Probate Costs

We will give you clear information on probate costs, based upon the time and work involved.

We (unlike many others) do not charge a percentage based on the value of the estate.

Some estates are simple but others can be complex.  Probate costs can vary significantly because the time and work involved on a high value and complex estate is much more than on a small and simple estate.

We will give a better idea when we have met  you to find out just  what is involved.

We can help you to deal with the full process of the administration of an estate from beginning to end.  However, we can limit the work that we undertake to obtaining the grant of probate or administration if you choose to deal with the practical steps of the administration. Costs are lower if we work on a “grant only” basis. Here are some typical illustrations, with costings, for the full administration of a simple estate and a “grant only” instruction.  We can tailor the level and extent of the work that we undertake for you to suit your requirements.

Administration of a straightforward estate

Administration of an estate involves:

  • Writing initial letters which may include financial institutions with assets/liabilities of the estate, insurance companies, pension providers, HM Revenue & Customs, the Department for Works & Pensions and other public bodies
  • Preparing and submitting inheritance tax simple return and grant of probate application
  • Cashing financial assets and settling liabilities
  • Transferring or selling the home (conveyancing costs would be quoted separately)
  • Preparing estate accounts
  • Distributing the estate

Typically  this will take between 12 and 24 hours at an hourly rate  from £190 to £210 plus VAT,  equating to professional fees of £2,250  to £5,000 plus VAT.

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

This budget for fees  is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than three bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are no assets outside the UK
  • There are no more than  six beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes with  beneficiaries .
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HM Revenue & Customs
  • There are no claims made against the estate
  • We are not required to register the death or arrange the funeral

Disbursements are expenses  related to the estate  that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Disbursements may include:

  • Probate Registry fee of £160
  • Oath / oath settlement  fees of £29.00 (assuming two executors)
  • Bankruptcy search fees of £2 per beneficiary
  • Certainty will register search of £114
  • Statutory advertisements (may vary) £197
  • Oath settling fee      £15

Assuming two executors, four beneficiaries, but not carrying out a will register search or statutory advertisements, the disbursements would be £195

The fee range above, adjusted for the inclusion of VAT and disbursements equates to total costs of £3,219 to £6,243.

Potential additional costs

  • Costs of sale or transfer of shareholdings, stocks and bonds if applicable.
  • Costs of  the sale or transfer of any land or property in the estate if applicable.

How long will this take?

Typically , estates that fall within this range are dealt with within three  to nine months, including 2 to 6 months to obtain the grant of probate, then 1 to 3 months to collect the assets.

We always aim to progress matters effectively and efficiently and to shorten the timescale wherever possible. However, the  process can take longer if complications arise, such as disputes with  beneficiaries, claims against the estate, delay in selling property, enquiries being raised by HM Revenue & Customs or the Department for Work and Pensions, or delay by any third party involved in the process.

Grant only application

With a simple estate, you may wish to use us on a “grant only” basis. This means that you will retain responsibility for administering the estate, but we will prepare all  necessary documentation to obtain  your grant of probate from the Probate Registry.

This involves:

  • You provide us with date of death valuations for all assets and liabilities and other information that we need
  • We prepare the documentation, including forms of oath for executors/administrators and HM Revenue return of estate information, then meet you to arrange for you to sign, and to be sworn to the oath
  • We make application for and obtain from the Probate Registry the grant of probate
  • We provide you with the grant of probate for you to administer the estate

This assumes:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HM Revenue & Customs
  • There are no claims made against the estate and no caveats registered with the Probate Registry

In these cases, we will work on a fixed fee of £500 plus VAT and disbursements (Probate Registry fee £160,  oath / oath settlement  fees £27,  equating to a total of £787.

How long will this take?

Typically , it  takes six to eight weeks to obtain the grant of probate from the point at which we are first instructed.

Free cost estimate

If you have an enquiry for an estimate we invite you to fill out the form below for a quick and free estimate. We honour our estimates and will always notify our clients of any potential increases in cost.


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