Our probate service can cover as much or as little of the administration of an estate as you require. We do not insist on taking over the entire administration but are happy to provide a full administration service if required.
Grant only service
Our minimum fee for obtaining a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration is £1,000 exc VAT.
Key stages of the transaction
This includes ensuring the appropriate application is made, including completion of the inheritance tax return and oath required to apply for the grant based on information you have provided. We will store the original grant free of charge and provide sealed copies to the personal representatives so that they may complete the administration of the estate.
Full estate administration service
Key stages of the transaction
- A dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter;
- Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries;
- Identifying the type of probate application required and obtaining the relevant documents to make the application;
- Completion of the relevant HM Revenue & Customs forms and drafting a legal oath for swearing;
- Making the application and ensuring the appropriate grant of administration is obtained;
- All assets made known to us are gathered in and liabilities, including tax, discharged;
- The net estate is distributed in accordance with the law; and
- Estate accounts are prepared and approved by you to conclude the administration;
- Dealing with tax returns for the administration period;
- Tax certificates are prepared where appropriate for beneficiaries' personal tax records.
Our charges are based on time spent and not the value of the estate. We believe this is a fairer charging system and ensures you only pay for the work that is actually needed. The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. Estates with few assets and a single beneficiary will be at the lower end of the fee scale whereas estates with many assets or many beneficiaries will mean costs will be higher. We will never charge a value element. We will provide you with an estimate based on the information given at the outset. Our hourly rates are currently (exc VAT):
- Partner - £300
- Legal Director - £200
- Associate - £170
- Solicitor - £135/£150
- Legal Assistant - £100/£125
We would anticipate costs for the full service will be between £3,000 and £5,000 exc VAT based on the following assumptions:
- 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 no more than five beneficiaries
- There are no disputes between executors or beneficiaries.
- There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HM Revenue & Customs
- There are no claims against the estate
- All assets are UK based
There are generally additional expenses payable to third parties as part of the administration process. These can vary depending on the assets but the following are an example:
- Court fees for obtaining a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration: £155 + 50p for each additional sealed office copy.
- Swear fees for swearing oath to obtain Grant, varies depending on number of documents: £5 + £2 for each document. This fee is charged for each personal representative who needs to swear.
- Statutory advertisements (protects against unknown creditors): £150 to £200 based on The London Gazette and one local newspaper.
- Bankruptcy searches: £2 plus VAT per beneficiary.
Potential additional costs
The following are likely to lead to additional costs, which will vary depending on the estate. We can provide an accurate quote once we have full information:
- If there is no will.
- If beneficiaries need to be traced.
- If there are additional assets, such as shareholdings.
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property.
- Preparing tax returns for the period to the date of death.
How long will this take?
Estates which fall within the range above usually take 4 to 6 months. Obtaining the grant takes 2 to 4 weeks from when the application is submitted. Collecting the assets can take between 2 to 6 weeks.