making our costs clear

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our estate administration service and fees

 When someone dies, their estate needs to be dealt with so creditors are paid and assets left over are distributed to the persons entitled. At Masefield Solicitors LLP we have been helping our clients administer estates for generations.


 administration

We are approachable and sympathetic whiling take pride in our professionalism and integrity. We recognise the benefit of meeting our clients and getting to know you so we can best understand how we can help.

An administration falls into two parts:

  • getting the grant from the High Court (usually needed to deal with the estate)

  • paying bills, any taxes and entitlements

Our many years of experience in dealing with the High Court Probate Registry, HMRC Capital Taxes Office and property and succession law issues equips us to provide practical and cost-effective advice. Two of our solicitors are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners which is the leading organisation worldwide for specialists in this field. You can find details about our private client solicitors’ qualifications and experience on our “Our people” page.  

 We will always give advice in your best interests.  If we don’t think you need help from us, we will tell you. When we think you will benefit from our assistance, we can tell you why. We aim to be proactive in recommending the best and most tax efficient way forward.

 We are always willing to tailor our retainer you to suit your requirements. For example, some of our clients like us to help with the grant application and then they deal with the estate administration from there.

 our fees

We will agree with you what fee we are going to charge at the outset and offer three fee options.

1. Time spent basis
This is the basis most of our clients prefer, our current hourly rates are set out below

member and associate member £210.00 per hour
Solicitor £160.00 per hour 

When we act as executors, we are not just advisers: it is up to us to get on with the job. This means that we sometimes spend less time than if we are just giving advice because we are able to complete and sign routine forms without having to involve you.  We think the overall cost of dealing with an estate will not be much different, whether or not we act as executors.

When we deal with an estate of between £100,000 and £650,000 and there is no inheritance tax to pay and there are no trusts involved, we find the administration takes on average around 7 months from start to finish and the average cost is around 1.3% of the value of the estate, exclusive of any costs associated with a sale of real estate.

For example, our fees to deal with an estate worth £500,000 with liabilities of £25,000 would typically be 1.3% x £500,000 = £6,500 + VAT, exclusive of any conveyancing costs. Generally, we would expect our fees to be less when an estate passes sideways ie to a surviving spouse or partner and sometimes more when passing down a generation. Actual fees will depend on the number of assets and liabilities and the number of people who benefit. A will leaving legacies to 25 beneficiaries will cost more to administer than a will where there is only one person who benefits.

2. Fixed fee
We offer a fixed fee option where we charge 1.75% of the gross value of the estate plus VAT to complete the estate administration on your behalf.

We can also offer a fixed fee option to obtain the grant of probate only. For a fairly simple estate, we would charge £1,000 plus VAT. We can provide an accurate quote based on the circumstances of the estate.

3. Time and value element

We employ this method of charging in fairly rare cases: for example, where members of this firm are appointed executors, there are no close family and we take on a more active role (such as registering the death, arranging the funeral, supervising disposal of movable property, complying with insurer requirements for regular inspection of unoccupied estate property and/or dealing with a number of beneficiaries);

The value element is based on the gross value of the estate as set out below:

Rate excluding VAT                              Estate value

1.5%                                                       up to £1 million
0.5%                                                      on the next £2 million
0.167%                                                  on the next £3 million
0.083%                                                 on the balance   

 And our time is charged at the following rates:

Member and Associate Member £175.00 per hour
Solicitor £135.00 per hour  


other costs associated with typical estate administrations

The following costs are payable to other persons in most cases:·

  • court fee of £155 (plus 50p for each additional copy) NB – see note below;

  • oath fee of £7 per executor;

  • bankruptcy search fee of £2 per beneficiary;

  • notices to creditors in the region of £200 if the estate includes land; otherwise £60 (optional, unless one of our members is an executor);

  • asset search fee of £162 (optional, unless one of our members is an executor).

Please note the government has announced plans substantially to increase the court fees for a grant with a top fee of £6,000 for large estates.