Russells offer an estate administration service. This generally commences with obtaining a grant of probate where someone leaves a will or letters of administration where they do not. Each may be referred to as a grant of representation. Thereafter the executors or administrators (“personal representatives”) can collect in the estate assets and settle any liabilities before dealing with the terms of the deceased’s will or in accordance with the laws of intestacy where there is no Will.

Our team consists of Peter Smith and Karl Dembicki who are both partners. They may be assisted by trainees in the firm.


Our initial services leading to a grant of representation may involve the following steps:

  1. Advising on the terms of the will and the duties of the executors or if there is no will providing advice as to the devolution of the deceased’s estate and the duties and responsibilities of the administrators
  2. Arranging the valuation of the estate assets and liabilities
  3. Preparing forms IHT 205 or IHT 400 and schedules for submission to HMRC and obtaining the personal representatives’ signature thereto
  4. Calculating inheritance tax where payable and arranging funds for its payment to HMRC
  5. Drafting the statement of truth required to be submitted to the probate registry and obtaining the signatures of the personal representatives to it
  6. Lodging HMRC receipt and statement of truth together with the deceased’s will (where applicable) to the probate registry to lead to a grant of representation

Following the issue of the grant of representation the personal representatives may call upon Russells to assist in the collection of assets, payment of debts and ultimately the division of the estate between the beneficiaries entitled to it.

This may include the following:

  1. Arranging registration of the grant of representation when necessary
  2. The closure of bank accounts and the liquidation of other assets in the estate
  3. Arranging payment of pecuniary legacies and transfer of specific legacies to beneficiaries; possibly the appropriation of assets to the residuary beneficiaries on account of their entitlement.
  4. Liaising with HMRC regarding payment of any balance of inheritance tax including negotiation on valuations and ultimately obtaining tax clearance for the benefit of the personal representatives
  5. Advertising for creditors in order to protect the personal representatives
  6. Completing any tax returns or arranging their completion by accountants. Preparing estate accounts for the benefit of the personal representatives and beneficiaries and finalising the administration of the estate.


In connection with the work to be undertaken prior to the issue of the grant of probate our partners’ charge out rates are £395 per hour plus VAT.

Our charges are based on the time spent in dealing with the matter. Some firms charge a further sum depending on the value of the estate. We do not.

Where there is a valid will dealing with only UK property comprising a home no more than several bank accounts or investments upon which no inheritance tax is payable we would estimate our charges in the vicinity of £2,500 – £3,000 plus VAT for the work to be undertaken up to the issue of the grant of representation for those matters set out in A to F above. If we are to complete the Administration following the issue of the grant of representation, undertaking those matters set out in point 1 -6 above our charges will be based on time spent by the Partners and other member of staff in bringing the administration to a satisfactory conclusion.


In addition to this firm’s charges the following disbursements would generally be incurred:

  1. 1. Probate Fee £155; Sealed copies thereof £1.50 each
  2. 2. Bankruptcy search in respect of beneficiaries £2 per search
  3. 3. Statutory Declaration for advertising for creditors £200 – £250

Timescale complexity of the Deceased Estate

The timescale for obtaining a grant of probate and completing the administration will be upwards of six months.