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Probate Service Fees

Probate is the court-supervised process of gathering a deceased person’s assets, paying debts and taxes and distributing what is left to those who are named as inheritors, in the will or through the laws of intestacy (dying without a will).

Information about our legal fees, disbursements, and the length of time it will take to complete your matter are below.

Professional Probate Fees and Disbursements

Professional Legal Fees are the amount you will be required to pay for all of the work performed by us in actioning your instructions, from commencement of your matter to conclusion.

Our fees depend on the complexity, size and value of the estate. Our average standard legal fees for an uncontested probate matter are between £2,2750.00 - £8,250.00 plus Vat at an hourly rate £275 plus Vat.

Our fees are calculated largely by reference to the time spent in dealing with the matter (although other matters may also be considered, such as the complexity of the work undertaken, and the value of the assets being dealt with).

To ensure we are as transparent as possible about probate fees with you, we do not charge a % commission fee based on the value of the estate.

Different Stages of Probate Costs

A grant of probate (or a grant of representation) is required in order to transfer or liquidate assets held in the deceased’s sole name only.

There are many aspects and complexities that may be involved in the probate process, which would come to light at your initial meeting with our dedicated probate solicitors. But in simple terms, the work can be divided as below:

  1. Work pre-Grant and up to Grant (Application for Grant of Probate only) Entails ascertaining the extent of the estate, completing the appropriate HMRC forms and making an application to the HMRC with or without inheritance tax to pay and making an application to the probate registry for probate.
  2. Work post-grant (Application for Grant of Probate and Administration of Estate)  Dealing with the transfer and/or liquidation of assets, dealing with corrective HMRC accounts (if applicable), drafting and finalising estate accounts and distributing assets to beneficiaries. 

To give you an idea of the likely costs, we have set out some fairly common probate scenarios with a range of probate costs:

Application for Grant of Probate Only

No Inheritance Tax payable
10 - 15 hours £2,750 to £4,125 plus VAT

This is for one property, where there are up to five accounts/shares

Inheritance Tax is payable
20 - 35 hours £5,500 to £9,625 plus VAT

This is for one property, up to five accounts/shares

Application for Grant of Probate and Administration of Estate

No Inheritance Tax payable
15 - 30 hours £4,125 to £8,250 plus VAT

This is for one property, with up to five accounts and three beneficiaries.

Inheritance Tax is payable
30 - 40 hours £8,259 to £11,000 plus VAT

This is when there is no valid will, or for one property, with up to five accounts/shares& for up to three beneficiaries.

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.

Our Standard Fee estimate above is for estates where:

  • There is no more than one property
  • There is no more than £350,000 in bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets There are no more beneficiaries than stated above
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There are no claims made against the estate
  • There is no tax clearance awaited for either inheritance or income tax

If at any stage our probate fees need to change, we will notify you and discuss the reason for any changes.

This would typically occur if you change your instructions to us or your matter involves any unforeseen complexity.

Our average probate fees assume that:

The transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise.

All parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from any parties providing documentation.

Disbursements and Other Probate Costs

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf, to ensure a smoother process.

You will be provided with a full list of disbursements in our formal quotation. If you need to incur any further disbursements during your case, you will be notified in advance of the reason and the amount.

Typical disbursements will include:

  • ID checks approx. £10.00 plus Vat per person
  • Probate application fee is currently £273 with £1.50 per office copy of the grant
  • Bankruptcy search per beneficiary is £3.90 including Vat
  • Land Registry property title search is £2.90 including Vat
  • Certainty National Will Register search £95 plus Vat
  • Asset search costs between £155 plus Vat to £185 plus Vat
  • Placing Section 27 Trustee Act Notices in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. From £100 plus Vat
  • Newspaper ad published close to where the deceased lived – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims. From £150 - £200 plus Vat

How long will this take?

Where the estate is straightforward with no Inheritance Tax payable, the estate administration will normally take three to six months to complete.

Where Inheritance Tax is payable, the estate administration could take between six months and a year to complete. This is because HMRC have their own time scales for the issue of documentation to allow for probate to be applied for, issue assessments and review the estate. If the estate is complex, it could take even longer.

We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. We will also undertake the collection and distribution of assets.

Speak with our Specialist Probate Solicitors

We know that you need pragmatic advice, expert services and regular communication when it comes to such valuable matters. We will work with you to identify and understand your specific challenges and requirements to create outcomes that deliver what you want.