Probate Pricing

Probate Pricing Information

We have a large team covering both our Grimsby, Cleethorpes, Louth and Mablethorpe offices with practitioners including Partners, Senior Associates, Associates, Solicitors, Chartered Legal Executives, Senior Paralegals, Paralegals and Trainee Solicitors who may work on your matter. 

We can help you through this difficult process and offer a number of options to assist you with probate and estate administration. These options will be tailored to your own requirements.

Grant of Representation application

If you are able to provide the full details of the estate assets and liabilities with date of death valuations, we can prepare and submit the probate application on your behalf. We then provide you with the appropriate Grant of Representation to enable you to undertake the administration of the estate yourself.

Services included:

  • We provide you with a dedicated probate professional to work on your matter
  • Identify the executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • We identify the type of probate application required
  • Complete the relevant HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) forms
  • Produce draft legal oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Registry
  • Obtain the Grant send copies to you

We typically charge between £X and £X plus VAT (£X and £X incl. VAT) depending on the circumstances.

Typically, obtaining the Grant of Representation takes four to six weeks provided you are able to provide all of the relevant information.

Grant of Representation application and estate administration where there is no inheritance tax payable and no requirement for full HMRC account

Estimated fees are based on the below;

  • The gross value of the estate is £400,000
  • 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 intangible assets
  • There are no business or farm interests
  • There is no claim for the residence nil rate band or the transferable residence nil rate band
  • There are between one to four beneficiaries
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets
  • There are no claims made against the estate

We anticipate that a matter such as the above would take on average between 20 and 40 hours work at an average hourly rate of £165 per hour plus VAT. On this basis, we would estimate total legal fees of between £x and £x (plus VAT). Including VAT, this range would be £x to £x. Any changes to the circumstances mentioned above may increase or decrease the fees accordingly. 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 this estimated range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within three to six months. Breaking this down further, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes, typically, four to eight weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between four to six weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes two to four weeks.

Grant of Representation application and estate administration where full HMRC account is required

Estimated fees are based on the below;

  • The gross value of the estate is £800,000
  • There is a valid Will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than five bank or building society accounts
  • There are no intangible assets
  • There are no business or farm interests
  • There is no claim for the residence nil rate band or the transferable residence nil rate band
  • There are between one to five beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets
  • There are no claims made against the estate

We anticipate that a matter such as the one set out immediately above may take between 25 and 45 hours work at an average of £175 per hour plus VAT. On this basis, total costs are estimated at £x to £x (plus VAT). Including VAT, this range would be between £x and £x. Any changes to the circumstances mentioned above may increase or decrease the fees accordingly. 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 the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within three to six months. Breaking this down further, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes, typically, six to ten weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between four to six weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes two to four weeks.

Costs and fees which are not included in the estimated ranges above:

There are a number of costs and fees which might be incurred during the administration of an estate which are not included in the estimated ranges above. Whether these additional costs will be incurred will depend on the circumstances and value of the assets and estate.

Some of the more common costs and fees which are not included;

  • Fees paid to third party valuers relating to property and land, personal belongings, vehicles, shares, business or farming interests etc.
  • Property clearance and costs of selling contents and personal belongings
  • Legal fees for sale or transfer of property and land and any agents fees and HM Land Registry fees on transfer
  • Any taxes payable including Inheritance Tax, Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax etc
  • Any insurance required during the estate administration
  • Any outstanding debts and liabilities of the deceased and funeral and wake expenses

Disbursements

We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. These fees are usually requested on account (i.e. before there is any requirement to pay them).

  • Probate application fee which is currently £155 (plus 50 pence per additional sealed copy of the Grant required) N.B. Changes to the Probate application fee are being introduced in April 2019 which will lead to an increase in the application fees for all estates worth more than £50,000. The revised application fees will be added to this section in due course.
  • £5 Swearing of the oath (per personal representative*) and an additional £2 per personal representative for each document annexed to the oath such as a Will and Codicils*; a swearing of an oath with a valid Will would therefore be £7 per personal representative. N.B. Changes to the application process are currently being implemented which may change this fee. An update will be added to this section when further information is available.
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches £2 per beneficiary.
  • £83.40 (inc VAT) Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors; this fee may vary if the advert is placed through a different agency
  • £85 to £220 (inc VAT) Post in a local newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims; fees for each newspaper or through other agencies will vary and could be substantially higher than this range; a quote for approval will be obtained before the placing of any adverts
  • £114 (inc VAT) Certainty Will search* to ensure the latest Will is proved* at the Probate Registry
  • £3 to £6 (plus VAT) if a single property is registered with HM Land Registry and the Office Copies of the Title Register and / or Plan are required

Potential additional costs

In any estate there are a large number of situations which may arise which would lead to an increase in the estimated fees provided. Some of the more common reasons that fees may increase are set out below:

  • If there is no Will,  (which can also cause delay as there will be a need to search for a valid Will and to identify the Administrators entitled to deal with the estate)
  • If the estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks, shares and bonds), as there is likely to be  a need to obtain share valuations and effect the transfer or sale; the additional costs could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with)
  • If the estate involves any digital assets* or other assets where there may be issues with obtaining passwords or otherwise accessing the relevant information
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any land or property in the estate (which is not included in the estimated ranges above)
  • If HMRC raises an enquiry into the Inheritance Tax Return  (which will also delay the administration of the estate)
  • If any disputes arise (such as a dispute between executors or beneficiaries)  (this will also mean that the estate is unlikely to be finalised until all disputes or claims have been resolved)
  • If a Caveat is entered at the Probate Registry which will require removal
  • If the estate includes missing beneficiaries (which can also cause delay to the administration of the estate)
  • If the estate includes historic or dormant assets which involves establishing the validity of the assets and dealing with the collection and distribution of these assets
  • If there is missing documentation (share certificates, insurance policies, marriage/birth certificates etc)
  • If there are any business assets or interests in farms which need to be taken into account then valuing, reporting and dealing with any division of assets may be necessary
  • If there were any lifetime gifts made in excess of the annual allowances then the details of the gifts will need to be established and reported on the Inheritance Tax forms
  • If the deceased had any interests in a trust
  • Claiming reliefs and exemptions from Inheritance Tax
  • Establishing and claiming the transferable nil rate band*
  • Establishing and claiming the residence nil rate band and transferable residence nil rate band (especially if downsizing of the property has occurred)

This is not an exhaustive list of situations which may lead to an increase in costs. In all cases where additional costs are likely to arise, we will give you an accurate quote once we have the information and agree any additional fees with you.