Probate costs and services

Probate

Full administration of the estate - applying for the Grant of Representation, collecting and distributing the assets.

Depending on the complexity of the estate, we anticipate that the work involved could take between 15 and 50 hours at £190 per hour. The costs are therefore estimated at between £2,850 and £9,500 (+VAT).

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts and investments, the costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you. As part of our service we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the information required and complete the application and relevant HM Revenue & Customs forms

This estimate assumes:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than four bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are up to four residuary beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in the time spent dealing with the estate and therefore the costs will increase.
  • The executors do not need to submit a full account to HM Revenue & Customs and therefore no inheritance tax is payable.
  • There are no claims made against the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Disbursements will also be payable and may include:

  • Probate application fee of £155 plus 50p for each additional sealed copy of the Grant (normally one sealed copy is required for each asset). Please note that the probate application fees may be increased significantly under recent Government proposals.
  • Swearing of any documents by the executor(s) £5 per person plus £2 for each exhibit
  • Bankruptcy searches - Land Charges Department searches £2 per beneficiary/name searched
  • Notices in accordance with the Trustee Act 1925 to protect the executors against unknown claims - between £200 and £350
  • Valuations for property by an appropriately qualified valuer.
  • Valuations of shareholdings/investments.

Disbursements are fees related to the administration of the estate that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We can handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf.
 
Potential additional costs:

  • If there is no will and we have to establish who is entitled to apply for the Grant and/or benefit from the estate in accordance with the intestacy rules.
  • Dealing with any issues relating to the valid execution (signing) of the will. For example, we may be asked by the probate registry to provide evidence of how the will was signed which means we may have to trace the witnesses to the will.
  • If the estate consists of shareholdings {shares, unit trusts, stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional work involved in valuing, transferring and/or selling the holdings.  We can give you more accurate information about the likely costs once we have full details of the assets.
  • Dealing with the transfer of any property in the estate to the appropriate beneficiaries. If there is a property sale then this will work will be the subject of an entirely separate fee quote.
  • Preparing income tax returns to the date of death and/or for the period of the administration.
  • Preparing a full inheritance tax account and arranging for any inheritance tax to be paid by accessing estate assets.
  • Advising the executors on the inheritance tax payable and any applicable exemptions or reliefs.
  • Protracted negotiations with HM Revenue & Customs regarding the valuation of assets, inheritance tax liabilities or claims for relief.
  • Advising in detail on inheritance tax and/or capital gains tax for the beneficiaries.
  • Advising on and/or the preparation of deeds of variation.

How long will the administration of the estate take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6 to 12 months. If inheritance tax is payable this timescale could be significantly longer. Typically, obtaining the Grant of Representation takes between 2 to 6 months. This can be longer if the probate registries are experiencing high volumes of work. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2 to 6 months. Once this has been done, can distribute the estate to the beneficiaries which can take a further 4 to 6 weeks.
 

We can help you obtain the Grant of Representation and you can then deal with the administration of the estate from that point.

How much does this service cost?

We offer various fixed fees depending on the nature of the assets. The fixed fees range from
£650 plus VAT to £1,500 plus VAT. The fee charged will depend on the number and nature of the assets. An estate consisting of a property and one or two bank accounts would be charged at £650 plus VAT. A more complex estate with additional bank accounts, investments, shareholdings, life policies and more than one property would be charged at £1,500 plus VAT.

Breakdown of costs:

Legal fees will therefore range from:

£650 plus VAT of £130 = £780

£1,500 plus VAT of £300 = £1,800
 
Disbursements will also be payable and may include:

  • Probate application fee of £155 plus 50p for each additional sealed copy of the Grant (normally one sealed copy is required for each asset). Please note that the probate application fees may be increased significantly under recent Government proposals.
  • Swearing of any documents by the executor(s) £5 per person plus £2 for each exhibit
  • Bankruptcy searches - Land Charges Department searches £2 per beneficiary/name searched
  • Notices in accordance with the Trustee Act 1925 to protect the executors against unknown claims - between £200 and £350
  • Valuations for property by an appropriately qualified valuer.
  • Valuations of shareholdings/investments.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf.

As part of our fixed fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the information required to make the application
  • Complete the application and relevant HM Revenue & Customs forms
  • Obtain the Grant of Representation and provide the original and any sealed copies to you

On average, where are only obtaining the Grant of Representation this work can take between 6 weeks and 6 months depending on the nature of the assets.

If you would like us to assist you in collecting the assets, this work would be quoted for on a bespoke basis as either a fixed fee or dependent on the time spent dealing with the work.
 

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