Probate Fees

We have a team of three who are experienced in dealing with all areas of private client work.  All work will be supervised by Gabriella Cuoghi, a Partner in the firm.

Gabriella Cuoghi – Managing Partner and Head of Private Client.  Over 15 years experience and qualified as a Solicitor in 2010.  Gabriella can advise on all aspects of estate administration, Inheritance Tax and succession planning.  Charging rate – £250 plus VAT per hour.

Anne-Marie Holden – Associate Legal Executive.  Over 10 years of legal experience with 4 years specialising in Private Client work.  Charing rate – £200 plus VAT per hour.

Janet Smart – Paralegal.  Over 25 years of experience in the Private Client department.  Charing rate £200 plus VAT per hour.

How can we help you?

We can do as much or as little as you want us to do and the costs are based on the time actually taken on the matter.  Each hour is broken into 6 minute units and we charge by the unit, rather than by the hour.  For example, a basic letter or email will be one unit.

The requirements for each estate vary depending on what assets and liabilities there are and how complicated they are to deal with.  Sometimes it can be necessary to vary the costs quoted as the matter progresses to cover unforeseen situations.  In these situations, we will always advise you before incurring any additional costs.

Some factors which would affect the complexity of an estate include, but are not limited to:

  • Is there a valid Will?
  • Are the executors appointed able and willing to act?
  • The value of the estate.
  • Whether the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax.
  • Are there any reliefs which can be applied to the estate?
  • The type and number of assets in the estate.
  • Are there foreign assets?
  • Number of beneficiaries.
  • Can all the beneficiaries be identified?
  • Any legacies payable.
  • Is there an ongoing income tax liability?
  • Are there any business assets?
  • Are there any agricultural assets?
  • Does the Will contain a trust?
  • Is there more than one property?
  • Does the Will need to be varied?

Once we have discussed with you your individual requirements, we can provide you with an accurate estimate of costs. However, we have set out below an example of costs for a simple estate.

Applying for the grant, collecting assets and distributing

We anticipate this will take between 7 and 20 hours work at £200 – 250 per hour, dependent upon the fee earner. Total costs estimated at – £1,500 – £4000 plus VAT.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter as no estate is the same. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are no more than 2 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. 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 HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements included in this fee:

1          Probate application fee, at present is £155.  However, the Government is looking to increase the fees for probate applications at some point in the near future.  At present we have not been advised if the figures relate to applications made before the date of change or to estates where the deceased died after that date.  The fees will be based on the value of the estate rather than the flat fee currently stated above and will vary between £250 and £6,000.

2          Bankruptcy searches against each beneficiary of £2.00 per beneficiary.

3          Section 27 Trustee Act 1925 Notice in The London Gazette and the local newspaper – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.  The approximate cost is £140 but this is dependent upon the individual newspapers fee.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 9 – 12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 3 – 4 months.

Once the Grant has been obtained if you would like to instruct us to collect the assets and distribute them to the beneficiaries this can take between 3 – 6 months, depending upon the particular circumstances of the estate, and will incur a further cost which will be based on the type and quantity of assets.

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost 50 pence per copy (1 per asset usually).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
  • Inheritance Tax
  • Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax arising during the course of the administration period
  • Fees for other professionals such as accountant, surveyor, stockbroker and estate agent etc.

If you just want us to get the Grant

It may be that you are happy to administer the estate yourself and just need some help getting the Grant.  We can usually carry this work out on a fixed fee basis and we have two options available:

1          Basic estate with no inheritance tax to pay and executors provide valuations for all assets and liabilities.  To include an initial meeting and completion of the application to the Court – our costs would be £750 plus VAT and disbursements.

2          Taxable estate and executors provide valuations for all assets and liabilities.  To include an initial meeting and completion of the inheritance tax return and application to the Court – our costs would be £1,500 plus VAT and disbursements.