Fixed Fee Services

We appreciate that every estate is different and that those dealing with the estate do not always need or want the same level of support and assistance. We have therefore developed a variety of services to suit different requirements.

Meet the Estate/Probate Team

Richard Bagguley

Jan Copestake

Oliva Hodgson

May I offer you my grateful thanks for your endeavours in achieving such a successful conclusion, despite the complex circumstances...
Ms G of Bolton-le-Sands

When someone passes away there are certain steps that need to be taken in order to deal with their estate. At Baines Bagguley Penhale we aim to take the stress and inconvenience out of these tasks for our clients.

We appreciate that every estate is different and that those dealing with the estate do not always need or want the same level of support and assistance. We have therefore developed a variety of services to suit different requirements.

Further details are set out below but briefly:

  • Our Bronze Service is for very straightforward estates where those dealing with the estate are confident in their ability to deal with any tax issues and the general steps involved in administering the estate. We will only obtain the Grant based on information provided by the executors or beneficiaries.
  • Our Silver Service is for straightforward estates where those dealing with the estate either do not have the time to deal with initial contact with the various companies and organizations that the deceased person has had dealings with, or where they would prefer to ensure that nothing is missed and that the initial tax return is prepared by a legal professional. We will gather the information and prepare the documentation to obtain the grant.
  • Our Gold Service is aimed at straightforward estates where those responsible for dealing with it either do not have the time to deal with the administration or would prefer for a legal professional to make sure that all steps are carried out correctly on their behalf. This service is also suitable for more complex estates where there may be trust assets, a large number of beneficiaries or business interests to address. We will carry out all of the legal work in relation to the estate save for the estate income tax and capital gains return.
  • Our Platinum Package is for complex estates where the estate is above the tax threshold and tax advice is required. In addition to our Gold Package we will review and advise in relation to the tax position and investigate any possible ways to mitigate the tax payable.

Many of the steps taken in the administration of an estate involve dealings with third parties, e.g. asset holders. The time it takes to deal with matters is largely out of our control. It is therefore difficult to give any firm indication of the time it will take to finalise a matter but we have given a guide below in each case based upon an experience of similar matters in the past.

Bronze Service

Our fixed fee for this service is £540 inclusive of VAT. In addition the following disbursements may be payable :

This service is based upon the executors providing us with all of the information in relation to the assets and liabilities of the estate. We will prepare and present an application to obtain the grant of probate and the executors will then attend to dealing with the steps necessary to administer the estate.

This will include :

  • Providing a questionnaire for the executors to complete with all necessary information in relation to the assets and liabilities of the estate
  • Preparing the necessary documentation to enable an application to be made to the Probate Registry including the initial tax return in form IHT205
  • Obtaining the Grant and any additional copies required by the executors
  • Providing the Grant and copies to the Executors to enable them to administer the estate.

Whilst we do not take any action to ascertain the full extent of the estate, nor do we take any steps in relation to the administration and distribution of the estate, we are always able to offer further assistance where required. This could be by way of our Advice and Assistance service or by carrying out additional specific tasks where so instructed. For further information please contact us.

All estates are different and therefore it is difficult to predict how long it will take to complete our work. As a general indication we would normally expect that a Grant would be available within 4-6 weeks of our receiving the completed questionnaire containing all details of the assets and liabilities of the estate.

Silver Service

Our Fixed Fee for this service is £1020 inclusive of VAT. The additional disbursements likely to be payable with this level of service will be the same as detailed within our Bronze service above.

In addition to the work included within our Bronze Service we will also :

• Make contact with all Asset Holders and Creditors to obtain accurate date of death balances;
• Once the Grant is obtained provide you with the original and additional copies if requested;
• Provide you with a bespoke guide as to the next steps in the administration of the estate.

Whilst we do not specifically take steps to ensure that the estate is administered and distributed appropriately we are always able to offer further assistance where required. This could be by way of our Advice and Assistance service or by carrying out additional specific tasks where so instructed. For further information please contact us.

As a general indication we would expect that we would be in a position to provide the Grant and the Guide to Next Steps within 2 – 4 months of receiving formal instruction to act.

Gold Service

This level of service covers the full administration of an estate that is below the Inheritance Tax Threshold. Our fees will depend upon the number of Executors, asset holders and beneficiaries. Our fees for this service start at £1440 inclusive of VAT.

