Responsibility for work
Mrs Sumita Pandya is a Partner and Head of Private Client. She will deal with the day to day running of your matters. If she is unavailable, please speak to her secretary who will take a message if she is unable to help you herself. Sumita is the head of our team and has over 20 years experience as a qualified solicitor in private client work, specialising in wills, probate, estate administration, and powers of attorney. She has helped thousands of families and individuals and has dealt with various complex estate matters, both high value work and with more modest estates. She qualified as a solicitor in 1997 after gaining her LLB (Hons) Law Degree. She completed her training contract at Preuveneers LLP and went on to work for various well-known firms in Wimbledon, Southampton and Petersfield. She joined Bradly Trimmer in 2008, becoming a Partner in 2009, and eventually Managing Partner in 2012.
Fees and Expenses
We do not charge for an initial 30-minute consultation. Our charges thereafter will be calculated by reference to the time spent on dealing with the matter and on the value of the gross estate. The time element for each fee earner is charged at an hourly rate which reflects the overhead cost of the firm and includes a care and conduct element. These charges are reviewed in June each year and therefore if this matter has not been completed before the next review they are likely to rise. We shall let you know the new rates that apply to the work done from then as soon as they have been set. The hourly rate which applies to the matter is with reference to time spent at the rate of between £175 and £250 per hour. The above charges do not include VAT which will be added to the bill.
Our charges also contain a “value element” based on the gross value of the UK estate and which also reflects the complexity and importance of the matter and the responsibility to be carried by the firm on a regressive scale equivalent to 1.5% of the gross estate plus VAT up to £1,000,000 and 0.5% of the gross estate plus VAT thereafter up to £ 4,000.000. We will discuss these with you in more detail at our initial consultation. As an approximate guide, to administer an estate, it can cost on average between £3,000 to £20,000 plus VAT.
It is very difficult to quote how many hours of work will be necessary to complete the matter on your behalf and it can take between 30 to 50 hours. The work that has been done is not necessarily determined by the executors or the beneficiaries of the estate but often by the actions taken by other parties. You will of course be made aware of what is going on from the documents and information supplied to you and we will keep you regularly and fully up to date on the fees incurred.
There will also be certain additional expenses known as disbursements payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process as follows:
Probate application fee of £155 plus £1.50 for each additional sealed office copy of the Grant. Please note that the Probate fees are subject to change and we will advise you of the charges at the time of applying. Under the money laundering regulations, the Law Society requires us to carry out bankruptcy searches against the names of the beneficiaries of the estate. These will be carried out as a matter of course on all legacies and interim distributions and incurs a fee of £2 per beneficiary. The executor also has a duty to ascertain the debts of the deceased and must take reasonable steps to do so. If he does not, then he can be personally liable for any debts of the deceased that come to light once the estate has been distributed. However, he can protect himself by advertising for creditors in the London Gazette and a local paper; these are known as legal notices (Section 27 Trustee Act 1925) and cost the estate between £70 to £100 to place. Please note however that a creditor may still pursue the beneficiaries of the estate for pay out of that liability.
Potential additional costs
If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 (1 per asset usually). Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
Charges that we will be making in this matter, as set out above, cover the work that we have been instructed to undertake. If my firm is instructed to undertake further work, then we will make additional charges and will inform you of what these charges will be. If for any reason this firm does not complete the work you have instructed us to do, then a charge will be made in respect of the work that has already been completed. VAT will be payable on that amount and the estate will also be billed for any disbursements incurred. Depending upon the extent of the work completed, this may be a small proportion of the time charges in the value element outlined above or may be the full amount.