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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

Death and Personal Representatives: Personal representatives and their liabilities: Personal representatives: solicitors expenses

England, Wales and Northern Ireland

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland Solicitors normally base their charges for administering a deceased person’s Estate on the amount of work done and produce an overall figure. The Law Society has issued general guidance and the charge is usually about 1% to 2% of probate value depending on the size of the Estate.



In Scotland, Solicitors have two methods of charging expenses to executors:-

  • method 1 - Charging for work done by means of a scale fee based on a percentage value of the Estate.
  • method 2


  • charging detailed fees for work under the following heads:


  • investigation into particulars and value of the Estate
  • valuation of the Estate
  • Inheritance Tax inventories and settling the Inheritance Tax liability
  • obtaining confirmation (probate in England)


  • charging percentage fees based on particular assets for


  • realising estate capital for any purpose
  • investing or reinvesting capital
  • transferring assets direct to legatees.


Richards Case

The Richards case, see CG30560, was an example of a Scottish case where method 1 in CG30550  had been used. The total value of the Estate was £106,052 and the total fees were £1450. The value of the shares and other assets sold was £48,958 and the deductions allowable £778 made up as follows:-

Proportionate expenses of valuation and obtaining confirmation £526 x £48,958  243
Solicitors’ costs re notification of confirmation to companies in which shares sold     27
Solicitors’ commission on selling based on value of shares and other assets sold     508



The deductions referred to in CG30560+ are only allowable in computations of gains realised by personal representatives in that capacity. No equivalent deduction is available on disposals by legatees or disposals by personal representatives acting as bare trustees for legatees. This is because

  • the legatee has not incurred the expenditure


  • there is no provision deeming the legatee to have incurred the expenditure.

In addition, there is a rule in TCGA92/S62 (4), see CG31140, specifying the legatee’s acquisition costs as being the market value of the asset at the date of death. That market value does not include any of these expenditures.