As an indication of likely fees for an estate where there are two executors, six asset holders (excluding shareholdings) and five beneficiaries our legal fees would be around £3,600 inclusive of VAT, £3,800 inclusive of VAT and standard disbursements.

In addition to the disbursements set out above there may be additional Telegraphic Transfer Fees if the beneficiaries of the estate request that their inheritance is transferred to them by same day transfer into their bank accounts.

This service would include all of the work covered by our Bronze and Silver service and in addition we will :

• Call in and receive payment in respect of all assets due to the Estate
• Pay all Liabilities from the funds collected in within the Estate
• Prepare final Accounts showing the estate funds and the way in which the estate will be Distributed and circulate the Accounts for signature
• Distribute the Estate in accordance with the Will or Rules of Intestacy
• Ensure that the Estate is fully and correctly administered to include checking that all beneficiaries receive their correct entitlement
• Obtain appropriate receipts from all Beneficiaries

As a general indication we would expect that we would be in a position to distribute the estate within 6 – 8 months of receiving formal instruction to act.

Platinum Service

This level of service is suitable where the estate is complex or where Inheritance Tax is payable. Our fees will depend upon the number of executors, asset holders and beneficiaries as well as the value of the estate itself. We are unable to provide a fixed estimate of charges without further information. Our fees for this level of service start from £5,000 inclusive of VAT.

In addition to the work included within our lower levels of service we will :

• Prepare a full Inheritance Tax Return for submission to HMRC;
• Advise you on the best way to deal with payment of any Tax due;
• Review and advise you upon any steps that can be taken to mitigate the Tax payable including use of previously unused tax allowances or varying the distribution of the estate;

To obtain further information in relation to our fees please contact us and we will be happy to provide a quote that meets the particular circumstances of the estate that you are dealing with.

As a full tax return will take longer to prepare, and has to be submitted to HMRC for approval it is very difficult to predict how long it will take to finalise a complex estate. We would normally expect that the estate would be distributed around 12 months after we receive formal instruction to act although various factors can cause this time line to be extended.

Reasons an estate may take longer to finalise

Whilst we always aim to progress our work as efficiently and accurately as possible there are various reasons why it may take longer than anticipated to finalise an estate. Including :

  • Delays in receiving information from Executors or Beneficiaries
  • Disputes between Executors or with Beneficiaries
  • Any claims that are stated to be against the Estate (for further information in relation to possible claims that can be made please click here.)
  • The need to sell a Property (an estate cannot be finalized until all assets are dealt with.)
  • Missing information in relation to Assets or Liabilities
  • Enquiries raised by the DWP in relation to the assets of the estate
  • Enquiries raised by HMRC in relation to any Tax issues
  • The need to delay encashing an asset in order to realise maximum value.

Where an issue arises that is likely to cause delays we will advise you immediately upon this coming to our attention and discuss with you ways to minimize any delay.

Additional work

During the course of dealing with an estate issues may arise that require legal assistance and which are not covered by our Fixed Fees. For example:

  • Disputes between Executors or with Beneficiaries
  • Any claims that are stated to be against the Estate (for further information in relation to possible claims that can be made please click here.)
  • An executors instruction that we should deal directly with any enquiries raised by the Beneficiaries on their behalf
  • The need to sell a Property (the costs for dealing with the sale are not included within our Fixed Fees for further information in relation to our legal fees for selling properties please click here.)
  • Preparation and completion of Income Tax/Capital Gains Tax Return.

If such an issue arises we will notify you immediately and provide you with clear information in relation to what our costs are likely to be for dealing with that issue. We will not incur additional costs in dealing with that issue unless you specifically instruct us to do so.

Further information

Whilst we have developed a range of options to suit the needs of most of our clients we appreciate that there may be times when clients require help with different aspects of an estate. Our experienced team are able to offer advice and assistance in relation to any aspect of dealing with the legal implications of someone passing away. Please feel free to contact us in relation to any issue upon which you require help and we will be happy to discuss with you ways in which we can assist.

Meet the Estate/Probate Team

Richard Bagguley

Jan Copestake

Oliva Hodgson

...I want to say thank you for dealing with M...’s estate. You have been so kind and sensitive....
Mrs B of Heysham