Details of our legal fees for probate services
Our legal fees for probate services in administering an uncontested estate are based on the hourly rate of the conducting fee earner, together with any disbursements. Disbursements are expenses paid to third parties such as court fees, valuation fees, search fees and fees for statutory advertising.
Every case is different so the final cost of our probate services will depend on the amount of time it takes to complete the administration of the estate. This, in turn, is dependent upon a wide range of variable factors such as the number of assets and liabilities, the type of assets and liabilities and how many beneficiaries there are. The amount of work is not necessarily driven by the value of the estate. So, for instance, a high value estate comprising just one property, one bank account and one beneficiary may take significantly less time to administer (and therefore cost less) than another lower value estate consisting of a number of bank and building society accounts, numerous shareholdings, bonds, a number of debts and liabilities, several legatees as well as a number of residuary beneficiaries. There are also many factors that can add to the time involved in administering an estate and increase costs, such as missing beneficiaries, complex investments, problems with the plight and condition of the Will, the interrelation with foreign jurisdictions if there are assets abroad, winding up a business, dealing with agricultural assets and taxation issues.
The average cost of administering a relatively modest estate of average complexity comprising a house, up to ten other assets of different kinds and which does not necessitate a full Inheritance Tax Account and up to five beneficiaries is likely to be between £3,500 to £4,500 plus VAT and disbursements. We will always give you a bespoke estimate of the likely costs of our probate services at the outset. The conveyancing costs of dealing with the sale of any property will be extra and our property team can provide a separate quote for this work.
If you would like to limit our probate services to simply obtaining a Grant of Representation only based upon the information you supply to us about the value of all the Deceased’s assets and liabilities, then our fees can be fixed at £595 plus VAT and disbursements, providing we do not have to prepare a full Inheritance Tax Account. If it is necessary to prepare and submit a full Inheritance Tax Account then our fees can be fixed at £1,250 plus VAT and disbursements. Once we obtain the Grant from the Court we will pass it to you so that you can continue with the administration of the estate. Again if there is a sale of property involved, our Property Team can provide you with a quotation for the sale.
Disbursements vary from estate to estate, but these are always fixed by third parties such as the Probate Registry and are outside our control. We will give you details of all likely disbursements when we provide you with a quote. Typical disbursements include:
- Probate court fee – £155 plus £1.50 for every sealed copy.
- Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department search: £2.00 per name.
- Statutory Notice – approx £200.00 inc VAT per notice.
Most modest estates will be administered within twelve to twenty four months. Many of the steps we have to take involve government agencies and other third parties. We have no control over the time it takes for these organisations to deal with matters and delays on their part will impact on the overall length of time for us to carry out the work required. It usually takes about six months to obtain the grant of probate, but this can be considerably longer when the probate registry is busy. Collecting in the assets generally takes several months at least and the distribution process usually takes around 4 to 6 weeks. Tax issues can lengthen these time periods, sometimes significantly so, and lengthy HMRC delays are common. If the estate includes a property that is being sold then the time it takes to sell that property must also be factored in. This can often be up to 12 months and sometimes longer, depending on the market conditions, the property itself and the position of the parties involved in the transaction/chain.
The key stages of an uncontested probate varies according to the circumstances, but typically includes:
- Checking any will;
- Identifying the executors (or administrators) and beneficiaries;
- Considering personal documentation;
- Completing the probate application;
- Completing tax forms;
- Obtaining probate;
- Collecting the assets;
- Paying tax and settling liabilities;
- Preparing estate accounts; and
- Distributing the estate.
The hourly rates of team members undertaking uncontested probate work are as follows:
Toni Sinclair: £230 plus VAT
Vanessa Swales: £210 plus VAT
Sarah Nicholls: £195 plus VAT
Anya Hoyland: £195 plus VAT
Steph Rodgers: £195 plus VAT
If you have any queries about legal fees for probate services then please contact us.
And if a dispute arises we have a dedicated team of lawyers who specialise in dealing with all aspects of contested estates and who will be happy to discuss their services and costs with you.