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Probate Fees

We are obliged to provide cost information in respect of obtaining a Grant of Probate and administering that person’s estate following their death. Our Probate Team have considerable experience in dealing with the administration of estates of all sizes and complexity and if you do require any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us. We always offer a free initial no-obligation appointment.

Each probate matter is unique, however there are common features to all cases. In view of this we have set out below pricing information for a range of scenarios which we commonly experience. We have highlighted factors that may cause the price to vary and we would recommend that for a full and accurate quote you contact our Team to discuss your specific circumstances.

Applying for a Grant of Probate only

When this applies:

  • where the deceased left a valid will
  • the estate does not require completion of the full IHT400 Inheritance Tax account and no inheritance tax is payable
  • where the executors provide to us all financial valuations and other information needed for us to prepare the inheritance tax form IHT205 and the probate application only.

What this includes:

We will provide you with an experienced Probate Solicitor or Legal Executive who will deal with the following:

  1. Evaluating the size of the estate based on the documentation and valuations provided by you to us;
  2. Completing the Inheritance Tax Form IHT205;
  3. Preparing the appropriate Statement of Truth or online application to enable the Grant of Probate to be obtained;
  4. Making the Probate application;
  5. Obtaining the Grant of Probate and providing you with copies of the Grant to enable you to administer and distribute the estate without further assistance from us;
DescriptionFee
Legal Fees£1000.00 plus VAT (£1200.00 inc VAT)
Disbursements:These are expenses which are payable to third parties such as the Probate Registry
Probate Application Fee£155.00 (no VAT) for estates over £5000.00
Extra copies of the Grant of Probate / Will 

£1.50 per copy

Applying for a Grant of Probate only - larger or more complex estates

For higher value or more complex estates it is not always possible to provide a fixed fee. Examples of such estates would be:

  • Where the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax (or a full inheritance tax account IHT400 is required for some other reason even if tax is not payable)
  • If you need us to advise you on the valuations of the assets which you have obtained;
  • If you need us to help you to obtain or check valuations of the assets in the estate- for example write to the banks, financial institutions etc;
  • If there are overseas or business assets in the estate.
  • If you ask us to help you to search for a missing will, or carry out additional searches for dormant or missing assets
  • If the estate is intestate i.e. there is no valid will

The exact cost will depend on a variety of factors, including the number, value and complexity of the assets in the estate and also whether you are claiming any Inheritance Tax reliefs. Our legal costs will be based on an hourly rate and the number of hours it takes to complete the various Inheritance Tax Forms. Our solicitors’ hourly rates range from £190 to £250 per hour plus VAT depending on their seniority and experience.  In such matters we would estimate that our legal fees would be between £1000 and £2000 plus VAT (£1200 - £2400). The disbursements would remain as above.

On average, to complete an application for a Grant of Probate only takes approximately 3-6 months.  Simpler or lower value estates are likely to be at the lower end of this estimate.  More complex or higher value estates may take longer.  Estimated timescales are always subject to third party turnaround times such as the time it takes Probate Registry to issue the Grant. This can vary significantly from case to case.   

Dealing with the entire estate administration, including obtaining valuations, applying for the Grant of Probate, collecting and distributing the assets

When this applies:

  • where the deceased left a valid will
  • where the executors require a more comprehensive service and help in administering the whole estate from start to finish
  • where the estate does not require completion of the full IHT400 Inheritance Tax account and no inheritance tax is payable

What this includes:

We will provide you with an experienced Probate Solicitor or Legal Executive who will deal with the following:

