Probate Fees

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.”

  • “Jan is an impressive lawyer who knows her way around private wealth dispute matters.”

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.

Jan Atkinson
Partner

Jan heads the 11 strong private client team. She has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in all areas of probate, especially high value and international estate administrations. She is a registered Trust & Estate Practitioner (TEP) and her hourly rate is £325.
Maggie Leiper
Partner

Maggie has over 30 years’ experience specialising in wills, probate and associated trust work. An additional area of interest is Court of Protection work and issues affecting the elderly. Her charging rate is £300.00 per hour.


Elspeth Neilson
Partner

A partner and notary public in the private client department. Elspeth specialises in both contentious and non-contentious estate and Court of Protection matters and has particular experience in complex estate administrations, including those involving cross-border issues. Elspeth's hourly rate is £290.00
Jenny Walsh
Associate Solicitor

Jenny in an associate solicitor in the Private Client department having qualified in August 2013. She specialises in both contentious and non-contentious private client matters including estate administration, Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Trusts, issues affecting the elderly, Court of Protection matters and disputed estates. Jenny, whose hourly rate is £275.00, is an affiliate member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.
Katie de Swarte
Associate Solicitor

Katie is a highly experienced solicitor specialising in Contentious Trusts and Probate matters. Katie is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and is a STEP Technician. She is also a member of the ConTra, a Contentious Trusts Association for lawyers, is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) and was awarded the SFE Older Client Care Practice Award in November 2020. Katie's hourly rate is £275.00
Samantha Tayler
Associate Solicitor

Samantha is an associate solicitor in the Private Client department, having qualified in September 2016. Samantha specialises in Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and non-contentious Estate Administration. Samantha is a full member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP), having completed the STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates, achieving a Distinction. Samantha's hourly rate is £250.00
Suzanna Baker
Associate Solicitor

Suzanna qualified as a solicitor after graduating from University College London. Suzanna qualified as a solicitor in 2016 and specialises in wills, estates, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection matters. Suzanna is a full member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP), having completed the STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates. She is also listed in the Spears directory as a rising star. Her charging rate is £250.00.
Florence Arbuthnott
Associate Solicitor

Florence is an Associate Solicitor and has many years’ experience in dealing with wills, probate and powers of attorney. Florence's hourly rate is £250.00
Joseph Gunn
Solicitor

After graduating from the University of Birmingham and obtaining a distinction in his Legal Practice Course, Joe worked in finance in Nottingham and London. He then joined Osbornes as a trainee in 2014 and on qualification in 2018 he joined the Private Client Department. His charging rate is £200.00 per hour.
Aga Bulinska
Solicitor

Aga is a solicitor in the Private Client department having qualified in August 2020. She graduated from the London School of Economics in 2012, completing the Graduate Diploma in Law with a Commendation at BPP Law School in 2016. She went on to gain a Distinction in the LLM Professional Legal Practice at the University of Law in 2017. Aga's hourly rate is £175.00