Probate Department costs
Applying for the Grant of Representation, collecting and distributing the assets
We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the grant of representation for you and collecting and distributing the assets.
Using a solicitor is usually the best option because of our experience and expertise. We are here to make the experience as simple as possible and we are best placed to deal with all aspects of your case, including conveyancing if a property is to be sold or transferred, and advising the executors on potential risks and problems, and helping to minimise them.
For a simple estate, and if everything runs smoothly, we anticipate this will take between 10 and 14 hours of work at £240 plus VAT (£288) per hour. Total costs are estimated at £2,400 to £3,360 plus VAT (£2,880 -£4,032).
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, our costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, our costs will be at the higher end.
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 4-6 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-12 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 5-10 weeks. Of course, it will take longer if there is a property to sell.
We will handle the whole process for you. This estimate is for estates where:
- There is a valid Will
- There is no more than one property
- There are no more than five bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are 1-5 beneficiaries
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the 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 inheritance tax form to H M Revenue & Customs
- There are no claims made against the estate
There may also be additional costs called “disbursements” which you will have to pay. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties such as:
- A probate application fee of £155 plus an extra £1.50 for each copy of the document issued by the court
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£1 per beneficiary)
- £77 notice posted in The London Gazette – protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
- £40 (approximately) for an advert in a local newspaper – this also helps to protect against unexpected claims
We handle the payment of the disbursements for you to ensure a smoother process.
As part of our fees, we will:
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter. Our team consists of Caroline Cunnington, a solicitor and partner in the firm and Helen Pacey, a legal executive. Both Caroline and Helen have more than thirty years’ experience of dealing with this type of work, ranging from simple estates to complex ones and those worth more than £1 million. Caroline and Helen are supported by Joe Burns, a trainee legal executive and Richard Stoppard, our in-house chartered accountant.
- Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
- Advise the executors/administrators on potential risks and problems and help to minimise them
- Accurately identify the type of probate application you require
- Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
- Complete the probate application and the relevant inheritance tax forms
- Draft a legal oath for you to swear
- Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
- Obtain the Probate
- Collect all the assets in the estate
- Prepare a set of accounts for the executors and beneficiaries
- Distribute the assets in the estate
Potential additional costs
- If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there are 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 estimate once we have more information.
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property is not included
- Finalising the deceased’s income tax or capital gains tax affairs
- Dealing with any disputes which may arise
- Dealing with assets, executors or beneficiaries outside the UK