. We will calculate the IHT liability due (if any) and if required prepare the schedules to arrange the direct payment of the IHT from the nominated account should this be required.

This will usually consist of main residence, some bank/building society accounts, some savings or investment products and pensions. The final costs will depend on the number of Assets/ executors involved and whether there is a requirement to make a claim for the transferable nil rate band or assess the availability of the Residence Nil Rate Band further costs. We would expect that a valid Will is in place and all Executors are happy to act. 

  • Fee Estimate starts from £2,750 plus VAT

The Executors will provide all verified information and obtain all valuations required. We will provide an Executors Bank Account and collect the assets of the Estate, make payment of the Estate debts and distribute the Estate to the beneficiaries per the Will. The number of beneficiaries (Charity or individual) will be reflected in the fees charges. We will also prepare and provide Estate Accounts for the Executors (which will be quoted for separately)

Example 2: Mr Jamieson’s assets comprised a small farm with a farmhouse, holiday caravans and barns. In addition, his assets comprised investments and bank accounts. The total estate is approximately £2 million.

The executors asked for help with preparing the agricultural relief claims, Inheritance tax forms (IHT400) and the probate applications.

The tax return to date of death and estate accounts and returns were also required. As the entire estate is passing to his son the sole executor, some limited help with transferring the investments and other assets was required for the administration of the estate.

Total fees between £3,000 and £4,000 including VAT.

  • Fee Estimate starts from £3,500 plus VAT

In addition to the above where Inheritance Tax reliefs are required to calculated and claimed such as Business Property Relief and Agricultural Property Relief.

Example 3: Mr & Mrs Hunter owned a large farm with multiple buildings including several cottages with a variety of uses. Some of the barns were also let out to commercial enterprises. The farmhouse was large and dilapidated. Mr Hunter died approximately two years ago and now Mrs Hunter has also died. The total estate is valued in excess of £10 million.

The executors required the inheritance tax and grant of probate applications and well as full administration of the estate including accounts and tax returns.

Significant time was required working with valuers and land agents to establish value of the farm and buildings and eligibility for agricultural and business property relief.

Total fees between £5,000 and £7,500 including VAT.

The above are examples are based largely on cases where the Executors provide full and verified information for the completion of the IHT Return Forms.

We can provide an additional service whereby we obtain all the required verified information on top of the examples set out above. This is generally completed based on hourly rates of our Probate & Estate Administrator and will vary on the size of the Estate, number of Executors and beneficiaries. We would aim to provide you with a fees estimate and keep you informed of any changes of additional costs arising.

As part of this work we can provide the Full Administration of the Estate and collect in the assets and arrange for the assets to be encashed, transferred, or accounts closed as required depending on the Executors instructions per the terms of the Will.

Basis for Hourly charges

STAFF

HOURLY RATE

Founding Director and Head of Legal Practice for Probate

 

Julie Butler FCA

£250.00 + VAT

Director

 

Fred Butler MSc ATT

£125.00 + VAT

Manager

 

Angela Evans FCCA CTA TEP

£125.00 + VAT

Senior Assistant

 

Amelia Crowley ATT

£75.00 + VAT

Additional Disbursements

Probate Practioner Application Fee: £273.

There is a small additional charge of £1.50 for extra copies of the Grant of Probate.

ID checks and on beneficiaries: £4 per individual

Land Registry Checks: £3 per check.

There can be other costs that may be required such as additional bankruptcy checks and missing beneficiary searches that may be required and these will be advised to you.

Notification in The London Gazette and a local newspaper of the individual’s death to protect against claims from unknown creditors – £100 to £200.

Timeframes

We are currently still working under the backdrop of Covid where many organisations and institutions are experiencing delays to normal working patterns and timings, HMRC and Probate Registry have both been quite dramatically effected in the last 2 years. We will advise you of current processing times before we submit the papers and applications as this can vary so we can manage your expectations.

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Butler & Co, Bennett House, The Dean, Alresford, Hampshire SO24 9BH

Butler & Co which is a Limited Company, is regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales.
Registered VAT Number GB566 4006 44
Butler & Co is the trading name of Butler & Co Alresford Limited registered in England No. 10726923.