Experience suggests that, on average, applications for grants of representation take approximately 9 to 12 months to prepare and complete.
Where a grant is required, we aim to extract this from the court within 6 – 12 weeks of being instructed, although this may take longer where IHT is payable or any information (for example, professional specialist valuations) is required.
Typical processing times from the date of submission of the relevant documents are as follows:
Between 4 to 8 weeks to issue form IHT421 confirming receipt of the IHT account and any IHT due.
Between 4 to 8 weeks to issue the grant of representation.
Please note that Probate applications which involve complex issues, such as where the deceased was not domiciled in England and Wales or where a caveat has been entered at the Probate Registry will take longer to be prepared and processed.
It will typically take between 10 and 50 hours of professional time to complete the administration of most estates. The administration of a basic estate is normally at £220 per hour plus VAT and the total costs are estimated in the region of £2,200 – £11,000 plus VAT, whilst very complex estates may be £15,000 plus VAT or above.
The exact costs will depend on individual circumstances. For example, if there is a valid will or simple intestacy, one beneficiary, no property, and no liability to IHT costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, numerous properties, multiple bank accounts, other investments and business interests, and IHT Tax payable, costs will be at the higher end.
It is quite often very difficult to assess the total time that will be taken in the administration of any estate. However, in our experience, a reasonable charge for the winding up of an average estate is 1.5% of the gross value of the assets in it plus VAT. An average estate for this purpose is where:
Subject to the terms of any Will, costs can be reduced if family members are prepared to help with non-legal tasks such as clearing personal and household items, meeting with estate agents and dealing with utilities. These aspects are often time consuming but do not usually require our legal expertise.