Summary of Professional Charges Probate
Range of costs with fixed fee for additional work
Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and only one property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
We normally base our charges on hourly rates, which will vary depending on the seniority and experience of the lawyers carrying out the work on your behalf. Our hourly rates range from £350 to £395 plus VAT for our non-partner fee earners and £395 to £545 plus VAT for partners.
We anticipate this will take between 12 and 20 hours work at (for example) £350.00 per hour. Total costs estimated at – £4,200.00 and £7,000.00 (+VAT).
VAT is at a rate of 20% unless otherwise stated.
We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:
- There is a valid will
- There is no more than one property
- There are no more than a few bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are no assets outside the UK
- There is no more than one beneficiary
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in 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
Potential additional costs
- If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (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.
- If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost 50p (1 per asset usually).
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is typically not included.
In a UK probate with multiple beneficiaries, multiple properties, art, investments, business interests, complex family relationships and inheritance tax payable our fees could range between £35,000.00 and £50,000.00 if our fees are based on an hourly rate.
Fixed fee Probate Work
In order to offer you a measure of certainty we can offer to carry out your work on the basis of a fixed fee. That way you have the comfort and security of knowing what the basis of our charges will be.
We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. We will also undertake the collecting and distributing of assets.
How much does this service cost?
Full administration of an estate (fees exclusive of vat)
|IHT205 & IHT217 Transferrable Nil Rate band minimum charge – £3,500||2.5%|
Transferrable Nil Rate Band
IHT paying estates
Foreign assets over £100,000 no IHT
|IHT400 – Estate over £1M, IHT payable||2.0%|
|IHT400 – Estate over £1M, no IHT payable||1.25%|
VAT is at a rate of 20% unless otherwise stated.
A full administration includes (but is not limited to):
- Ascertaining the value of all the estates of the estate
- Making a full return to HMRC
- Negotiating the value of property with the HMRC district valuer
- Instructing (and paying for) surveyors to value the property
- Reconciling the income tax,
- Inheritance tax and capital gains tax position of an estate
- Realising/transferring/disposing of the assets preparing comprehensive estate accounts
- Distributing the estate to the beneficiaries
As part of our fixed fee we will:
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
- Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
- Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
- Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
- Complete the Probate Application and the 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
- Collect and distribute all assets in the estate
Reductions to the above
There is scope to reduce the fixed fees by 0.25% if the estate is straightforward for example property £450,000 and cash assets of £100,000, reduction available from £13,750.00 (2.5%) to £12,375 (2.25%).
Increases to the above
Increase to the fixed fees by 0.25% if there are a significant number of investments, foreign assets or business assets that are required to be administered.
Not included in the Fixed fee Probate Work
Probates with international assets or where the estate is contested or dealing with issues of domicile
- Our Conveyancing costs of dealing with the sale of any property in the estate
- Preparing Deeds of Variation, Appropriation or Disclaimer
- Work in connection with Tax Returns for Income Tax or Capital Gains tax
- Work in relation to any Insurance Policies covering IHT
- Tax and Trust Advice in relation to property owned by the deceased
- Claims for loss relief on IHT and Corrective Accounts to HMRC and claims for refunds of Taxes including Income Tax, IHT and Capital gains Tax
We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
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 to ensure a smoother process.
These will be charged in addition to either the hourly rate charge or the fixed fee
- Probate application fee of currently £155
- £7.00 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
- £85.00 Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
- Between £100 -£500 to Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims
- £38.00 for a Will Search
- £25.00 for an unclaimed register search
Unknown disbursements include executor insurance, fees for accountants and valuers and surveyors’ fees.
How long will the administration take?
On average, estates are dealt with within 6 to 12 months, however it can take longer particularly if we are reliant on third parties to provide us with information or documentation and can take up to a year.
Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes around 6 to 10 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2-4 weeks. Once this has been done, we can prepare the Estate Accounts in anticipation of distributing the assets, which normally takes a further 2-4 weeks.