  1. Collecting the details of the assets and liabilities by liaising directly with the banks and other financial institutions to obtain confirmation and valuation of estate assets;
  2. Evaluating the size and value of the estate based on the information obtained;
  3. Completing the Inheritance Tax Form IHT205;
  4. Preparing the appropriate Statement of Truth or online application to enable the Grant of Probate to be obtained;
  5. Making the Probate application and obtaining the Grant;
  6. Closing and collecting in the various assets and holding the proceeds in our client bank account on behalf of the estate
  7. Arranging the sale or transfer of residential property if applicable (for which separate charges would apply);
  8. Preparation of Estate accounts
  9. Distributing the estate to the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the Will.
DescriptionFee
Legal Fees£2500.00 - £6000.00 plus VAT (£3000.00 - £7200.00 inc VAT)
Disbursements:These are expenses which are payable to third parties such as the Probate Registry
Probate Application Fee£155.00 for estates over £5000.00
Extra copies of the Grant of Probate£1.50 per copy
Bankruptcy Search£2.00 plus VAT (per beneficiary)
Notice in London Gazette and local newspaperApproximately £150.00

On average, the full administration of an estate can take 6-12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 3-6 months. Collecting and distributing the assets as well as winding up the estate generally takes a further 3-6 months. Estimated timescales are always subject to third party turnaround times such as the time it takes Probate Registry to issue the Grant. This can vary significantly from case to case.

Dealing with the entire estate administration - larger or more complex estates  

For higher value or more complex estates then our charges may be higher than outlined above. 

Some examples of scenarios where the price would increase are as follows:

  • If the will is complex- for example there are trust provisions contained in it;
  • If the validity of the will is questioned;
  • If the estate is intestate i.e. there is no valid will
  • If there are beneficiaries that need to be traced;
  • If there is a claim made against the estate or there is dispute between the executors or beneficiaries;
  • If the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax (or a full inheritance tax account IHT400 is required for some other reason even if tax is not payable)
  • If the there is more than one residential property;
  • If there are foreign assets or business interests;
  • If there are complex shareholdings.
  • If the will appoints solicitors at Rowlinsons to act as executors

In these cases the cost will depend on a variety of factors, including the number, value and complexity of the assets in the estate and also whether you are claiming any Inheritance Tax reliefs. Our legal costs will be based on an hourly rate and the number of hours it takes to complete the estate administration. Our solicitors’ hourly rates range from £190 to £250 per hour plus VAT depending on their seniority and experience.  In more complex estates we may also make an additional charge based on a percentage of the value of the assets in the estate (maximum 1.5%). In estates where solicitors at Rowlinsons are appointed to act as executors we always also make an additional charge based on a percentage of the value of the assets in the estate (maximum 1.5%).

We will always provide an initial estimate of costs based on information made known to us at the outset, and we will provide a further more accurate estimate of the legal costs once we have assessed the estate. The disbursements would remain as above.

Our estimate of charges for probate work does not include legal fees for acting in the conveyancing if the estate contains land or property which the executors wish to sell or transfer to a beneficiary.  A separate quote would be provided for this. 

For complex estates where it is necessary to complete an income tax or capital gains tax return we may need to instruct third party specialists such as accountants for which separate fees would be payable.   

On average, the full administration of a more complex or higher value estate may take 12-18 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-9 months. Collecting and distributing the assets as well as winding up the estate generally takes a further 6-9 months. Estimated timescales are always subject to third party turnaround times such as the time it takes HMRC to acknowledge receipt of inheritance tax paid, or Probate Registry to issue the Grant. This can vary significantly from case to case.  

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax is a tax on the estate (the property, money and possessions) of someone who has died. We will help you to work out at as early a stage as possible in the estate administration whether inheritance tax is payable and how much this will be.  Inheritance tax should be paid within six months of death where possible, and it must be paid before a Grant can be applied for.  It is the responsibility of the executors to fund the inheritance tax payment and this can often be done out of the assets in the estate itself. Please visit the HMRC website for information about inheritance tax and when it applies:

https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax

This information is purely a guide and we recommend that you contact our friendly Probate Team in the first instance. They will be able to arrange a free initial no obligation appointment and provide you with an accurate estimate of costs and disbursements.

 

 

 

  • Donna Eland
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