Probate and Estate Administration – Pricing Information

Your matter will be handled by one of our specialist lawyers and you will be dealing directly with one of the following:

Please do feel free to telephone or email any of us and we will be delighted to discuss your matter with you in the context of your particular situation and provide you with a costs estimate.

Applying for the Grant, collecting and distributing the assets – a typical case

We anticipate this will take between 10 and 30 hours work.  Based upon a current STEP qualified partner’s hourly rate of £255 plus VAT per hour, the total costs would be between £2,550 plus VAT and £7,650 plus VAT.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter.  For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs would usually be at the lower end of the range.  If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs would usually be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you, although if preferred by you, we may agree at the outset that you will deal with certain aspects of the estate administration.  This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid Will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 1 – 4 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets.  If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no Inheritance Tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate
  • The estate is not a complex estate for the purposes of registration with HMRC
  • There are no unusual circumstances, such as:
    • Errors or ambiguous provisions in the Will, or a complex Will
    • Missing beneficiaries
    • Difficulties in identifying / tracking down estate assets
    • Lifetime gifts made by the deceased (affecting the Inheritance Tax position)
    • The deceased was a trustee or a trust beneficiary
    • There were any foreign assets and / or the deceased was non-UK domiciled
    • Unusual assets (e.g. potential valuable or significant works of art, intellectual property etc.)
    • Any complications concerning the deceased’s property (e.g. someone living in the deceased’s property who is not a beneficiary; unusual property requiring specialist valuation advice)
    • The estate is insolvent
    • The deceased’s income tax affairs were not straightforward and require attention
    • The deceased ran / had an interest in a business
    • The deceased was engaged in any ongoing legal matters at their death (e.g. divorce, bankruptcy, insolvency, claims)
    • The deceased’s estate has legal claims it might need to pursue or defend

Disbursements not included in this fee:

  • Probate application fee of £158 (based upon current court fee at time of publication, including 6 court sealed copies of the Grant of Probate).  Please note at the time of publication an announcement has been made that these fees will be increasing significantly.   We still await confirmation of the start date, but the new fees will be based upon the value of the estate, as follows:-

Estates worth:

Less than £50,000 will pay nothing

From £50,000 up to £300,000 will pay £250

From £300,000 up to £500,000 will pay £750

From £500,000 up to £1 million will pay £2,500

From £1 million up to £1.6 million will pay £4,000

From £1.6 million up to £2 million will pay £5,000

From £2 million will pay £6,000

  • Bankruptcy Searches of £2 plus VAT per search (deceased, each beneficiary, each executor, searches to be carried out at start of case and repeated prior to any distributions from the estate).
  • £250 (approximate fee, this varies depending on individual circumstances) – Post Notices in The London Gazette and Local Newspaper – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • Other professional fees e.g. accountants, valuers or surveyors (if required).

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees.  We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.  The above are examples but not an exhaustive list as each case is different and in some cases there may be additional disbursements and / or optional ‘extras’ you may wish to consider (e.g. missing beneficiary insurance).

Potential Additional Costs

If there is no Will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there are likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with.  We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.

If any additional copies of the Grant are required, they will cost £0.50 each (1 per asset usually, cost correct at time of publication).

Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.  Our conveyancing department can provide a quote for such work.

Estate Administration – Advice on Timescales

Each estate is different. Some of the factors which can affect how long it will take include:

• Whether a Grant is required (in very small / simple estates it may not be)

• The type and number of estate assets, and how long it takes to verify these and ascertain their value (this varies from case to case and in some instances it can take a surprisingly long time to complete this process)

• Whether the estate is liable to Inheritance Tax

• Where a Grant is required, the time HMRC and the Probate Registry take to deal with the application

• Whether there are assets which need to be sold e.g. a house

• If there are debts to be settled

• If there is an active business to be run and sold or transferred

• Whether there is a Will and, if so, the complexity and effect of its provisions (or the consequences of the rules relating to intestacy in a case where there is no valid Will)

• The identity and number of beneficiaries

• Whether there is anyone who might seek to contest the Will or bring a claim against the estate

This is not a complete list of factors but hopefully this gives an insight into the fact that estate administration is not necessarily straightforward, that sometimes delays in the estate administration are unavoidable, and the progress of an estate administration can also be unpredictable. Whilst we may give an initial indication of timescale to obtain a grant of representation, PRs should keep in mind that there are often factors outside of our control that can cause delays to the process, and often initial estimates are based on the assumption that there will be no such delaying factors.