Probate and Estate Administration

Margetts & Ritchie offers a specialist and personalised service from highly experienced Solicitors. Your work will be carried out by either Graham Ritchie or Jonathan Ritchie, who have over 70 years experience of probate and estate management experience between them.

We are pleased to see our clients personally at our offices. 

We offer the following services: 

1. Grant only service 

We will draft the application to the Probate Registry to obtain the Grant on the Personal Representatives’ behalf. We will also prepare and submit a form to HMRC detailing assets in the estate. 

Our fees for this service range between £1,000 plus VAT and £1,500 plus VAT depending on the complexity of the matter. If a form IHT 217 is required for transfer of unused nil rate band from the estate of a spouse then our charges will be nearer to the higher figure. 

We can explain to you what forms will be required and we would encourage you to telephone to speak with one of the partners to be sure of the exact processes involved with your matter. 

2. Full Estate Administration Service 

We will help guide you through the process of estate administration and take away some of the emotional strain and worry that comes alongside having to act as an executor or administrator at a difficult time.  

Our fees for dealing with the administration of estates are based on an hourly rate of £280 + VAT and a further 1% of the gross estate up to £1,000,000 (and 0.5% thereafter) should the firm or one of the partners be appointed as personal representatives in the Will.  Cost and timescales vary depending on a number of factors; the table below sets out our estimated fees based on a range of scenarios.

ComplexityNumber of assetsNumber of beneficiariesTypical work involvedOur feesEstimated timescalesFactors which may affect the timescale
Low22Preparing an IHT 205 tax return

Applying for Grant of Probate
£2,500-£4,000 + VAT 
Plus 3rd party disbursements
6 weeks – 3 monthsWe have to obtain estate valuations

Applying for transfer of unused nil rate band from a pre-deceased spouse

Dealing with HMRC enquiries
MediumUp to 5 including one or more propertiesUp to 5Preparing an IHT 400 tax return and schedules

Applying for Grant of Probate

Calculating and paying inheritance tax

Advising on capital gains tax on sale of property
£4,000-£12,000 + VAT

Plus 3rd party disbursements
6 weeks – 9 monthsThe time taken to sell the property
HighlyMore than 5 including propertiesMore than 5The firm is the executor

Obtaining valuations for specialist or unusual assets

Preparing an IHT 400 tax return and schedules

Applying for Grant of Probate

Calculating and paying inheritance tax

Advising on capital gains tax on sale of properties 
From £15,000 + VAT

Plus 3rd party disbursements
6 months – 2 years 

Other factors which can affect the cost and timescale 

There is no Will (intestate estate)
The named executors are not able to act or have passed away, requiring a Grant of Letters of Administration with Will Annexed 
Missing beneficiaries
There are overseas assets (eg an overseas property to be sold)
There are business assets
Deed of variation required
The work is contentious (including executor clients not providing unanimous instructions)
Trust creation and administration


These are additional third-party expenses that we incur on your behalf. They will vary depending on the types of asset in the estate and their value, but in a typical estate we would expect the following disbursements:

  • Probate fee £273 and £1.50 per office copy
  • Valuer’s fees for valuing property assets, ranging from £500 to £1,500 + VAT per property sold

The Key Stages of Estate Administration

The work we do typically consists of the following: 

  1. Interview with you to advise on the terms of the deceased’s will/intestacy provisions and to discuss the duties and powers as personal representatives.
  2. Immediate practical measures such as registering the death, arranging the funeral and securing the property (if necessary).
  3. Obtaining valuations of the estate assets and liabilities.
  4. Making enquiries and obtaining full details regarding the deceased’s pension and lifetime gifts.
  5. Consider and calculating (where applicable) any liability in respect of Inheritance Tax or Capital Gains Tax.
  6. Draft application for Probate or Letters of Administration and supporting Probate Application Form.  Discuss these documents with the personal representatives and arrange for signing. File the documentation with the relevant Probate Registry.
  7. Liaise with all relevant organisations to collect in assets and settle all outstanding liabilities.
  8. Advertising for creditors if appropriate.
  9. Settlement of the deceased’s income tax and/or capital gains tax position to date of death.
  10. Liaising with beneficiaries regarding payment of legacies and/or interim distributions to legatees and/or residuary beneficiaries.
  11. Preparation of Estate Accounts detailing transactions in the administration of the estate.
  12. Settlement of the deceased’s income tax and/or capital gains tax position for the administration period (ie date of death to completion of the administration of the estate).
  13. Report to executors and beneficiaries throughout the administration of the estate and at its conclusion.