Uncontested Probate – price and service information

It is very difficult to provide costs and time estimates as every case is different.  Our fees and the length of time taken will depend on the work you wish us to carry out. 

Obtaining a Grant of Probate

If you only wish us to obtain a Grant of Probate in the estate our fees usually range from £1,000-£5,000 + VAT depending on the complexity of the matter and exactly what within that process you instruct us to do.  We are happy to discuss fixed fees for this service once we know the extent of your instructions.

Timescale for obtaining a Grant of Probate

A Grant of Probate is on average usually obtained within 3 – 9 months.  Although this will depend on our instructions and the complexity of the matter.

We will discuss the timescale for obtaining the Grant of Probate with you once we have discussed the estate and the extent of your instructions.

Administering the whole estate

If you want us to deal with the administration of the whole estate our costs will be based on our hourly charging rates.

Currently the hourly charging rates that apply are:

Debra Bulcraig, Partner                 £195.00 + VAT per hour

Alison John, Trainee Paralegal    £60 + VAT per hour

Our fees are estimated at the outset of the matter and agreed with you.  The average total costs of a matter usually range between £3,000 – £10,000 +VAT and disbursements.

However, 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 or even less. If there are multiple beneficiaries or executors, a property, multiple bank accounts or other assets, a taxable estate, or business and/or agricultural reliefs are applicable, or no valid Will costs will be at the higher end or even more.

We will discuss a costs estimate with you when we have the full facts of the case and we know the extent of your instructions. 

Example of fees charged in a simple estate

We set out below an example of our fees and the work we usually carry out for those fees.

We can usually handle the full process for you for £3,000 + VAT for estates where:

  • There is a valid will with no more than 2 local executors
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 2 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 1-2 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets.
  • 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
  • An accountant deals with any income tax matters
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included

 

The work we carry out when administering the whole estate

The work we carry out will differ from matter to matter but generally covers the following:

  • Initial advice to the Personal Representatives on the effect of the Will, their responsibilities and potential liabilities in administering the estate.
  • Obtaining details of the assets and liabilities of the estate involving correspondence with banks, building societies, etc and arranging valuations where necessary.
  • Preparing the papers to apply for the Grant of Probate, including an H M Revenue & Customs Account.
  • Lodging the application for Probate and filing an H M Revenue & Customs Account.
  • Initial correspondence with beneficiaries and legatees to advise of their entitlement and the estimated time scale.
  • Sending copies of the Grant to banks, building societies and others holding money and property, with the instructions of the Personal Representatives for closure or transfer of the accounts.
  • Advising on the transfer or disposal of other assets in the estate.
  • Collecting and paying estate money into our client account, where it will be subject to the protection of the Law Society's rules regarding solicitors' firms' handling of clients' money.
  • Arranging payment of the funeral account and any other bills and expenses.
  • Arranging payment of legacies.
  • Making distributions to the residuary beneficiaries.
  • Preparing financial accounts “Estate Accounts” for the Estate for the Personal Representatives and residuary beneficiaries.
  • Reporting to the local Inspector of Taxes with details of any income received or capital gains realised by the Personal Representatives in administering the Estate and providing tax deduction certificates to the residuary beneficiaries where necessary.

(If we are instructed only to obtain the Grant of Probate, only the first four steps above will apply.)

Where the Personal Representatives wish to carry out some of the work themselves (for example obtaining valuations, clearing a house or distributing assets), this will reduce the costs.  However, sometimes it is quicker (and sometimes even cheaper) to let us deal with it.

 

Additional work which will carry a separate fee

Any additional work required to be undertaken for example, the conveyancing of any property in the estate; bringing the income tax affairs up to date to the date of death; or the drawing up of a Deed of Variation of the Will will be charged for separately, with your agreement.

Where an estate is insolvent or there are assets abroad or it contains elements which are outside the usual then this may lead to additional fees outside of the fixed price. Where we need to instruct foreign solicitors or outside agencies they may have fees which we would include as a disbursement or administration expense. We will discuss these matters at the initial meeting or as soon as they are brought to our attention and be able to advise any additional fees.

 

Timescale for administering an estate

On average, the administration of a non-complex estate is dealt with within 9-15 months. However, each estate will be different based on the assets involved, the provisions of the Will and the number of Personal Representatives and beneficiaries involved.

Estates involving agricultural, foreign or business assets will normally take much longer and properties may take a long time to sell. HMRC, share registrars and beneficiaries may not respond immediately or give sufficient information.

We will discuss the timescale for administering the estate with you once we have discussed the estate and the extent of your instructions.

 

Matters which may affect our estimated fee

If during the course of the administration of the estate due to the volume of work involved in your matter or due to unforeseen circumstances arising within the administration of the estate our fee estimate will be exceeded, we will agree a new fee estimate with you.

 

Disbursements (third party costs additional to our fees)

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as the Probate Registry.  We will advise you when you give us your instructions as to which disbursements might apply to your matter.

We set out below the usual disbursements that may apply to your matter.

Probate Application Fee £155
Additional Office Copy Grants (usually one per asset) @ £0.50 per copy
Bankruptcy searches against UK Beneficiaries £2 per beneficiary
Bankruptcy searches against Beneficiaries abroad Varies
s.27 Trustee Act 1925 Notices in The London Gazette and a local newspaper (protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors) Approx. £250
Unclaimed Assets Register search £25
Certainty Will search £25
Commissioners for Oath fee £5 each swear plus
£2 for each exhibit
Executors Insurance Varies

Settlement of our fees and disbursements

If we settle any expenses on your behalf prior to receiving monies into the Estate, then those costs will be recovered from the Estate as soon as we receive monies into our client account.  If no monies from the Estate are received by us, such costs will be included in our invoice to you. 

Settlement of our invoices raised during the course of the administration will be recovered from the estate as soon as we receive monies into our client account.  If no monies from the estate are received by us, you are responsible for the payment of our invoices which are payable within 30 days.

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