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.
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.
The fees involved in a probate matter can vary and this will depend on the individual circumstances involved.
We offer both fixed fees and an hourly rate charging rate, whereby you will be charged for each hour of work undertaken.
Range of Costs With Fixed Fee For Additional Work
We anticipate that an administration of an estate will take between 5 and 10 hours work.
Each estate is different and the nature of the estate, the assets and the people involved will determine how much it costs to administer. Our lawyers have a range of hourly rates from £150 + VAT to £300 + VAT. Total costs could be between approximately £1,500 + VAT and £3,000 + VAT.
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter and we will be happy to discuss this with you. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, and no complicating factors, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there is a more complex make up to the estate, for example multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
We will handle the full process for you. This estimate is for estates where:
- There is a valid will
- There is no more than one property
- There are no more than two bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are 1-5 beneficiaries
- 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
Disbursements included in this fee:
- Probate application fee of £155
- £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
- £69.50 + VAT for a notice to appear in The London Gazette – this protects executors against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
- £90 + VAT for a notice to appear in a Local Newspaper – this also helps to protect against unexpected claims.
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.
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
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 £0.50.
Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
Our fees are fixed and include items detailed above, however there may be factors which would typically increase 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.
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
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 3 - 9 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6 - 8 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2 – 10 weeks depending on the asset holder. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 1 - 3 weeks.
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