Pricing for Probate Matters
The pricing detailed below is an estimate only. It is not intended to be a binding quotation for dealing with the administration of an estate. Each case is different and we will agree our charges with you at the outset of the case. In some cases we may be prepared to offer a fixed price for the work involved but this depends upon our assessment of the merits of the particular case.
In most cases our costs will include:
(a) Our profit costs;
(b) A percentage charge; and
(c) Disbursements – these are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as probate fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process;
Our profit costs
When dealing with the administration of an estate, we can offer as little or as much assistance as the personal representatives (also called executors or administrators) require. Some people ask us to deal solely with applying for the grant of probate or letters of administration from the Probate Registry on their behalf. We offer fixed fees for this work as follows:-
Straightforward application for a grant including completion of IHT 205 (Inheritance Tax: return of estate information)
£650 + VAT
Disbursements – see below
Straightforward application for a grant including completion of IHT 205 (Inheritance Tax: return of estate information) and IHT 217 (claim for transfer of unused nil rate band)
£750 + VAT
Disbursements – see below
Application for a grant including completion of IHT400 (Inheritance Tax account) and supporting schedules
£2,500 + VAT
Disbursements – see below
In these cases, you will provide us with the information required to complete the necessary forms and we will prepare the application for the Probate Registry. Once we have received the grant, we will pass this to you and you will be responsible for gathering the assets, paying off liabilities and distributing the estate.
Alternatively, personal representatives sometimes ask us to deal with the entire estate. Set out below are the average costs of dealing with an estate. These figures will however vary depending on the circumstances of the case. That is why we will always give you an individual costs estimate at the start of the claim which will take into account the individual circumstances of your case.
Our costs are based on the amount of time we spend working on your case. Our hourly rate for this type of work will vary from £195 + VAT per hour to £220 + VAT per hour.
In all cases where we are dealing with a full estate, our minimum fee is £1,500 + VAT and disbursements and there will also be the Law Society mark-up percentage element. A few examples:-
For a straightforward estate requiring an application to the Probate Registry, minimal assets and liabilities to deal with, no property involved and only a very small number of beneficiaries our costs would be in the region of £1,500 – £2,500 + VAT and disbursements (plus the Law Society mark up as detailed below).
For a more complex estate requiring an application to the Probate Registry, possibly with Inheritance Tax to pay, more substantial assets, property and a greater number of beneficiaries our costs would be in the region of £3,000 - £4,000 + VAT and disbursements (plus the Law Society mark up as detailed below).
Examples of factors that could make a case more complex:
- A poorly drafted will.
- Large numbers of beneficiaries.
- A complicated family tree if there is no will.
- If the deceased owned a business and/or farm.
- Many/complicated assets.
In all cases you should be aware that the sale of property will be handled separately and will not be included in any quote we give to you.
In most cases there will be very few disbursements. Depending on the nature of the case some examples are:
(a) Oath fees – personal representatives are usually required to swear an oath in front of an independent solicitor – the fee is usually £5/7 per personal representative.
(b) Probate fee – this is a payment to the Court for the grant and is £155 for the original and a further 50p for every copy required.
(c) Bankruptcy searches – before we pay any money to beneficiaries, we are required to carry out bankruptcy searches at a cost of £2 + VAT per beneficiary.
In every case we will tell you the proposed disbursement and the cost before it is incurred.
Law Society Mark Up Element
In addition our charges will also contain an element based upon the value of the estate as per Law Society guidelines of 0.5% of the gross value of the main residence plus 1% of the gross value of the remainder of the residuary estate
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a case whether you have asked us to simply apply to the Probate Registry or deal with the whole estate:
- Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on the will and distribution of the estate
- Preparing the application for the Probate Registry and forms required by HMRC regarding Inheritance Tax;
If you have asked us to deal with the full estate, our work also include .
Advising on the will or intestacy rules (if there is no will)
- Notifying all relevant companies – banks, building societies, investment companies, utility companies etc
- Drafting the application for the Probate Registry and forms required by HMRC
- Applying for the grant
- Sending the grant to the relevant companies to cash in assets and pay off all liabilities
- liaising with HMRC regarding tax as and when needed
- Paying legacies
- Preparing estate accounts and distributing the estate
How long will your matter take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the complexity and the exact work you have asked us to undertake and whether there is Inheritance Tax to pay. We will advise you on the likely timescale at the initial meeting.
Who will carry out the work on your case?
We have three solicitors who carry out probate work, all of whom are either STEP qualified or are working towards this. STEP is the global professional association for solicitors who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning. Please click on the name below for a link to their profile
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