Wills and Probate Pricing

The following information relates to the full process of application for a grant of probate to an estate and for the collection and distribution of estate assets.

Standard Estate Criteria

  • There is a valid Will.
  • There are no more that 10 bank or building society accounts.
  • There are no other intangible assets.
  • All assets are located in England and Wales.
  • There are no assets with a complex structure for encashment or assets relevant to the estate but subject to trusts.
  • There are no shareholdings (stock and bonds or portfolios of the same).
  • There are 1-10 beneficiaries.
  • There are no disputes of whatever nature – for example, issues between beneficiaries on division of assets, problems with the interpretation of the Will, difficulties between the executors (the persons administering the estate) or otherwise. 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 HM Revenue and Customs.
  • There are no claims made against the estate.

For a standard estate administration, our fee includes:

  • Notifying the relevant organisations of the death.
  • Obtaining details of the estate assets and liabilities.
  • Preparing estate accounts.
  • Distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.
  • Keeping relevant parties updated of the progress of the administration of the estate.
  • An assessment of the deceased’s income and capital gains tax position at the date of death and assessment of the tax position during the administration of the estate. In some cases, the Executors would be advised to take accountancy advice.

It is anticipated that the administration of a standard estate will take between 15 and 30 hours work at a variable rate per hour in accordance with the fee earner’s hourly rates. Based on a charge-out rate of between £175 – £250 per hour depending on the seniority of the solicitor / fee-earner our total costs are estimated at between £3500 – £7000 excluding VAT. The allocation of work to a fee earner will depend on any existing client relationship with a particular fee earner and availability of a particular fee earner’s time.

The exact cost will ultimately depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary, and easily transferred assets, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

Separate quotes will be provided for the following:

  • An intestate estate (this is an estate where the deceased did not leave a valid Will). An initial quote will be provided to determine and locate relevant beneficiaries and their shares in the estate prior to completion of the estate on the standard basis noted above, save that the application will be for grant of letters of administration.
  • Any estate where there have been lifetime gifts in excess of standard allowances.
  • Any estate where a full account on the IHT400 form is required for inheritance tax for whatever purpose.
  • Preparation of income tax and Capital Gains Tax returns for the period of date of death from preceding tax year commencement and from date of death to conclusion of the administration period and distribution.
  • The sale or transfer or appropriation of any freehold property or property share held as an estate asset, or all formalities associated with disposal of any property the subject of a lease.
  • All assets which fall outside the scope of a standard estate.

Potential additional costs/factors

  • There is no valid Will.
  • The estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) or portfolios of the same. If so, there are likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. A more accurate quote can be provided once relevant information is available.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost 50p (1 per asset usually).
  • Dealing with the sale, transfer or appropriation of any property or property share in the estate.
  • Assets held in trust or policies held outside the estate.
  • Assets of a pre-deceased spouse that have not yet been dealt with.
  • A trust created during the deceased’s lifetime.
  • The administration of a trust created by the deceased’s Will (or by intestacy).
  • Subsequent information received or applicable after receipt of initial instructions.
  • Communications with HM Revenue and Customs in connection with the value of assets and application of exemptions and reliefs.
  • Communications with the Department for Work and Pensions in connection with any potential claims they may notify.
  • Disputes in the estate.
  • Foreign assets (outside England and Wales).

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within the standard range noted above are dealt with within 6-12 months although circumstances could lead to this range being extended. Initial meetings, fact finding and ascertainment of assets may take up to 4 months from date of instructions. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 3-4 weeks once all information has been obtained and the application has been made to the Probate Registry. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4-8 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 3-4 weeks or longer depending on the consideration of estate accounts or notifications from HM Revenue and Customs on any relevant closing taxation procedures and similarly notifications from the Department of Work and Pensions.

The above time estimates depend on the prompt cooperation of all parties throughout the matter, for example, HM Revenue and Customs, Department of Work and Pensions, asset holders and those providing instructions.

Disbursement Fee
Probate application fee £155.00. If any additional copies of the grant of representation are required they will cost 50p each (one per asset)
Swearing the Oath £5.00 per executor
£2.00 per exhibit to the oath (e.g. the Will, codicils)
Bankruptcy only searches at the Land Charges Department £3.00 plus VAT per beneficiary
Advertisement in the London Gazette (if appropriate) (This is an advertisement for claims and creditors and provides some protection from unexpected claims from unknown creditors) £70.00 plus VAT

Additional disbursements could be incurred depending on the circumstances, for example, property valuation fees, personal possession and household contents valuation fees, house clearance fees, stockbroker’s fees in relation to share dealings and so on. These will be advised as soon as they become known.

Pricing Information current as at 2nd December 2018


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