Costs in Probate

We are required to provide the best estimate possible for Probate work.

Full Estate Administration Service

(Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets including completion of the Inheritance Tax Return and payment of debts)

Because Estates vary considerably and are specific to the individual, there is no standard charge for the work; the exact cost will depend on individual circumstances. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be lower, but if there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be higher.

Our charges are calculated with reference to time spent on the matter (the time element) and to the value of the estate (the value element) which reflects value and risk of administering the particular estate.  Where family or friends are appointed as executors this value element is 1% of the gross value of the estate (excluding his or her residence) plus VAT and ½% of ½ of the value of the deceased’s interest in the residence plus VAT.

In order to provide detailed cost information, we always meet Executors so that we can discuss requirements, and establish exactly what needs to be done.  That initial meeting is at no obligation and, if clients prefer to go away before making a decision, that is fine and no charge will be made for the meeting if they decide not to proceed.

Charges:

  • Although we will provide costs information before commencing work, to give you an example of the likely cost and time frame for administering an estate, where: There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property (valued at up to £250,000)

  • There are no more than four bank or building society accounts (with a combined balance of up to £100,000)

  • There are no other intangible assets

  • There are no more than three beneficiaries

  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs

  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit the full account to HMRC

  • There are no claims made against the estate

    We anticipate it will take between fifteen and twenty-five hours work at £275 per hour resulting in a time element charge of between £4,125 and £6,425 plus VAT, and a value element charge of £2,250 plus VAT giving a total charge of between £6,375 and £8,675 plus VAT.

    Disbursements:

    Disbursements are costs related to the matter that are payable to third parties, over which we have no control, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process, but may ask for a payment on account to cover these expenses.

  •  The current Probate application fee is £155.00, although there is a significant increase proposed.
  • £7.00 Swearing of the oath (per executor)

  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches £2.00 (per beneficiary)

  • Notices in The London Gazette and a Local Newspaper - protection against unexpected claims from unknown creditors - £250.00 (depending on the locality of the newspaper used).

  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost 50p each (1 additional copy per asset is usually obtained).

     Potential Additional Charges:

    As you would expect, charges increase with complexity.  Additional costs will arise for example when

  •  There is no Will or it is unclear.
  • The estate contains any share holdings (stocks and bonds).

  • There are foreign assets.

  • There are assets of a specialised nature such as paintings.

  • There are tax complications.

  • If assets are to be transferred to beneficiaries rather than being sold.

  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

  • The terms of a Will are disputed.

    Additional costs can vary 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 discussed the particular estate.

    Probate: Grant Only Service

    (Obtaining the grant only)

    Some executors are happy to handle the full administration of the estate themselves and require no assistance, whilst others require only limited assistance.  Whilst we would naturally recommend using a solicitor as estate administration is far from being a mere form filling process and good advice is vital, we can nonetheless help Executors through the process of obtaining the Grant of Probate alone, on the basis of information provided by the Executors which, once obtained the Executors use to administer the estate.

  • For an estate such as the one described above, we can provide a Grant Only service for a fixed fee of £1,000 plus VAT and disbursements.