Probate Service Fees
Coping with bereavement can be a distressing and emotional time. We pride ourselves on being able to deal with your issues sensitively and efficiently. We are a dedicated team who will work with you every step of the way to deal with the estate as quickly as possible. As every estate is different, we suggest that the first step is a meeting with you so that we can get to know you and the estate which will need to be distributed.
Probate is the court-supervised process of gathering a deceased person’s assets, paying debts and taxes and distributing what is left to those who are named as inheritors, in the Will.
Uncontested probate is where there is no dispute over the Will and distribution of assets.
Below we provide you with information on our Legal Fees, disbursements and the length of time it will take to complete your matter.
Legal Fees and Disbursements
Legal Fees are the amount you will be required to pay for all of the work performed by us in actioning your instructions, from commencement of your case to conclusion.
We will handle the full process for you. The precise stages involved in an uncontested probate vary according to the circumstances. We have set out the key stages of a standard transaction. This includes
- providing you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter;
- identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries;
- accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require;
- obtaining the relevant documents required to make the application;
- completing the Probate application and the relevant HMRC forms;
- drafting a legal oath for you to swear;
- making the application to the Probate Court on your behalf;
- obtaining the Probate and securely send two copies to you; and
- collecting and distributing all of the assets in the estate.
Our average standard legal fees for an uncontested probate matter is between £1750 – £9400 plus VAT (a total of £2100 – £11,280 Inc. VAT). Below we detail what services are covered in our standard fee.
Our fees are calculated largely by reference to the time spent in dealing with the matter (although other matters may also be taken into account, such as the complexity of the work undertaken, and the value of the assets being dealt with).
Should your instructions require us to take your matter out of the fixed fee rate (see below for what our fixed fee covers) we will charge an hourly rate of £135 – £275 plus VAT (£162 – £330 inc. VAT) which will depend on the experience and qualification of the case handler as follows: –
|Leyla Whitlingum||Solicitor & STEP||£275 plus VAT
(£330 Inc. VAT)
|Sian Lias||Solicitor & TEP|| £250 plus VAT
(£300 Inc. VAT)
|Sarah Parker||Solicitor|| £250 plus VAT
(£300 Inc. VAT)
|Claire-Marie Selwood||Solicitor|| £200 plus VAT
(£240 Inc. VAT)
|Trainee Solicitor|| £135 plus VAT
(£162 Inc. VAT)
|Probate Assistant|| £150 plus VAT
(£180 Inc. VAT)
Electronic money transfers are charged at £45 plus VAT and International money transfers are charged at £65 plus VAT.
To give you an idea on the likely costs, we have set out some fairly common probate scenarios with a range of costs:
|There is a Will with no Inheritance Tax payable|
|10 – 15 hours||£1,750 to £3,525 plus VAT (£2100 – £4230 Inc. VAT)||This is for one property, where there are up to five accounts and with three beneficiaries.|
|There is a Will and Inheritance Tax is payable|
|20 – 35 hours||£3,500 to £8,225 plus VAT (£4200 – £9870 Inc. VAT)||This is for one property, up to ten accounts/shares and with three beneficiaries.|
|There is no Will and no Inheritance Tax is payable|
|15 – 30 hours||£2,625 to £7,050 plus VAT (£3150 – £9006 Inc. VAT)||This is when there is no valid Will, for one property, with up to five accounts and three beneficiaries.|
|There is no Will and Inheritance Tax is payable|
|30 – 40 hours||£5,250 to £9,400 plus VAT (£6300 – £11,280 Inc. VAT)||This is when there is no valid Will, for one property, with up to 10 accounts/shares for up to five beneficiaries.|
The exact cost 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. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
Our Standard Fee estimate above is for estates where: –
- There is no more than one property.
- There is no more than £350,000 in bank or building society accounts.
- There are no other intangible assets.
- There are no more beneficiaries than stated above
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs.
- There are no claims made against the estate.
- There is no tax clearance awaited for either inheritance or income tax.
If at any stage our fees change, we will notify you and discuss the reason for any changes. This would typically occur if you change your instructions or your case involves an unforeseen complexity.
Our average fees assume that:
- The transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise.
- All parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from any parties providing documentation.
Disbursements and Other Costs
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf, to ensure a smoother process.
You will be provided with a full list of disbursements in our formal quotation. If you need to incur any further disbursements during your case, you will be notified in advance of the reason and the amount.
Typical disbursements will include: –
- Thirdfort ID checks £9.95 plus VAT per person
- Probate application fee is currently £273 with £1.50 per office copy of the grant
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches are £3.30 including VAT
- Office copy register of title is £4.50 including VAT
- Certainty National Will Register search £95 plus VAT
- Asset search costs between £155 plus VAT to £185 plus VAT
- Placing Section 27 Trustee Act Notices in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. From £100+VAT (£120.00 Inc. VAT)
- Newspaper close to where the deceased lived – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims. From £150 – £200+VAT (£180.00 – £240 Inc. VAT)
How long will this take?
Where the estate is straightforward with no Inheritance Tax payable, the estate administration will normally take three months to six months to complete.
Where Inheritance Tax is payable, the estate administration could take between six months and a year to complete. This is because HMRC have their own time scales for the issue of documentation to allow for probate to be applied for, issue assessments and review the estate. If the estate is complex, it could take even longer.
We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. We will also undertake the collection and distribution of assets.
Potential additional costs
Further potential costs may arise where: –
- 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 £10 (1 per asset usually).
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
Our Wills and Probate department is under the supervision of Leyla Whitlingum who is the Head of Wills and Probate.
Leyla Whitlingum has breadth of experience in all aspects of Will drafting and advising as well as estate administration and lasting powers of attorney. She has dealt with complex estates involving business assets and has experience in administering disputed estates, including acting for independent administrators.
Leyla’s areas of expertise include contentious probate, where she has acted in Will disputes, both for the claimant and for the defendant, as well as advising in relation to Inheritance Act claims; She is also experienced in estate planning and trust creation.
Claire-Marie Selwood is a qualified solicitor and specialises in Wills, Estate Administration, Mental Capacity Issues and Lasting Powers of Attorney. Claire Marie has worked in the legal profession since 1995 starting her early career as a legal secretary. She subsequently qualified as a Legal Executive practicing in family law. She then went on to qualify as a Solicitor in December 2009.
Sian Lias is a qualified solicitor and specialises in in all aspects of private client law, including Wills and Tax Planning, Probate and Estate Administration, and Lasting Powers of Attorney. Sian qualified as a Solicitor in 2015 is a fully qualified member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
Sarah Parker is a qualified solicitor and experienced in dealing with all aspects of private client work including the drafting and reviewing of Wills, the preparation and registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney, the registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney and applications to the Court of Protection. Sarah also specialises in the Administration of Estates, the creation and Administration of Trusts and Tax Planning. She qualified as a Solicitor in 2009 and is a member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) having completed all four modules of the STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates.
You can find out more about our Probate team here : meet the team
If you have any questions relating to our services and our fees, please contact us on 01256 460830 or email us at [email protected]