We offer both hourly rate changing rate or fixed fee for probate matters.
We offer a fixed fee where we are only instructed to obtain the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (collectively known as a Grant of Representation). In this case we do not deal with the administration of the estate themselves.
Otherwise, we offer an hourly rate charging rate, whereby you will be only be charged for the time spent on the matter.
Grant of Representation only
|Fixed Fee for grant of representation only, where the IHT205 is required (the short form of the IHT Return)||From £1,500||£300||£1,800|
|Legal Fees for Grant of Representation only, where the IHT 400 is required (the long form of the IHT Return)||From £2,000||£400||£2,400|
The above fees are for applications where the Personal Representatives are providing the necessary details of the assets in the estate.
Dealing with the entire estate
We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Representation on your behalf and then continue to administer the estate on your behalf. As part of our retainer we will:
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate solicitor to work on your matter
- Identify the legally appointed executors, administrators and beneficiaries
- Obtain the necessary valuations of the assets and liabilities in the estate
- Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
- Provide and complete the relevant Probate and HMRC forms required to make the application
- Make the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf
- Obtain the Grant of Representation
- Collect in all assets in the estate and settle the liabilities
- Finalise the deceased’s income tax affairs for the tax year to the date of death
- Distribute the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will
- Prepare a detailed account of the estate for the Executors and Residuary Beneficiaries
The range of fees will depend on issues such as the number of beneficiaries and whether the estate includes any property. Probate fees will also typically increase, depending on whether there are multiple bank accounts, shares and based on the number and value of any property.
We will handle the full process for you and give the following range of costs based on estimated time required.
|Legal Fees for Estate administration|
|Estate example||Fee Range||VAT||Total inc. VAT|
|Estate value of up to £50,000 without a property and up to 4 accounts (based on 7 – 10 hours of time)||£1,800 to £2,600||£360 to £520||£2,160 to £3,120|
|Estate Value between £50,000 to £100,000 without a property and up to 6 accounts (based on 9 to 16 hours of time)||£2,600 to £4,200||£520 to £840||£3,120 to £5,040|
|Estate Value £100,000 to £325,000 to include a property and up to 12 investments (based on 16 to 30 hours of time)||£4,200 to £7,800||£840 to £1,560||£5,040 to £9,360|
|Estate value £325,000 to £650,000 to include a property and up to 16 investments (based on 20 to 38 hours of time)||£5,200 to £9,900||£1,040 to £1,980||£6,240 to £11,880|
|Estate value £650,000 to £2,000,000 to include a property and up to 30 investments (based on 28 to 120 hours of time)||£7,300 to £32,000||£1,460 to £6,400||£8,760 to £38,400|
|Estate value over £2,000,000 costs by agreement.|
Note: Values stated refer to the gross value of the estate
Our hourly rates
A Partners/Solicitors/legal executive with over 8 years’ experience – £267.00
B Solicitors/legal executives with over 4 years’ experience- £229.00
C Solicitors/legal executives /fee earners of equivalent experience- £165.00 to £180.00
D Trainee solicitors, paralegals and other fee earners- £121.00
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.
|Office Copies for the Grant of Probate, per copy (1 per asset usually)||£1.50|
|Land Registry Search fee||£3|
|Post in the Local Newspaper||varies|
|Post in the London Gazette||varies|
The cost of selling or transferring a property is not included in the above prices. If you require this service, please let us know and a quote can be provided by our conveyancing team.
There may be additional disbursements if we have to deal with tracing a lost Will, tracing lost assets or replacing lost share certificates.
In some circumstances it may be necessary to pay a premium for an indemnity insurance policy, for example if beneficiaries can’t be traced.
If the estate is subject to IHT then it is likely that there will be additional disbursements for the cost of obtaining valuations for property, possessions and shareholdings.
Our fees usually fall within the ranges shown however there may be factors which would typically increase time spent and the cost of the fees involved. Where there is likely to be any additional cost, we will make sure you are informed of this at the earliest opportunity and a clear estimate of those extra costs will be provided.
In addition to the fees detailed above, an additional fee may be charged if the Estate involves any of the following:
- Sorting through numerous old papers
- Missing title deeds or share certificates
- Beneficiaries having to be traced e.g. because their contact details are not known
- There are trusts in which the deceased had an interest which need to be considered
- Agricultural or business property
- Private company shares
- Foreign assets
- Specialist assets e.g. private collections
- The estate is subject to Inheritance Tax or there are complex tax issues
- Threatened, anticipated or actual litigation or disputes between beneficiaries
- The renunciation of an executor
- A Will where the terms are unclear
- Tax advice
- Deeds of variation or disclaimer
- Other unusual or complex situations
On average, dealing with a typical estate will take between 3 – 12 months. Generally, the time taken to obtain the Grant of Probate will take up to 3 months, followed by the collection of assets and distribution of the assets which can take a further 1 -9 months. Some complex estates involving IHT considerations can take up to 2 years to settle. The range takes into account handling everything from straightforward estate through to more complex estates.
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 estate’s 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
With every transaction there are key milestones, which may vary according to individual circumstances. They may be as follows:
- Applying for Grant of Probate
- Obtaining Grant of Probate
- Settling Liabilities
- Collecting funds ready for distribution
- Distributing funds in accordance with the terms of the Will
- Producing Estate accounts
- Openness, integrity and trust
- Commitment and accountability
- Dedication and distinctive service
- Expertise and continuous improvement
- Equality, diversity and inclusiveness