Probate & Estate Administration: Our fees
Due to the complexity of estates and potential surprises that often arise when collecting in and distributing an estate, we operate on an hourly charging basis when applying for Probate and administering estates. The hourly fees will cover all work done, including, meetings with you and others, preparing documents; and advice, reviewing documents and preparing correspondence. Also included are telephone calls made and received any other activity necessary to progress matters.
Unlike many other firms, we do not charge in 6-minute blocks of time, nor do we charge a percentage of the estate.
We are also happy for you to keep costs down by doing some of the work yourself, such as organising the transfer of assets, organising house clearances or even distributing the estate yourself once we have obtained the Grant of Probate for you.
When you instruct us, we will discuss the complexity of the deceased’s estate and give you an estimate of the time it will take to complete your matter and will keep you up to date on how the matter is progressing and the costs incurred.
Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets
We anticipate this will take between 15 and 35 hours work at £225 to £375 per hour plus VAT (depending on the level of solicitor required for various aspects of your matter). Typically however, the total costs are estimated to be between £4,425 and £10,325 plus VAT*.
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.
We are able to handle the full process for you, and our services in such matters include:
- Meetings with you to discuss the deceased’s estate and the distribution of the estate according to their Will or intestacy rules
- Drafting the necessary Probate application documents, including any nomination forms where the estate passes to minors
- Placing any Statutory advertisements if required or requested
- Claiming relevant exemptions applicable to the estate
- Calculating Inheritance Tax or Capital Gains owed and making payment of any outstanding tax from the estate
- Collecting assets belonging to the deceased ready for distribution
- Performing bankruptcy searches on the beneficiaries prior to distribution
- Paying any debts from the estate
- Preparing estate accounts for the beneficiaries
- Preparing any deeds of variation
- Distributing the estate according to the Will or intestacy rules
*The total estimated cost will not include disbursements, such as:
- Probate application fee of £273
- Sealed copies of the Grant of Probate at £1.50 each
- UK bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches at £2 per beneficiary
- Advertisement in The London Gazette which will help protect executors against unexpected claims from unknown creditors at £103.60 plus VAT
- Advertisement in a Local Newspaper to also help to protect executors against unexpected claims on the estate from £90 to £300 plus VAT.
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.
Potential additional costs;
- 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.
- Conveyancing fees in dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate, however we are able to offer these on a fixed fee basis.
- Any valuations or services provided by third parties, such as house clearances.
- Where the estate is subject to inheritance tax, this will also be payable to HMRC. We will advise on any inheritance tax liability arising and further information can be found at www.gov.uk.
- If no Will can be found, any Will Search that may be performed
- Any beneficiary searches
- Defending a contested estate
How long will this take?
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-18 months.
If you would like for us to act solely in obtaining the grant of probate, this usually takes between 4 to 6 weeks to complete the paperwork ready for submission, depending on the complexity of the estate, valuations required, etc.