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The Cost of Probate and Administering an Estate

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

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


Fees including VAT                                                                                                                                             
 

Hourly Rate at £185 – £245 plus VAT depending on experience of fee earner dealing with the matter and complexity of the matter totalling £1850 – £6125.

We anticipate that this will take between 10-25 hours of work.

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 of the range.

The following rates apply:

Partner £245 per hour;

Associate Solicitor £225 to £240 per hour;

Solicitor/ Paralegal / Chartered Legal Executive £185 to £225 per hour


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 application fee of £155.00
    *please note this is subject to change to a sliding scale in April 2019. Please see https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/announcement-on-probate-fees .
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor) subject to this requirement no longer being necessary once the Probate Registry issues its new statement of truth documents
  • Bankruptcy – only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • From £80 to £250 Post in The London Gazette and Local Newspaper – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.

*Any new matters taken on by the firm after the 1st February 2019 are likely to attract the higher application fee


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 quote 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 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 each (1 per asset usually).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.


Key stages

  • Initial meeting with executors to ascertain estate
  • Seek confirmation of assets and liabilities from various institutions
  • Draft application for Probate and seek approval from executors
  • Swear or affirm Oath and application and submit to Probate Registry
  • Obtain Grant
  • Send Grant to institutions in order to obtain/transfer assets
  • Pay outstanding liabilities and seek confirmation from HMRC/DWP that no further liabilities remain
  • Deal with sale of property
  • Distribute estate


How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 4 – 9 months (depending on whether it is necessary to wait a 6-month period from the date of issue of the Grant of Probate and the time required to sell a property). Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-9 weeks. Collecting assets (excluding the time taken to sell a 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.  


Taxable Estates

If there is inheritance tax to pay, then the same basic processes as above will apply. However, there is a requirement to submit a full inheritance tax account 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.

 

Application for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration Only

We charge a fixed fee for applying for the grant of probate/letters of administration only.    The cost of this is £650 plus VAT. This quote is for where:

  • There is a valid will or 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

Disbursements (not vatable) include the following:-

  • Probate Court Application fee – £155.00*
  • Office copies of the Grant of Probate at £0.50 per copy
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor) or £5 per administrator where there is no will subject to this requirement no longer being necessary once the Probate Registry issues its new statement of truth documents

*Please note that the probate application fee is likely to increase significantly from April 2019.  Please see https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/announcement-on-probate-fees

 Additional (vatable) fees:-

  • Electronic ID verification of executors of up to £4.40 plus VAT per executor


Key stages

  • Initial meeting with executors/administrators to ascertain estate and obtain confirmation of assets and liabilities
  • Draft application for Probate and seek approval from executors/administrators
  • Swear or affirm Oath and application and submit to Probate Registry
  • Obtain Grant


Timescales

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

The Probate registry takes approximately 2 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 the 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.