Probate and Estates

The exact cost for dealing with applying for the grant of probate and collecting and distributing the assets of an estate 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 as the case can be handled by a junior lawyer. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, the matter will be more complex requiring an experienced lawyer and the costs will be higher.

In addition to the legal costs there are disbursements, which are costs relating on the matter that are payable to third parties such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process but these are ultimately paid from the estate and are not included in our quote*.

As an illustration of the likely costs to be incurred, where there is a simple estate i.e. one beneficiary and no property, we anticipate that this will take between 10 and 25 hours work at the rate of £180.00 per hour.  This work would usually be undertaken by a junior lawyer.   The costs estimated are therefore in the region of £1,800 to £ 4,500 (plus VAT).

This is for the estates where:

  • there is a valid will
  • there is no more than one property (Conveyancing fees are charged separately)
  • there is no more than 2 bank or building society accounts
  • there are no tangible assets
  • there are 2-3 beneficiaries
  • there are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increasing costs
  • there is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • there are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements typically required are:

  • probate application fee of £155 (plus 50p for each additional copy of the Grant required)
  • £7 swearing of oath (per executor)
  • bankruptcy only land charges Department search (£2 per beneficiary)
  • notice posted in the London Gazette and a local newspaper. This cost varies but is approximately £260  and protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors

As an illustration of the likely costs to be incurred, where there is a simple estate i.e. one beneficiary and no property, we anticipate that this will take between 10 and 25 hours work at the rate of £180.00 per hour.  This work would usually be undertaken by a junior lawyer.   The costs estimated are therefore in the region of £1,800 to £ 4,500 (plus VAT).

This is for the estates where:

  • there is a valid will
  • there is no more than one property (Conveyancing fees are charged separately)
  • there is no more than 2 bank or building society accounts
  • there are no tangible assets
  • there are 2-3 beneficiaries
  • there are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increasing costs
  • there is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • there are no claims made against the estate

This work would ordinarily be undertaken by a more junior fee earner under the supervision of a partner or senior member of the team. Where the issues involved are more complicated the application for probate and administration of the estate will be dealt with by a senior fee earner who's hourly rate is between £215 and £240.

There is always potential for cost to increase particularly where:

  •  there is no will or the estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could 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 more information.

On average estates falling within the basic range are dealt with within 3 to 6 months. Typically obtaining the grant of probate will take 6 to 12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take a further 4 and 6 weeks. Once this has been done we can distribute the assets which normally takes 2 to 4 weeks.

If a property is to be sold, the time limits will increase and are dependant on how quickly a buyer can be found and the property sold.

For a tailored guide as to the likely costs to be incurred on a particular application for probate and estate distribution please contact one of the probate team on 01329 822333.

We would always encourage clients to make contact with us, we have an extremely sympathetic and dedicated team and we are happy to meet with you and provide a free no obligation quote. Any quote will be provided to you in writing and give you a chance to consider this in the privacy of your own home before deciding whether or not to instruct us.

We are happy to provide quotes just to obtain the Grant of Representation (Probate or Administration) and complete the Inheritance Tax return for those who would like a more economical service and who have the confidence to deal with the post Grant administration themselves.

 

*There is currently proposed by the Government an  increase in probate fees as listed below. If these proposals are implemented this fee will not be paid on your behalf by this firm and will either need to be funded by the Executors or from the assets of the deceased where the asset holder permits their release.
Estates worth less than £50,000 will pay nothing
Estates worth from £50,000 up to £300,000 will pay £250, a rise of £35.
Estates worth from £300,000 up to £500,000 will pay £750, a rise of £535.
Estates worth from £500,000 up to £1 million will pay £2,500, a rise of £2,285.
Estates worth from £1 million up to £1.6 million will pay £4,000, a rise of £3,785.
Estates worth from £1.6 million up to £2 million will pay £5,000, a rise of £4,785.
Estates worth more than £2 million will pay £6,000, a rise of £5,785.

 

 

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The Wills and Probate Team

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  • Emily Barclay
  • Probate Executive
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  • Georgia Bull
  • Solicitor
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  • Arlene Bunting
  • Solicitor
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  • John Cregan
  • Partner
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  • Faye Evans TEP
  • Partner
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  • Christopher Matthews TEP
  • Partner
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  • Lauren McIntosh TEP
  • Partner
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  • Jessica Measham TEP
  • Senior Solicitor
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  • Julia Shacklady
  • Chartered Legal Executive
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  • Eliza Watts
  • Junior Probate Executive
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  • Alanna White
  • Senior Probate Executive
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The service was informative, well advised and understanding.

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