Probate fees

Our prices for uncontested Probate work (where there is no dispute) are based solely on the amount of time we spend on each matter. Unlike some other Probate providers, we do not charge a percentage fee relating to the value of the estate, nor a combination of a time charge at an hourly rate together with a percentage fee.

The amount of time spent on each Probate case can vary considerably as each estate is unique in its requirements. There are many factors that can affect the amount of time it will take to administer an individual’s estate and these include:

  1. whether a deceased left a Will or died intestate;
  2. the number of assets to be dealt with in the estate i.e. bank accounts, investments, properties, insurance policies etc;
  3. whether there are any assets in a foreign jurisdiction to be administered; and
  4. the overall value of the estate. Higher value estates may require Inheritance Tax to be paid, which will require a more complex form of Inheritance Tax Return and liaising with HMRC can be time-consuming.

At the outset of every matter, once we have had an initial meeting with you to gather details of exactly what work is required; we will give an estimate of how much time we believe it will take to administer the estate. We will also agree exactly what work the time estimate will cover. 

It may be that the executors or administrators of a deceased’s estate would like to carry out some of the work themselves. This can be agreed at the time we are instructed and this is likely to reduce the overall time we spend on administering an estate and the price you pay.

    Hourly rates

    The hourly rate charged will depend upon the level of experience of the solicitor dealing with the matter. Our average hourly rate for probate is £240 plus VAT. This may be lower or higher depending on the experience and seniority of the solicitor dealing with the matter.

    All hourly rates are subject to VAT at a rate of 20%.

    Other charges

    In addition to our charges there may be other fees to be paid in the form of disbursements. Disbursements are fees that have to be paid to other organisations and can include:

    • Probate application fee of £155 plus 50p per sealed copy of the grant (no VAT).
    • Fee for swearing the Oath, which is £7 per executor where there is a Will or £5 per administrator where there is no Will (no VAT).
    • Statutory advertisements in local newspapers and the London Gazette to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors, the costs of which vary but are usually in the range of £150 - £250 plus VAT.
    • Workflow software fee of £45 - £126 plus VAT.
    • Bankruptcy searches against beneficiaries of £2 plus VAT per beneficiary.
    Examples

    The following examples are intended to provide a range of costs for uncontested probate cases. They are illustrative examples to help you judge how we will charge for your work. A full specific price can be obtained on contacting us.

    A simple probate

    The executors gather together all of the information in relation to the estate in the correct form and ask us to do the following:

    1. prepare a simple Inheritance Tax Return where an estate is not liable for Inheritance Tax; and
    2. draft an Oath and apply for a Grant of Probate.

    This will take 4 to 8 hours of our time.

    Depending on the hourly rate the charges could be £780 – £2400 plus VAT.

    The executors may then choose to deal with gathering in the assets and distributing the estate themselves.

    Medium complexity probate

    We are asked to deal with an estate containing the following assets:

    1. three bank accounts;
    2. an investment portfolio; and
    3. a property.

    The work to be carried out is:

    1. writing to all financial institutions to obtain values;
    2. obtaining a valuation of the property and chattels;
    3. completing an Inheritance Tax Return and paying inheritance tax as required;
    4. drafting an Oath and applying for a Grant of Probate;
    5. gathering in the assets after Probate has been granted;
    6. arranging for liabilities to be paid and for income tax compliance as required;
    7. preparing estate accounts for approval by the executors and distributing the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will.

    This will typically take 20 to 40 hours of our time.

    Depending on the hourly rate the charges could be £3,900 - £12,000 plus VAT.

    Any charges for selling or transferring the property would be quoted separately by our property team.

    High complexity probate

    We are asked to deal with an estate containing the following assets:

    1. Eight bank and savings accounts
    2. Investment portfolio’s with three different investment managers
    3. Three properties in England and Wales
    4. A property and a bank account in Spain
    5. An investment in a discounted gift trust

    The work to be carried out is:

    1. writing to all financial institutions to obtain values;
    2. obtaining a valuation of the property and chattels;
    3. completing an Inheritance Tax Return and paying inheritance tax as required;
    4. drafting an Oath and applying for a Grant of Probate;
    5. gathering in the assets after Probate has been granted;
    6. arranging for liabilities to be paid and for income tax compliance as required;
    7. preparing estate accounts for approval by the executors and distributing the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will.
    8. Liaising with foreign lawyers as appropriate to deal with foreign assets

    This would typically take 30 – 60 hours of our time.

    Depending on the hourly rate the charges could be £5,850 - £18,000 plus VAT.

    Any costs regarding foreign lawyers would be payable separately. Costs in selling or transferring the properties would be quoted separately by our property team.

    Timescales

    Each estate is different and the amount of time taken to administer an estate will depend on a number of factors including:

    1. the number of assets to be dealt with;
    2. the overall value of the estate including if there is Inheritance Tax to be paid;
    3. whether there are more complex assets to be dealt with, such as a farm or a share in a business or partnership.

    On a typical estate containing the following assets:

    1. three bank accounts;
    2. an investment portfolio; and
    3. a property

    We would hope to be able to gather in all the information required within 6-8 weeks.

    The next stage would be to complete an Inheritance Tax Return and draft the Oath for Probate. If Inheritance Tax is payable we must wait for a signed receipt from HMRC before we can proceed to make an application for a Grant of Probate to the Probate Registry. Obtaining this receipt can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks.

    Once an application for Probate is submitted to the Probate Registry, a Grant is usually issued within 14 days.

    On a typical matter such as this we would hope to have a Grant of Probate within 3-5 months of being instructed.

    The next stage to gather in the assets and distribute them to the beneficiaries could typically take another 2-3 months, although this can depend on a number of factors including the number of legacies and the overall number of beneficiaries to be dealt with.

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