Uncontested Probate - Price & Service Information

Each estate administration is different and the exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. We have provided some explanation and 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.

We deal with a variety of matters ranging from a simple estate to high value complex estates.

A simple estate is one where for example

  • there is no issue as to the validity of the Will;
  • it does not contain complicated or unusual provisions;
  • there are a few bank or other accounts;
  • limited beneficiaries
  • no disputes affecting the executors beneficiaries or third parties.
  • no inheritance tax is payable

A complex estate is one where for example

  • there is a Will with complicated or unusual provisions;
  • there are numerous accounts, investments, shares;
  • significant liabilities;
  • a large number of beneficiaries;
  • trusts are created;
  • inheritance tax to calculate and pay;
  • property to manage;
  • divided families;

As an example there can be two estates both with assets valued at £2million.   The first a complex estate which involved multiple assets and in the other, the assets by contrast could be held in one portfolio and be the only asset in the estate.   The fee quoted / charged would reflect the nature of the assets and the simplicity or complexity of the estate.  

A further consideration is whether or not Inheritance tax has to be paid. A Grant of Representation/ Probate will not be granted until the tax, if any, is paid or arrangements are made for the tax to be paid. In any event one of two inheritance tax forms have to be completed to establish if no tax is payable (form IHT205) or tax has to be paid (form IHT400).  A simple estate will normally suggest that no tax is payable (IHT205), whilst a complex estate usually suggests that inheritance tax is payable (IHT400).

Every estate is different so it is always better to speak to us for an estimate based on your specific circumstances.    Our fees for Estates Administration will be a fixed quoted sum, calculated by reference to the size of the Estate, number of assets, beneficiaries etc.

Gross Value Fixed fee/percentage (plus VAT)
Grant of Probate only, with you providing the information, collecting and distributing assets £950 (IHT 205)/£1,450 (IHT400)
Up to £100,000 £2,000
Up to £200,000 £3,000
Up to £325,000 £5,000
Between £325,000 and £750,000 1.75% of Gross Value
Between £750,000 and £1,500.00 2% of Gross Value
Above £1,500.00 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 expenses that may be applicable. Again we will advise you when you give us your instructions of those which might apply to your matter.

Probate Court fee for Estates over £5,000 £155 currently
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
Creditors Notice (S27 Trustee Act l925) protects against unexpected claims Variable but usually up to £250 inc VAT
Executor/Administrator -
Unclaimed Assets Register Search 25
Certainty Will Search £114 inc VAT

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, including an HM Revenue & Customs Account.
  • Lodging the application for Probate and filing an HM Revenue & Customs Account IHT205 or 400.
  • 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 client’s money.
  • 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 HMR&C 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 will apply.

Any additional work required to be undertaken for example:-

- the conveyancing of any property in the Estate;
- bringing the deceased’s 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, which you will be notified in advance and agree.

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.

FURTHER MATTERS which may affect the fixed fee

Where an Estate is insolvent or there are assets abroad or the estate administration contains elements which are outside the usual then this may lead to increased costs.  Where we need to instruct foreign solicitors or outside agencies they may have fees which we would include as an 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

Typically

  • to obtain a Grant with 2-3 months
  • complete an Administration 9-12 months (depending on complexity).

The department is overseen by Julian Cann (Solicitor).   Details of the Team’s individual experience and qualifications are shown on their individual pages on our website.

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