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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  • “The ‘approachable, friendly and motivated’  team receives a steady flow of instructions from high-net-worth individuals and families on an array of tax planning, wealth preservation, estate and succession planning issues.”

  • “Jan is excellent with clients. She approaches complex cases with confidence and skill”

This range of probate 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 probate solicitor 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£5,000-£10,000 plus VAT
Estate value over £1million but no IHT due to spouse or charity exemption£8,000-£12,000 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. £10,000 - £15,000 plus VAT

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

What do our probate 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 application for probate and arrange for it to be signed 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.
  • If appropriate register the estate with HMRC as a complex estate.
  • 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. £300 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.

Rise in Probate Application Fee

From May 2024 the probate application fee will rise from £273 to £300. It is the application for this Grant of Probate that attracts the fee. Only estates worth over £5,000 must pay this fee. The cost is recoverable from the estate, rather than a personal cost to the personal representatives.

Much of the probate application process is now digitised and many argued that this should result in a reduction in costs, not an increase.

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.

There is currently a significant wait for a Grant of Probate to be issued. The Ministry of Justice has promised that the additional income will go towards the ‘continued improvement of service delivery’. Whether this will bring waiting times down to a reasonable level remains to be seen, but the intention is to recruit more staff in order to increase the applications that can be processed. This would certainly be welcome as the current delays can have an impact on the efficiency of administering an estate.

Read our article What is Probate.

Speak to a Wills & Probate Solicitor today

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

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