Pricing Guides
Probate

Pricing Guide – Probate

We are pleased to provide our pricing guide in relation to uncontested probate where assets are all situated in the UK.

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

Our fees for a typical uncontested estate administration fall broadly within three different categories:

  1. A simple, low value estate;
  2. A more complex, higher value estate; and
  3. A highly complex, higher value estate.

Typically an estate falling within category 3 will include non-UK assets and so will not be covered by the range of fees set out below.

An estate falling within category 2 may also include non-UK assets, and if so, will not be included in the range of fees set out below.

For estates falling within category 2 or category 3 with non-UK assets, once we have taken into account all relevant factors we will be happy to supply you with a fee estimate tailored to your circumstances.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of each the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, complex lifetime tax planning, internationally mobile clients in terms of domicile and tax residency, property or multiple properties and multiple bank accounts or other investments, costs will be at the higher end of each range.

Our fees are based on hourly rates. Our hourly rates range between £350 to £585 plus VAT at 20%. We will handle the full process of the Estate administration for you.

Our team

Head of department is Geoffrey Morris. Further details of our team are available on our Team page. All non-partner members of the team are supervised by a partner.

Disbursements

Disbursements are expenses 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.

Disbursements are in addition to the above fees and are relevant in for each category of Estate:

  • Probate application fee of £155
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £200 to £300 for Statutory Advertisements in The London Gazette and a local newspaper– Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.

Category 1 Estate

Range of costs: £2,500 to £15,000 plus VAT at 20%, but exclusive of disbursements.

This range of costs is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than two bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are one to four 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
  • There are no complexities during the deceased’s life as to lifetime tax and estate planning, complex gifting and Domicile or Tax Residency issues.

Category 2 Estate

Range of costs: £15,000 to £50,000 plus VAT at 20%, but exclusive of disbursements.

This range of costs is for estates where

  • There is a valid will
  • There are one or two properties
  • There are between two and four bank or building society accounts
  • There is an investment portfolio
  • There are more than four beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • The executors need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate.

Category 3 Estate

Range of costs: £50,000 to £150,000 plus VAT at 20%, but exclusive of disbursements.

This range of costs is for estates where

  • There is a valid will
  • There are multiple properties
  • There are in excess of four bank or building society accounts
  • There are multiple shareholdings held directly or within one and two investment portfolios
  • There are multiple beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to in increase in costs
  • The executors need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate.

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of multiple shareholdings (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 £1.50 (1 per asset usually).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
  • Dealing with the tax returns required (if any) for the Estate.
  • Matters will always be more complex and costly if there is an international element to the estate.

How long will this take?

It is difficult to predict the timescale of the administration of an estate. The administration of an estate can encounter unpredictable difficulties which may cause delay. The following estimates are based on our experience and assume we are instructed shortly after the date of death.

Cat Obtain Grant of Probate Collect Assets Distribution Total time
1 3 to 6 months 3 to 9 months 6 to 12 months 6 to 12 months
2 3 to 9 months 6 to 12 months 12 to 18 months 12 to 18 months
3 6 to 12 months 6 to 18 months 12 to 24 months 18 to 24 months

We will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate practitioner to work on your matter.
  • Advise you on your duties as an Executor and all matters, both of an administrative and legal nature, which will need to be completed to fully deal with the administration of the Estate (all categories).
  • Obtain details and valuations of all assets and liabilities (all categories), including jointly-held assets and assets held in trust (categories 2 and 3 only).
  • Obtain details of all gifts made in the last seven years (categories 2 and 3 only).
  • Obtain details of all gifts made under which a benefit was reserved by the deceased (categories 2 and 3 only).
  • Obtain details of all beneficiaries under the Will (all categories).
  • Prepare an estate account or statement for HM Revenue & Customs for the purposes of obtaining probate (all categories).
  • Prepare a Statement of Truth for Executors (all categories).
  • Obtain a Grant of Probate (all categories).
  • Make appropriate bankruptcy searches (all categories).
  • Realise all assets required to be liquidated (all categories).
  • Deal with replacing missing investment certificate(s) and collecting arrears of dividends due to the Estate (categories 2 and 3 only).
  • Arrange for the payment of all debts, funeral expenses and legacies (all categories).
  • Arrange for the payment of Inheritance Tax (categories 2 and 3 only).
  • Prepare estate accounts (all categories).
  • Obtain a letter of clearance for the purposes of Inheritance Tax (categories 2 and 3 only).
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate (all categories).

The above fee ranges are based on certain assumptions that are applicable to all estates:

  • All meetings take place in our offices.
  • We receive instructions from you within a reasonable time of requesting these.
  • We will not be required to give any advice on tax matters except where specifically agreed in our retainer letter with you.
  • The Will is valid and will not be challenged.
  • The deceased was domiciled in England and Wales.
  • There are no missing beneficiaries to be traced.
  • There are no disputes between the executors or between the executors and beneficiaries or between the beneficiaries.
  • The executors are able to provide all information required in connection with the assets and liabilities of the estate including jointly owned property and lifetime gifts (from capital or income).
  • All assets of the estate are held in the deceased’s name as shown in the Will.
  • The deceased had no interest in any trust.
  • The deceased had no alternatively secured pension fund.
  • All valuations provided to HMRC for Inheritance Tax purposes are accepted by them.
  • The cost of a probate valuation of stocks and shares (if needed) will be borne by the Estate.
  • We will arrange for any valuations of property and contents which may be needed (the costs will be borne by the Estate).
  • The deceased had no interest in an un-administered estate.
  • No Deed of Variation of the Will is required.

For information please contact: