Probate Pricing

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 will 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 Accreditation, issued by the Law Society. This involves the firm undergoing a rigorous audit process which ensures we maintain high levels of client care.

Pricing

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

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

Some Typical Examples of What We Have Charged Clients

(1) A SIMPLE CASE – PATRICIA JONES

We charged £1,200 plus VAT and disbursements.

When 85 year old Patricia died her husband Norman asked us to sort out probate to her estate. This was a simple matter, handled by an experienced chartered legal executive. We were able to sort out the entire matter in just over three months from being instructed. Our bill was just £1,200 plus VAT and disbursements. 

The reasons the bill was relatively small were:

  • The house was in joint names with Norman, so no conveyancing was needed.
  • No inheritance tax was payable.
  • The assets we had to collect and distribute were just one savings account and one investment account, total value £120,000.
  • There were only two beneficiaries in addition to Norman himself (their two children) who were both adults. No trusts or other complexities were involved.
  • We had prepared Patricia's will ourselves a few months before so had much of the information to hand.
  • Norman was prompt and well-organised in responding to our requests for papers and information.

In addition to our bill there were disbursements of £515.90. They would be the same at any firm. They were made up of:

  • Probate application fee of £156.
  • £7 for swearing of the oath*.
  • Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £101.52 post in The London Gazette – to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • £245.38 (approximate dependent on the number of characters in the Notice) post in a local newspaper – to help to protect against unexpected claims.

(2) A TYPICAL CASE – JOANNA MATTHEWS:

We charged £2,500 plus VAT and disbursements.

David Matthews’ mother died who was a widow for 7 years. She died leaving a Will leaving everything equally between David and his sister. The matter was straight forward but did involve the property, utility bills, several bank accounts and shares which all needed to be cashed in and sold. We were able to sort the entire matter in just over 8 months following the successful sale of the property.  All work was completed by an experienced chartered legal executive or solicitor. Our bill was £2,500 plus VAT and disbursements.

The reasons the bill was this amount were:

  • The house was then in the sole name of mother which had to be valued and conveyancing was required at an additional cost.
  • No inheritance tax was payable.
  • The assets we had to deal with including the property and several bank accounts and shares had a total value of £300,000.
  • There were only two beneficiaries who are both adults. No trusts or other complexities were involved.
  • The executors, who were the children provided the majority of the information and we had to obtain date of death values.
  • The work involved dealing with all organisations to obtain information for inheritance tax and probate purposes. Completing the forms and dealing with the encashment and final utilities following the sale which was completed by our conveyancing department.

In addition to our bill there were disbursements of £522.90. They would be the same at any firm. They were made up of:

  • Probate application fee of £158.
  • £14 for swearing of the oath*
  • Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £101.52 post in The London Gazette – to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • £245.38 (approximate dependent on the number of characters in the Notice) post in a local newspaper – to help to protect against unexpected claims. 

(3) AN EASY CASE: - DOUGLAS BLOOR

We charged £500 plus VAT and disbursements.

Frances Bloor sadly lost her father and she was the sole executrix of the estate. She collated all of the information and valuations required for probate purposes and simply required our assistance in obtaining the Grant of Probate in completing the IHT205 (where no inheritance tax is payable). Once the Grant was issued this was handed over to the executrix and she dealt with the administration herself.  All work was completed by an experienced chartered legal executive or solicitor within 2 months. Our fees were charged at a fixed fee of £500 plus VAT and disbursements.

In addition to our bill there were disbursements of £165.00. They would be the same at any firm. They were made up of: 

  • Probate application fee of £158.
  • £7 for swearing of the oath*

(4) A COMPLICATED CASE with inheritance tax: – THOMAS LAWTON

We charged £5,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

Father died who was widowed 5 years ago. The estate was left equally between his three children, all three of which were the executors.

The estate comprised of property with £220,000 and various investments and shares which took the value of the estate over the inheritance tax threshold at the time. The nil rate band claim had to be completed to reduce the inheritance tax payable as everything passed to their father when their mother died. The work was completed within 12 months and included corresponding with all companies to obtain valuations of all assets and liabilities as at the date of death. Completing the IHT400 (where inheritance tax is payable), calculating the inheritance tax and arranging payment. Dealing with the inheritance tax office to comply with any queries and arranging for probate to be issued. Once probate was granted dealing with all of the assets and arranging for the property to be assented to the beneficiaries and cashing in all of the investments and shares. Preparing estate accounts and arranging for payment between the beneficiaries.  All work was completed by an experienced chartered legal executive or solicitor.

In addition to our bill there were disbursements of £531.90. They would be the same at any firm. They were made up of:

  • Probate application fee of £158.
  • £21 for swearing of the oath*
  • Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £101.52 post in The London Gazette – to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • £245.38 (approximate dependent on the number of characters in the Notice) post in a local newspaper – to help to protect against unexpected claims.

Complicating Factors

The following are examples of factors that may lead to the need for additional work on our part and consequently a higher charge:

  • There is no valid Will
  • One or more of the appointed executors have died or refuse to act
  • There is more than one property
  • There are more than five bank or building society accounts
  • There are other intangible assets
  • There are more than five beneficiaries
  • Any beneficiary lacks capacity under the Mental Health Act or is a minor
  • There are disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets.
  • The Will creates a trust
  • There are missing beneficiaries
  • There is inheritance tax payable and the executors need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are claims made against the estate or disputes as to the validity of the Will

Fixed Fee - Obtaining Grant of Probate

We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. As part of the fixed fee of £500 plus VAT and disbursements (as in Example 3 above) we will:

Provide you with a dedicated and experienced lawyer 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 formal statement of truth for you to make*
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you

*Note: It is now not necessary for an application for Probate to be supported by an oath. A formal statement of truth will usually be sufficient. If so, then there will be no additional payment for any oath fee.

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

Exclusions

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.

Additional services that will require the assistance of a third party at additional cost include:

  • Tax advice
  • Valuations for property, savings, investments or other assets

Time Scales

On average, probate for the typical estate will take between 3 – 12 months. Generally, the time taken to obtain the Grant of Probate will take between 3 - 6 months, followed by the collection of assets and distribution of the assets which can take between 4 -12 months. The range takes into account handling everything from straightforward estate through to more complex estates.

Key Milestones

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
  • Producing Estate accounts