Uncontested Probate – price and service information
Each estate administration is different and the exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. We have provided guidelines below which indicate a starting point for our fees but at our initial meeting we will be able to give you a better idea once we have details of the assets and liabilities involved.
A simple case is one where there is no doubt as to the validity of the will and it does not contain complicated or unusual provisions, there are few bank or other accounts, limited beneficiaries and no disputes affecting the executors, beneficiaries or third parties.
As an example, we have dealt with two estates both with assets valued at £2million. The first was a complex estate which involved multiple assets and the guideline fee was appropriate. In the other, the assets were held in one portfolio and this was the only asset in the estate. The fee charged was very much reduced to reflect the nature of the assets and the simplicity of the estate.Every estate is different and, although our fees are generally based on the guide below, it is always better to speak to one of our team for an estimate based on your specific circumstances.
Where the gross value of the estate does not exceed £325,000, our fees for Estates Administration are a fixed sum, calculated by reference to the size of the estate, as set out in the table below.
Where the value of the estate exceeds £325,000, our fees are calculated, as a percentage of its gross value, also set out in the table below:
|Gross Value||Fixed Fee/Percentage (plus vat)|
|Grant of Probate only||£1,000 (IHT205) / £1,800 (IHT400)|
|Up to £100,000||£2,000|
|Up to £200,000||£4,000|
|Up to £325,000||£6,000|
|Between £325,000 and £650,000||1.75% of Gross Value|
|Between £650,000 and £1,500,000||2% of Gross Value|
|Above £1,500,000||1.5% of Gross Value|
We will have to pay fees to third parties for matters relating to the administration of the estate and we set out below the usual disbursements that may be applicable. Again we will advise you when you give us your instructions of those which might apply to your matter.
Probate registry fees
The government has proposed increases to the Probate Court fees. Currently, when applying through a solicitor these are a fixed amount of £155. The proposal has been to increase these fees, depending on the value of the estate. On 7th February 2019 the proposed increases were approved by a parliamentary vote and these are now highly likely to be applied for probate applications from April 2019. The proposed fees, which will apply from the implementation date are:
- Estates worth less than £50,000 will pay nothing, meaning estates worth between £5,000 and £50,000 will save £215 compared to the current system.
- Estates worth from £50,000 up to £300,000 will pay £250, a rise of £35.
- Estates worth from £300,000 up to £500,000 will pay £750, a rise of £535.
- Estates worth from £500,000 up to £1 million will pay £2,500, a rise of £2,285.
- Estates worth from £1 million up to £1.6 million will pay £4,000, a rise of £3,785.
- Estates worth from £1.6 million up to £2 million will pay £5,000, a rise of £4,785.
- Estates worth more than £2 million will pay £6,000, a rise of £5,785.
|Office Copy Grants||50p per copy|
|Commissioner for Oaths fee||£5 each swear plus £2 for each exhibit|
|Bankruptcy Searches against Beneficiaries in UK||£2 for each name|
|Bankruptcy Searches against Beneficiaries abroad||Variable but around £99 for each name|
|Creditors Notice (S27 Trustee Act 1925)||Variable but usually around £250|
|Unclaimed Assets Register search||£25|
|Certainty Will search||£108|
What is covered by the fixed fee/percentage?
This differs from matter to matter but broadly covers the following:
- Initial advice to the Personal Representatives on the effect of the Will, their responsibilities and potential liabilities in administering the Estate.
- Gathering details of the assets and liabilities of the Estate involving correspondence with banks, building societies, etc and the commissioning of 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 of the administration of 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 steps 1-4 above will apply,
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.
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.
Matters which may affect the fixed fee
Where an estate is insolvent or there are assets abroad or it contains elements which are outside the usual then this may lead to addition 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.
|Name||Position||Number of years’ experience dealing with probate matters||Hourly rate if relevant (exclusive of VAT)|
|Mera Dahal||Probate Manager||30||£240|
|Tessa Childs||Probate Manager||38||£240|
Details of the Team’s individual experience and qualifications are shown on their individual pages on the website.
Esther, Jon and Ameer have a mixed caseload and deal with estate administration and also Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney. Jon’s probate caseload represents around 50% of his workload whereas Ameer and Esther have a caseload of around 80% estate administration. Mera and Tessa deal exclusively with probate matters, Claire’s caseload is around 30% probate as she also takes on trust matters.
The team deal with a variety of matters ranging from a simple estate where we assist in realising assets without the necessity of a grant to high value complex estates which involve extensive shareholdings and foreign elements.