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Probate (uncontested cases with all assets in the UK)

Price Transparency Information – Probate (uncontested cases with all assets in the UK)

A.           Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets in relation to a non-taxable estate

(i)            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 5 bank or building society accounts
    • There are no other intangible assets
    • There are less than 10 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

(ii)           Fees including VAT

Based upon our hourly rates set out below and depending on the experience of the member of our team dealing with the matter and its              complexity, typically the range of our fees in the case of a non-taxable estate is between £1850-£6375 plus VAT, which will be increased by the        percentage uplift set out in the final paragraph of this section.

We anticipate that our work would take between 10-25 hours.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter.  For example, if there is one beneficiary and no real property then costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a real property and multiple bank accounts then our costs will be at the higher end of the range.

There will be an additional charge of 1% plus VAT of the gross probate value of any assets, excluding the main residence owned by the deceased which will attract an additional charge of 0.5% plus VAT (unless the property passes by survivorship, in which case the additional fee will not be charged). This additional charge will increase the typical range of fees set out in the first paragraph of this section.

(iii)          Hourly rates

The following rates apply:

    • Partner £255 plus VAT
    • Associate Solicitor £225 to £240 plus VAT
    • Solicitor/ Paralegal / Chartered Legal Executive £185 to £230 plus VAT
    • VAT is charged at the standard rate, details of which can be found here

(iv)         Disbursements

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 are likely to include the following:

    • Electronic ID verification of executors of up to £4.40 plus VAT per executor
    • Probate Court application fee of £155.00 plus £1.50 per additional copy
    • From £80 to £250 plus VAT for the posting of advertisements in The London Gazette and a Local Newspaper; this protects executors against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
    • Any disbursements increase the typical range of fees set out in section A(ii)

(v)           Potential additional costs

    • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (shares, 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 estimate once we have more information.
    • If there are assets subject to Business Property Relief, Agricultural Property Relief, Charitable exemptions or trusts there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how the particular reliefs, exemptions or trusts are to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate estimate once we have more information
    • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 each (1 per asset usually).
    • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any real property in the estate is not included and would be the subject of a separate estimate of fees.

(vi)         Key stages

    • Initial meeting with executors to ascertain the nature and complexity of the estate
    • Seeking confirmation of assets and liabilities from various institutions
    • Drafting application for Probate and seeking approval from executors
    • Swearing or affirming Oath and application and submitting to the Probate Registry
    • Obtaining Grant
    • Sending Grant to institutions in order to obtain/transfer assets
    • Paying outstanding liabilities and seeking confirmation from HMRC/DWP that no further liabilities remain
    • Dealing with the sale of any real property (if required)
    • Distributing estate

(vii)        How long will this take?

Typically, estates of this sort are dealt with within 4-9 months (depending on whether it is necessary to wait a 6-10 months’ period from the date of              issue of the Grant of Probate and the time required to sell a property and external timing issues at the Probate Registry). Generally, obtaining the              grant of probate takes 8-12 weeks once the application is submitted. Collecting assets (excluding the time taken to sell a real property) then                      follows, which can take between 4-6 weeks. Once this has been done,we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2-4 weeks.

B.        Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets in relation to a taxable Estate

If there is inheritance tax to pay, then the same basic processes, costs and exclusions as set out in section A will apply. However, there is a                       requirement to submit a full inheritance tax account to HMRC and pay any inheritance tax before the Grant of Probate can be obtained. This work             may add approximately 4-8 weeks to the time taken to obtain probate and in the region of £500-£1000 plus VAT to costs.

C.       Application for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration Only

(i)        We charge a fixed fee for applying for the grant of probate/letters of administration only. The cost of this is £850 plus VAT. This fee is applicable                      where:

    • There is a valid will or there is an intestacy whereby the client is entitled to act
    • The executors/administrators provide all details of assets and liabilities
    • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors/administrators do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
    • The executors do not need to claim an unused nil rate band allowance

(ii)   If there is inheritance tax to pay, then the same basic processes, costs and exclusions as set out in section C(i) will apply. However, there is                       a requirement to submit a full inheritance tax account to HMRC and pay any inheritance tax before the Grant of Probate can be obtained.                           This work may add approximately 4-8 weeks to the time taken to obtain probate and will add a further £900 plus VAT to costs.

(iii)       Disbursements (not vatable) include the following:

    • Electronic ID verification of executors of up to £4.40 plus VAT per executor
    • Probate Court Application fee – £155.00
    • Office copies of the Grant of Probate at £1.50 per copy

(iv)      Key stages

    • Initial meeting with executors/administrators to ascertain estate and obtain confirmation of assets and liabilities
    • Drafting application for Probate and seek approval from executors/administrators
    • Swearing or affirming Oath and application and submit to Probate Registry
    • Obtaining Grant

(v)     Timescales

We anticipate that this will take between 3-4 hours of work.

The Probate registry takes approximately 8-12 weeks to deal with applications, however, if the matter becomes complex then this can take                        longer, for example, if we need to refer the matter to HMRC.

It is assumed that all administration work in the estate not mentioned above will be dealt with by the executors/administrators of the estate.

D.      COVID Delays

PLEASE NOTE: In all applications to the Probate Registry we are experiencing unprecedented delays in the application process due to the effects of COVID-19. All references in this information to the time taken by the Probate Registry are subject to change  dependent upon the processing time actually taken by the Probate Registry.

E.      Our Team

Our team has over 70 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to wills and estate administration.

We have nine members of the team who may work on your matter. Members of our team are supervised by Andrew Hitchon, Partner and joint                  Head of probate and estate administration or Russell Dalby, joint Head of probate and estate administration.

Please click here for further details of the experience and qualifications of the individual(s) who may work on your case.