Introductory note: The following information is an illustrative guide only and is not a quote or an estimate. Individual costs will depend on individual cases.
VAT: Where vat is chargeable the rate will be in accordance with current tax rules
We offer a range of probate services tailored to your specific needs. If you would like us to deal with all aspects of the administration of an estate, our Full Administration service will be the most appropriate service. If you would just like us to obtain the Grant of Probate leaving you to deal with all administrative matters, you may prefer our Probate only Fast Track service.
Your requirements and the size and nature of the estate will vary and we are very happy to provide an estimate or fixed quotation (if possible) on request.
The following are examples of some of our services and the likely costs are for illustration purposes only.
Full Estate Administration Service
Our fee illustration is based on an estate where:
- There is a valid will;
- There are no more than 2 executors or administrators
- There is no more than one property;
- There are no more than 2 bank or building society accounts;
- There are no other assets;
- There are no more than 2 beneficiaries;
- All beneficiaries are easily traceable;
- 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 Inheritance Tax Account to HMRC;
- There are no claims made against the estate;
- There are no foreign elements that might impact on the estate (for example; a foreign property involved); and
- There are no novel or unusual aspects of the law
In this example, our fee includes the following work:
- Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries;
- Accurately identifying the type of Probate application you will require;
- Obtain the information needed to apply for the Grant of Probate;
- Advising and arranging advertisements for any unknown creditors;
- Preparing the Excepted Estate (abridged) Inheritance Tax Account (when a full Inheritance Tax Account is not required);
- Preparing the Statement of Truth;
- Applying to the Probate Registry on your behalf for the Grant of Probate and sufficient official copies;
- Contacting the beneficiaries and verifying their identity;
- Collecting the assets;
- Paying estate liabilities and expenses;
- Preparing Estate Accounts;
- Distributing the assets; and
- Providing information about any additional costs that may be payable if the estate falls outside of the factors listed for this illustration.
The amount of work required and our costs will depend on the size, nature and complexity of the estate. A relatively straight forward estate will typically take between 18 to 25 hours work to deal with and the time spent is charged at the rate of the person working on the matter. Hourly rates depend on the experience, qualification and seniority of the person working on the matter and average £250 per hour plus VAT. The hourly rate(s) of those working on your matter will be provided before we start working for you.
The exact cost will depend on the specific circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, the amount of time required and 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. There may also be circumstances where additional work may be necessary which would increase the cost of dealing with the matter.
Where the Members of this firm are appointed as sole or join executors, there will be an additional fee in recognition of this role and added responsibility. The current executor fee is £750 plus VAT.
Disbursements in addition to this fee illustration
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Probate Court Fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Typical disbursements in the example given would include (but not restricted to) the following:
- Probate application fee of £155 payable to HM Courts & Tribunal Service plus £2 for each official copy required (usually one per asset holder);
- Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department searches undertaken at commencement of the matter and before each distribution made – £2 per beneficiary and search;
- Advertisements in The London Gazette and/or local newspaper to protect the executors against unexpected claims from unknown creditors – estimated £300;
Taking into account our charges, VAT and disbursements the total cost in the above illustration is estimated to be:
|(Low end of range – 18 hours work)||(High end of range – 25 hours work)|
|Our costs @ average of £250 per hour – £4,500||Our costs @ average of £250 per hour – £6,250|
|VAT at the rate of 20% – £900||VAT at the rate of 20% – £1,250|
|Disbursements £466||Disbursements £466|
|Total £5,866||Total £7,966|
Potential additional costs
If there is no Will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there are likely to be additional costs that could vary significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We will provide you with a detailed estimate once we have all relevant information.
The estate may be of sufficient value to attract Inheritance Tax. It is difficult to illustrate the likely amount of Inheritance Tax here, because the calculation of Inheritance Tax can be complicated and will depend on a number of variables (such as the value of certain assets and those who inherit them). For provisional information, you may wish to use the online HMRC tax calculator although we recommend that you take specialist advice.
Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included in the above illustration. Please click the following link for information regarding conveyancing costs.
How long will this take?
No two estates are the same and the overall timescale will depend on a number of factors. You will be informed of the likely timescale before we start acting for you and we will inform you if a revision to the overall timescale becomes necessary.
Using the above illustration which relates to a straight forward estate, timescales to reach key stages would on average be as follows:
- Issue of the Grant of Probate – 8 to 12 weeks.
- Subsequently collecting assets and paying liabilities and expenses – 4 weeks.
- Preparing Estate Accounts and distributing the assets – 4 weeks.
This is not a fixed timescale as there are so many variables beyond our control, particularly if a property is being sold, in which case the overall timescale will be influenced by market conditions, whether the buyer requires finance and the length of any chain.
Probate Fast Track Service
When full estate administration is not required, we can offer a fixed fee Probate application only Fast Track service.
Subject to qualifying criteria, our fees are:
- Probate only application when no Inheritance Tax is payable and a full Inheritance Tax Account is not required
- £1,500 plus VAT and disbursements*
- Probate only application when Inheritance Tax is payable or a full Inheritance Tax Account is required. In this case, an estate where an Inheritance Tax Account must be filed but no Inheritance tax is payable the fixed cost is likely to be towards the lower end of the range. An estate where arrangements must be made to pay Inheritance Tax due before the issue of Probate will be towards the top end of the range.
- £2,000 to £2,500 plus VAT and disbursements.*
Disbursement in addition to this fee illustration*
- Probate Court Fee – £155 payable to HM Courts & Tribunal Service plus £2 for each official copy required (usually one per asset holder)