Our Probate Costs

Thank you for looking at our probate services. Coping with the death of a person can bring a mixture of emotions and the legal side of dealing with a person’s death can often be overwhelming and confusing. Having compassionate, experienced legal advice can make this difficult situation much easier on you and your loved ones.

Whether the deceased person left a Will or whether there is substantial wealth and property involved, the sense of burden can increase. Where a Will is in existence the Executors may need to apply for the grant of probate which will give them the legal right to administer the estate. Where there is no Will in existence, the Will is invalid, or it does not specify Executor, an Administrator will need to be appointed.

Why Us

We have an experienced team who can assist you with every aspect of the probate process, reducing the administrative burden and advising sensitively on key decisions which need to be made when managing an estate. We are aware that administering an estate comes at a time of grief and high emotion, and that most people do not know the processes and legal requirements involved.

We will give you a clear time frame of how long probate should take and will keep you and any beneficiaries advised throughout.

You will have the confidence that you are our priority, with our aim being that any member of the team is available to speak with you when you need some clarity and certainty at any stage in the process. We feel this provides reassurance and gives you an outlet for any concerns that you may have. Fees are generally paid out of the estate, so there may not be a need for you to fund the administration.

We are proud to hold Lexcel issued by the Law Society. This involves the firm undergoing a rigorous audit process which ensures we maintain high levels of client care.

Our Prices – we offer Fixed Fee and hourly rates

The fees involved in a probate matter can vary and this will depend on the individual circumstances involved.

We offer both fixed fees and an hourly rate charging rate, whereby you will be charged for each hour of work undertaken.

Grant of Probate – Fixed Fee

Fixed Fee - £1500 plus vat and standard disbursements

We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. We will also undertake the collecting and distribution of assets and as part of the fixed fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors, administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and relevant HMRC Forms
  • Draft a Legal Oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you

Anticipated Disbursements for grant of probate

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees or court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Anticipated Disbursements for grant of probate and administration of the estate i.e. probate

Item

Amount

Probate Fee

£155.00

Office Copies for the Grant of Probate

0.50p

Commissioners fees for Swearing Oath of probate

£5.00

Land Registry Search fee

£6.00

Bankruptcy Search fee (per beneficiary)

£2.00

Post in the London Gazette  (various prices)

£180 plus VAT

Estimated Total Disbursements

(not all the above will be required)

£348.50 plus VAT

If for whatever reason we have to charge more than the fixed fee we will explain why and provide you with an estimate in advance of charging more – the circumstances in which we would need to charge you more would include requiring more time than anticipated due to difficulties in obtaining instructions and obtaining all the relevant documentation.

Our Costs for Administering Probate Matters

We set out below our anticipated costs based on time and a value element depending on the circumstances of the case.

We will handle all aspects of probate which includes:

  • Advising you of your duties and responsibilities as Personal Representative;
  • Subject to full disclosure by you identify all the assets and liabilities of the estate including details of any gifts made in the deceased’s lifetime and interests in any trusts.
  • Apply for Probate/Letters of Administration and the preparation of all relevant papers.
  • Prepare the HM Revenue & Customs Account and, if applicable, all matters relating to the Inheritance Tax liability of the estate, this will include an application for a transferrable nil-rate band, residence nil-rate band and transferrable residence nil-rate band.
  • Register the Grant and encashing or transferring all assets as required.
  • Deal with the payment of any legacies and the interim distributions to the residuary beneficiaries.
  • Arrange for all Income Tax matters in connection with the deceased’s tax affairs to the date of death to be dealt with and the tax
    affairs relating to the administration of the estate, however this will exclude any other tax advice and administration in connection with e.g. Capital Gains Tax but we can refer you to a range of accountants if required to obtain your own financial advice on these matters.
  • Prepare the estate accounts.
  • Deal with the final distributions to the residuary beneficiaries.
  • Sale of deceased’s property
  • The above costs do not include the cost of a sale of the deceased’s property. Our conveyancing department can handle the sale of the property at their usual fees but we aim to offer a discount for any probate sales.

Our fees for a straight forward probate will be charged on an hourly rate and will cost between 15 and 25 hours plus vat. The hourly rates of our fee earners are listed below. The fees will vary according to the work involved and the individual circumstances.

We will handle the full process for you and this estimate of 10 to 15 hours of work  plus vat is for estates where:

  • There is a valid Will
  • Whether or not any executors have died or refuse to act
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than five bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are no more than five  beneficiaries
  • Where there are no  beneficiaries who do not have capacity under the Mental Health Act or a minor
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise this will lead to an increase of costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC

Our Costs for complex probate matters

Where the work involved is less straightforward and the work involved will take longer and you will be charged for between 20 and 40 hours work. In addition you will be charged a value element being 1% of the gross value of the estate (less the value of the deceased’s property) and 0.5% of the value of the deceased’s property. This value element which is charged by most probate solicitors reflects the importance of the matter and the responsibilities to the firm.  For the further hours to be required and value element charged then the following are some of the elements that may make the probate less straightforward:

a)A full inheritance tax account is required

b)There are more than five bank accounts

c)There are more than five beneficiaries

d)There are shareholdings (Stocks and bonds)

e)There is no will.

f)Disputes between Beneficiaries

The above costs only apply when all assets are in the UK. If some or all of the assets are outside the UK then time in excess of 40 hours may be required. Not all of the above elements need to be present for the probate to be less straightforward and equally some elements can be present but you will still only be charged as if the probate was a straight forward probate because in the end other parts of the probate were straightforward and took less time. We will discuss this with you as the probate progresses.

Disbursements

The disbursements that will need paying for in all probate matters are set out in the table below:

Item

Amount

Probate Fee

£155.00

Office Copies for the Grant of Probate

£5.50

Commissioners fees for Swearing Oath of probate

£5.00

Land Registry Search fee

£6.00

Bankruptcy Search fee (per beneficiary)

£2.00

Post in the London Gazette  (various prices)

£180 plus VAT

Estimated Total Disbursements

(not all the above will be required)

£348.5 plus VAT

Inheritance Tax

There are various factors that will affect any Inheritance Tax due on an estate, including the size of the estate and any measures that were put in place by the deceased to limit the estates tax liability.

We do not believe that it would be sensible to attempt to provide at this stage an estimate of any tax that may be payable. We would advise you to look on the HMRC Website to calculate Inheritance Tax which may be due, the calculators can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-tools-and-calculators#inheritance-tax-and-bereavement

The cost of selling or transferring a property is not included in this price, if you require this service, please let us know and we will provide you with an estimate in that regard.

Time Scales – how long will it take?

On average, probate for the typical estate will take between 6 - 8 months.  Probate for a less straightforward estate will take between 12 to 14 months. Generally, the time taken to obtain the Grant of Probate will be between 3 - 6 months. This will be followed by the probate work of collecting in and distributing the assets as well as preparing a tax account if applicable. This further work after the grant will take between 6 and 14 months.

Sale Of The Deceased’s Property

The above costs do not include the cost of a sale of the deceased’s property. Our conveyancing department can handle the sale of the property at their usual fees but we aim to offer a discount for any probate sales.

Hourly Rates

  • Head of Probate – Tina Chan £250 per hour
  • Senior Probate Solicitor – Anita Bharaj £230 per hour
  • Assistant Solicitor – Christina Leondis £190 per hour
  • Paralegal/Trainee Solicitor £130 per hour