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Estate Administration

Our Private Client department is led by partner, Jacqueline Dow.  Jacqueline was admitted as a solicitor in 1992, joined the firm in 2018 and was assumed as a partner in 2020. 

Winding up an estate after somebody dies can be complex and time consuming.  We have the experience to be able to assist clients with this, and to relieve them of this additional stress at an already difficult time.  

Acting for an executor or executors, the tasks required in administering an estate include:

  • obtaining values for all the deceased’s assets and property;
  • preparing an Inventory of the estate for submission to the Sheriff Court;

if Inheritance Tax is due, the calculation of tax and the preparation of the necessary returns for HM Revenue & Customs.  

Once the Court issues “Confirmation” (the Scottish equivalent to Probate) we will

  • arrange for assets to be sold and transferred to the beneficiaries;
  • arrange for any debts or legacies to be paid;
  • arrange for funds to be distributed in accordance with the terms of the deceased’s Will;
  • draw up a final Account showing the funds received and paid out on behalf of the executors.   

The work involved in estate administration varies and is charged by reference to an hourly rate.  Our hourly rates are revised on 1st May each year, with Jacqueline’s current hourly rate being £245 per hour plus VAT (currently 20%) broken down into £24.50 per 6-minute units or part thereof.

Telephone calls will be charged at £24.50 per 6-minute unit or part thereof.

Letters will be charged at 1.25 units per page of 100 words or part thereof.

The drafting of Deeds and Court documents will be charged at 5 units per sheet of 200 words or part thereof.

Copying will be charged at £1.00 per page for the first copy of any document and 40p per page for each subsequent copy.

Additionally, a charge of 5% of the total assessed fee, plus VAT, may be charged to cover posts and incidents.

The number of hours spent on your matter will be determined by the complexity and the unique circumstances of your matter.  We will discuss the likely cost with you at our initial meeting. If additional costs arise due to unforeseen circumstances, we will discuss this with you at the earliest opportunity and we will advise you of any increase in cost that may arise. 

When we are dealing with executry estates and trusts we may charge commission on revenue and capital. The commission on revenue will not exceed 5% of interest and dividends received. The commission on capital will not exceed 1% on money uplifted from banks and building societies, 1% on policies of insurance and assurance, 1.5% on stocks, shares and other periodical payments and 1% on heritable estate forming part of the executry or trust. In addition, we shall charge an additional fee based on the value of the estate at the rate of 0.5% of the value of moveable estate, 0.5% on heritable property such as houses if transferred or sold and 0.25% on heritage transferred by docquet, all plus VAT at 20%.

In estate administration work, we have an independent Law Accountant prepare a detailed narrative note of fee once we have completed the preparation of the paperwork to allow us to apply to the court for Confirmation.  Thereafter we have an independent Law Accountant prepare a final note of fee once all work has been completed and funds have been distributed to beneficiaries.  In some estates, due to their size and complexity, additional fees may be taken by agreement. 

The hourly rate does not include any outlays that may be required.  These are variable depending on the nature of the matter.  These will obviously vary depending on the nature of the case, but in most cases are:

Registers of Scotland Fee for registering Will (£20.00)

Court Confirmation Dues (£266.00 for estates between £50,000 and £250.000 or £532.00 for estates over £250,000 plus £8.00 for each individual asset Certificate of Confirmation needed). 

If the deceased did not leave a Will then additional work and outlays are likely, including £19.00 for Court dues in respect of the Petition to appoint an executor and a premium for a Bond of Caution (a form for insurance required where there is no Will or Executor appointed), the cost of which will depend on the value of the estate.  

We are able to offer a fixed fee service where the Executors do not require us to deal with the full estate administration, but simply to apply for the Confirmation, where there is no Inheritance Tax payable.   If this option is appropriate, then our fixed fee for completing the necessary work to obtain Confirmation is £850.00 plus VAT and

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