How Much Does Probate Cost?

Below you will find a breakdown of our fees and what our charges include. For further information please do not hesitate to contact us for a confidential conversation with one of our lawyers.

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  • “Osbornes represents high-net-worth individuals, families, trustees and executors in complex estate disputes such as validity of wills claims, corporate conflicts and family company administration.”

  • “Incredibly dedicated and committed to her clients. She can do both the non-contentious and contentious sides very, very well.”

This range of fees apply where the estate administration is relatively straightforward and non- contentious, the deceased was domiciled in the UK and all estate assets are in England and Wales. If we are the executors and there is no immediate family to deal with practical matters, there may be additional charges due to the additional work involved.

Our charges are based entirely on time spent working on the matter which is charged at the hourly rate of the fee earner/s working on the file. We do not charge a percentage of the value of the estate in addition to our standard charges.

An initial fee estimate is given as early as possible and this is confirmed when full information about the estate assets, beneficiaries and relevant documents have been considered.

If it appears at any point that additional work which was not originally anticipated is likely to be necessary, we will confirm this in writing and provide an updated fee estimate before starting any work. Additional costs could be payable on a fixed fee (e.g. if a one off document is required), or at our hourly rates if more extensive work is needed.

Our Fees

Estate not subject to Inheritance TaxOur approximate fee
Estate Value up to £5,000£1,250 plus VAT
Estate value over £5,000 up to £1million£4,000-£8,000 plus VAT
Estate value over £1million but no IHT due to spouse or charity exemption£7,500-£10,000 plus VAT

 

Estate Subject to Inheritance Tax
Our approximate fee
If the estate administration is straight forward (for example there is a property and a bank account) then the charges will be towards the lower end of the scale. However, if the estate administration is more complicated (for example there are several share holdings, several bank accounts and a property) then the charges will be towards the higher end of the scale. £7,500 -£12,500 plus VAT

To find out whether the estate is subject to inheritance tax please visit www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax

What do our charges include?

  • Obtaining your detailed instructions.
  • Obtaining from you all deeds and documentation relating to the affairs of the deceased and reviewing.
  • Registering the death with the asset holders and obtaining confirmation of date of death valuations.
  • Checking that we have correct addresses for the beneficiaries.
  • Obtaining any formal valuations which may be required by HMRC.
  • Completing the Inheritance Tax account, and obtaining your approval.
  • Preparing the personal representative’s Oath and arranging for it to be sworn by you.
  • Obtaining from you the Probate fee and obtaining any necessary cheque for Inheritance Tax before submitting any Inheritance Tax to HMRC with the Inheritance Tax account. Alternatively, making a request for any Inheritance Tax to be paid direct to HMRC through the Direct Payment Scheme.
  • When the Inheritance Tax receipt account is returned from the Capital Taxes Office, submitting the application for the Grant of Representation.
  • When the Grant of Representation has been issued, registering it with all asset holders together with completed withdrawal forms to secure the release of estate monies.
  • Placing Trustee Act Notices in the appropriate publications, where required.
  • Ensuring all the deceased’s accounts are closed or transferred, as appropriate.
  • Arranging for the sale or transfer of any of the deceased’s shares.
  • Discharging all liabilities of the estate for which you have not taken responsibility.
  • Paying all pecuniary legacies and making interim distributions.
  • Finalising the deceased’s tax affairs.
  • Preparing draft estate accounts and obtaining your approval to these.
  • Obtaining clearance from the Capital Taxes Office that all tax has been paid and from HMRC to confirm that all Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax for the deceased and the administration period has been paid.
  • Making final payments to the beneficiaries from the estate.

Potential Additional Costs
Our charges do not include payment of disbursements. Disbursements are costs relating to your matter that are payable to third parties. The likely disbursements are as follows:

  1. £155 probate application fee plus an additional £1.50 per sealed copy of the Grant of Representation required.
  2. Approximately £250 fee for posting ‘Section 27 Trustee Act 1925’ notices which protect the personal representatives from unknown creditors. This is not compulsory.
  3. £2 per beneficiary bankruptcy search where necessary.
  4. Surveyors fees to value property, where necessary.
  5. Genealogists to trace missing beneficiaries, where necessary.

Our charges also do not include dealing with the sale of any property on behalf of the estate as this will be dealt with by our conveyancing department.

How long does the process take?

We estimate that it will usually take approximately 12 weeks to obtain a Grant of Representation and thereafter approximately a further 3-6 months to deal with the estate and to finalise all other matters, save perhaps for finalisation of tax returns. This may take rather longer as we are of course bound to an extent by tax years. This is an estimate based upon the assumption that third parties respond swiftly to requests for information and that there are no unexpected complications. If any such problems do arise, we will keep you fully informed. If they are likely to increase the amount of time we spend dealing with your file, we will notify you in writing and let you have a new costs estimate.

Speak to a lawyer today

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

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    • "I wish to thank you for your advice, efficiency and professionalism throughout which has been greatly appreciated."

      Client review

    • "I am proud to be a private client of Osbornes Solicitors LLP, a client of many years. I appreciate the swift and efficient work of the Private Client Department Team."

