Examples of our likely costs
Below are some examples of the likely costs of dealing with the administration of estates of varying complexity:
- Mr. Smith and Mrs Smith have been married for many years and have two children. They own their home jointly worth £400,000 free of mortgage and have bank accounts in joint names and their individual names. Mr. Smith has £50,000 in accounts in his own name, and Mrs Smith has £80,000 in accounts in her name. They have no other assets. Mr. Smith dies leaving his estate to Mrs Smith.
As this estate would be relatively straightforward to deal with, we would normally ask one of the junior members of the team to deal with this and we would normally anticipate our fees to be between £2,000 and £4,000 (plus VAT and disbursements). We would normally expect the administration of the estate to be concluded within 9 to 12 months.
- Mr. Jones and Mr. Simons are not married or in a civil partnership but have been in a relationship together for many years. Mr. Jones dies leaving an estate consisting of his property, bank accounts, and an investment portfolio. His Will leaves several pecuniary legacies totaling £50,000 and the rest of his estate passes to Mr. Simons. The total value of the estate is approximately £800,000.
This estate would be more complicated to deal with (and would justify the involvement of a more senior member of the team) as there are a number of additional elements over that of the previous example (for example, there would be inheritance tax to settle – possibly involving negotiating the value of the property with the District Valuer; pecuniary legacies to pay; investments to realise or transfer; and the income tax (and possibly capital gains tax) position to consider) and would involve more time to be spent on it. We would normally anticipate our fees to be between £10,000 and £30,000 (plus VAT and disbursements) for an estate of this nature. We would normally expect the administration of the estate to be concluded within 12 to 18 months.
- Mr. Williams has never been married but has two children by different partners. He dies leaving an estate consisting of two residential properties and one commercial property in the UK, a residential property in Spain, various bank accounts in the UK and Spain, two investment portfolios, and various life assurance policies. Mr. Williams was also the life tenant of a trust set up by his aunt. Mr. Williams' Will leaves various pecuniary legacies, specific gifts of the properties in the UK, an appointment of his life interest in the trust to one of his children and the residue of his estate divided between his two children and several charities. The total value of the estate is approximately £4.5 million.
Mr. Williams' estate would be quite complicated to deal with as it contains a greater number of assets and gives rise to several technical points; and we would expect that one of the more senior members of our team would deal with this (delegating appropriate tasks to more junior members where possible to keep our costs as low as possible). For dealing with the administration of an estate such as this, we would expect our fees to be between of £50,000 and £70,000 (plus VAT and disbursements). We would normally expect the administration of the estate to be concluded within 24 to 36 months.