Unlike many competitors, there is no added mark up and there will be no extra percentage charge based on the value of an estate. (Some competitors have been known to charge 1-4% of the value of the estate as a flat fee, regardless of the amount of work involved).
The work will take as long as it takes. If the job is simple and straightforward the fee will reflect this.
Where more work is involved and the job takes longer due to the volume of work or complexity, this will take more time and be invoiced appropriately.
Having been in practice for 36 years, Huw's ethos is to treat all of my clients fairly and not to overcharge or undercharge.
When new clients arrive, Huw will discuss your requirements and provide an approximate quotation for the work on the assumption that the work proceeds smoothly and is of a defined nature. At all times clients will be kept up to date and a detailed timesheet is kept for all work.
Guideline Pricing Structure
- For probate cases where the estate is straightforward and under the £325,000 Inheritance Tax limit, a probate application will need to be submitted. Where the family are able to provide the details and valuations of property / savings, along with the original will, this case should be relatively straightforward. The fee will be in the range of £800 - £1,600 along with the Probate application fee of £273. All cases are charged on an individual basis. The more efficient the client, the lower the fee. For this reason fixed fee quotations are not provided.
Huw's practice operates a “Clear desk” policy and it is the aim to deal with all matters quickly and efficiently.
If the client is able to provide all information promptly, the forms should be submitted within 2-4 weeks of the initial meeting.
- For larger estates of up to £1,000,000, there will be more work involved. Initial discussions are likely to be more detailed. The Inheritance Tax Return IHT400 will need to be completed along with the various Schedules, listing the assets and claiming allowances for the deceased, the deceased spouse (if applicable) and possibly the use of the Residence Nil Rate Band. The fee will be in the range of £2,000 - £3,500 dependent on the complexity of the work and the time involved.
Other fees to be considered are the Probate application fee of £273 and possibly a statutory notice in the London Gazette / local newspaper.
After the initial meeting, clients usually have a list of information required (Valuations of assets / gifts made etc). These queries are usually completed promptly and the Probate / Inheritance Tax forms submitted within a 4-8 week period from the initial meeting.
The Inheritance Tax form IHT400 is sent to the Inheritance Tax office in Nottingham and normally processed in 25 working days.
If there is Inheritance Tax payable the client will need to arrange this. Once the Inheritance Tax is paid, the Inheritance Tax office will then inform the Probate office.
If the Grant of Probate application can be submitted online, it is due to be processed within 16 weeks of submission.
If the Grant of Probate application has to be submitted via a letter, the application takes much longer to process.
- For larger / more complicated estates, those involving foreign assets / ongoing issues with valuations / issues with the sale of assets / the selling of houses and investments / distributing the estate, it is not possible to provide any firm quotation as individual cases can vary widely and as the level of work is not known at the outset. In these cases, fees will be charged on an hourly basis, with a full timesheet kept and the client regularly updated.
The timescale for the more complicated estate is considerably longer, often taking a few months to provide all information in readiness to submit the Inheritance Tax Return. Once submitted the timescale is broadly as outlined above.
- Preparing and submitting Power of Attorney applications
For a single person, the fee for applications for Health and Financial Power of Attorney is £400 - £500, along with the application fees of £82 for each Power of Attorney.
For a married couple, the fee for applications for Health and Financial power attorneys for both is £700 - £850, along with the application fees of £82 for each Power of Attorney.
- Acting as Financial Power of Attorney for elderly clients
This can be complicated at the beginning of the appointment if there is a property to sell / savings plans to be matured and care home fees to be paid.
This is charged on an hourly basis and the cost will vary from case to case.
- Executor Services
Where Huw acts as sole executor on an estate and am involved in the administering of the whole estate and the distribution of the estate, there will be a large amount of work involved. This is charged on an hourly basis and the cost will vary from case to case.