      Client

    • "Jan Atkinson, with her steely, steady, calming presence, instils confidence in the most highly-strung of us clients. With her masterful knowledge of the law, old and new, and its application, Jan can navigate through the most complex of cases to a successful end."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "I find Osbornes’ client-friendly approach welcoming and refreshing"

      Legal 500 2021

    • "A medium-sized London firm dealing with big litigation and doing it extremely well because of a depth of expertise and experience."

      Legal 500 2021

    • My family had the pleasure of Jan Atkinson working with us on the will and probate issues of [my mother's] estate in Camden and Ireland after she passed on last year. Jan and her assistant(s) offered us a fantastic service at a sad time.

      Client Review

    • "Jan Atkinson stands out for her wide-ranging knowledge and experience of estates; whatever problem you throw at her, she has seen it all before and is able to find a creative and sustainable solution. She has exceptional commitment to her clients and explores every avenue to find the best solution for them"

      Legal 500 2021 - Jan Atkinson

    • The team is very caring, experienced and detailed and was clear about the  next steps and offered very helpful advice and suggestions

      Legal 500

    • Jan Atkinson has extensive experience in private client matters, which underpins her excellent skills in the contentious probate area. Plus she is strong on international matters

      Legal 500 2020 - Jan Atkinson

    • A small but formidable team, punching above its weight. Jan Atkinson is a seasoned pro. Approachable but no push-over

      Legal 500 2020 - Jan Atkinson

    • "They are an outstanding firm to work with. They are consistently impressive in their work."

      Chambers UK

    • "Elspeth Neilson is very reliable and practical."

      The Legal 500

    • "The team frequently deals with cross-border estates for high–net-worth individuals."

      The Legal 500

    • "The team were extremely professional in putting my needs first. There was a joined-up approach to catering for the client, and all lawyers involved were briefed and constructive."

      Chambers UK

    • The situation was handled by your extremely competent, efficient hands - I would not hesitate to recommend Osbornes to others.

      Wills, Probate and Disputed Estate Client

    • "Service prompt and effective. I have absolute confidence in Maggie."

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • I am happy with the service that I got and would recommend you to other potential clients.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • I found Osbornes always very helpful and efficient.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • We are very pleased with the services of Osbornes. Highly professional and through with close attention to detail.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • I would highly recommend Jan Atkinson in any probate matter and Osbornes Solicitors in any other legal matters.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • Jan Atkinson is a very proficient lady whom I would highly recommend to anyone involved in probates.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • Thanks for all your work and explaining everything so clearly. For any legal matters in the future I would not hesitate in instructing Osbornes.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • We have found your service to date as the most informative we have come across.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • Osbornes Solicitors always responded promptly to any request for information I had.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • “Geoffrey’s affairs were dealt with just the right combination of friendliness and professionalism, which really helped.”

       

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • Jan Atkinson is confident with a straightforward approach. Her practice covers both contentious and non-contentious matters, including wealth planning and estate administration.

      Chambers UK

    • I would like to thank everyone in my case for the excellent job!

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates client

    Probate FAQs

    How long does it take to get a grant of representation?

    It can take just a few weeks, but usually several months at present, to get the grant, depending on how complex the estate assets are and how quickly it is possible to get together all necessary information to complete the inheritance tax (IHT) return which has to be done before the grant can be applied for.

    The form is an IHT400 or IHT205 depending on the type and value of the estate. If IHT is payable some of this has to be paid before the grant will be issued but banks and building societies usually release monies from the deceased’s accounts for this purpose.

    How does the Probate Process Work?

    Our Will and our estate are individual to each of us, so the full probate process can vary depending on the instructions that have been left in the will.

    The basic process for an executor will include:

    1. Bringing together the full details of the estate’s assets and debts
    2. Making the application for a Grant of Probate (this is the formal document giving the authority needed to administer the estate)
    3. Completing an inheritance tax return and paying any tax due.
    4. Change the order of 2 and 3 above

    Inheritance Tax return

    The Inheritance Tax (IHT) return when completed is lodged with HMRC where tax is payable and the necessary IHT is sent to HMRC. If no IHT is payable, the tax return IHT205 is sent direct to the chosen probate registry with the statement of truth when it has been signed by the executors or the administrators (collectively known as Personal Representatives or ‘PRs’). The statement of truth has replaced the oath for executors and oath for administrators.

    The statement of truth is the document by which the PRs formally apply for the grant of representation and promise to collect in all the deceased’s assets, pay any debts and distribute the estate in accordance with the terms of the will or as required by the Intestacy Rules which apply when someone dies without a valid will.

    How long will it take for probate to be granted?

    The grant normally takes a few weeks or so to issue and then it is sent to the banks, building societies etc. and then accounts can be closed, shares transferred or sold and the monies released will be used to pay any outstanding debts of the deceased. The balance can then be paid to the beneficiaries under the terms of the will or in accordance with the Intestacy Rules.

    How long will dealing with Probate take?

    For most estates probate will take around twelve months to complete. Each estate is different and completion will depend on the size and complexity of the estate. International Probate may be more complicated as this involves assets in more than one country and usually takes longer to complete.

    What happens if there is a dispute with regards to probate?

    Disputes may come up during the probate process which may cause delays with administering estates. We have a highly skilled team of solicitors able to advise and deal with Contentious Probate matters.

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