Our costs for non-contentious probate matters are:
- Fixed fee of 0.5% to 3% depending on the value of the estate, complexity and circumstances of each matter; and/or
- Hourly rate of £140 to £280, depending on the complexity of the matter and experience of the fee earners.
Our services are provided by our experienced solicitors with the assistance of our support team (including our trainee solicitors and paralegals). All services are carried out under the supervision of a partner. Also note that our fees are subject to VAT and further details about cost information would be provided to respective clients at the time of instructions; and set out clearly in their client care letters.
Costs are very difficult to predict in probate cases but in a fairly straightforward case, we generally estimate it should take between 7 to 30 hours, therefore, between £980 and £8400 plus 0.5% to 3% of the gross value of the estate, as the case may be, plus VAT.
Disbursements that will commonly be needed to be paid by us to third parties:
|Probate application fee, currently £155 plus 50p for each copy Grant|
|Swearing of Oath = £7 – £11 per executor|
|Bankruptcy searches = £2 per beneficiary|
|Notice in London Gazette and in local newspaper – approximately £300 – £400. This is protection against unexpected claims|
Depending on how many hours it takes to complete, our fees will be calculated on the amount of time spent on the matter to that date.
We cannot anticipate the eventualities of all and every scenario. However, if we do suspect that we are reaching our estimate of costs and will exceed it, you will be notified of this and the reasons why.
How long will it take
In a straightforward case, from the time you instruct us to the distribution of the Estate, the average process can take between six to twelve months. It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties involved and the time it takes to ascertain the value of the Estate, for example, if the original documentation is not obtained and searches have to be undertaken. In such a situation, additional charges may also apply.
Stages of the process
The precise stages involved in a Probate matter can vary according to the circumstances, however, we have listed some key stages below:
- Take your instructions, ID, money on account and provide you with some initial advice.
- Determine the value of the Estate, contacting institutions and obtaining the value as at the date of death.
- Verifying the terms of the deceased’s Will, or where there is no Will, proceeding in accordance with intestacy laws, and obtaining the necessary identification documents for the beneficiaries.
- Preparing the account for Inheritance Tax to HMRC, where applicable, paying the tax and submitting the correct Inheritance Tax return (required whether or not there is tax due).
- Applying to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Representation, this being the document confirming the legal authority to administer the Estate.
- After the Grant of Representation has been issued by the Probate Registry, liquidating (selling or calling in) the deceased’s assets and settling any debts and all their liabilities.
- Paying the final Estate administration expenses and accounting to HMRC for any further Inheritance Tax, any Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax due to or from the Estate.
- Preparing the Estate Accounts showing all payments into and out of the Estate, and the balance left for distribution to the beneficiaries.
- Sending the Estate accounts to the Personal Representatives (such as the Executor in the Will) for approval.
- If there are no challenges or complicating factors that have arisen preventing distribution, the final phase will involve transferring any assets that the beneficiaries wish to retain and distributing the balance of the Estate funds.