Legal Services – Probate Charges
Probate and related work is carried out on a ‘time costed basis’ – for more information regarding this, please ask for our client care guides, in particular our guide relating to ‘non-contentious work’.
Jennifer Hurrell’s current charging rate is £250 plus VAT and Claire Ryall’s charging rate is £200 plus VAT. A standard straightforward probate case is likely to take between 10 and 20 hours, equivalent to £2,500 to £5,000 plus VAT. Many straightforward cases will be less than this. A standard straightforward probate case is one where:
- There is a valid Will.
- There is no more than one property.
- There are no more than two or three bank or building society accounts.
- There are no other intangible assets involved, such as stocks and shares or unit trusts.
- There are no more than four adult beneficiaries.
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries or other parties on division of assets.
- There is no Inheritance Tax payable, and the Executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC.
- There are no other claims being made against the estate.
- The estate is not treated as a Complex Estate by HMRC (typically where proceeds of sale of property or shares exceed £500,000).
- If your case is not straightforwrd for one or more of the above reasons, or if there are any other complications, please let us know at the outset (if possible) so that we can do our best to give you an idea of the likely additional costs that will apply. If complications arise during the course of your case, we will of course advise you as soon as possible and give you any appropriate costs updates.
All costs are estimates and must be that i.e. the best indication we can give you. We will regularly update you regarding the case costs, whether complications apply or arise. All our costs must have VAT added. Please note that dealing with the sale or transfer of any property is not included – please see as appropriate our table of conveyancing charges.
Additional Probate Charges – Estate Uplift
We do reserve the right, in accordance with Law Society Guidelines, to charge such an uplift, but only in certain cases. For example, we don’t make this uplift charge where the sole beneficiary of an estate is the deceased’s spouse. We will let you know at the outset of your instructions whether such an uplift may apply. The following uplift guidelines appear in our client care guide. Again VAT needs to be added onto any such charges we do make:
- Value of gross estate less residence – 1%
- Value of residence – 0.5%
Grant Only Applications
In very straightforward cases, we are able to arrange a fixed fee Grant only service. We will not obtain the valuations, but will complete HMRC’s IHT205 form, submit the probate application and obtain the Grant. Our costs would be £950.00 plus VAT and disbursements.
Disbursements are costs related to your case that are payable by us to third parties. These need to be added to our own stated charges plus VAT – see above. The usual disbursements that will apply are as follows:
- Probate application fee of £155.00. The Probate Registry also charge £1.50 for each official copy of the Grant they issue. Please note that all court and probate fees are set by the Government and may change from time to time. We will advise you at the outset if changes to the fees have been implemented.
- Bankruptcy only land charges department searches – £2.00 per beneficiary, £4.00 per Executor.
- Statutory Notice fees recommended to protect Executors against unexpected claims from unknown creditors – currently £104.52 for the London Gazette and between £180 and £200 for the local newspaper.
How Long Will My Probate Case Take?
On average, estates that fall within the straightforward range described above are dealt with within 6 months. Typically, obtaining a Grant of Probate in such cases takes 3 months. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4 to 6 weeks. Once this has been done we or you can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2 to 4 weeks. However, this range is merely an indication, and we will try to discuss a more specific time estimate relating to your case with you from the outset and ongoing. In particular, where the administration includes the sale of a property, the timescale will be dependent on the sale.
Cases which do not fall into the straightforward range described above may take longer to deal with.
Stages of the Probate Process Including Our Normal Fees
- Providing you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter.
- Identify the legally appointed Executor or administrators and beneficiaries.
- Accurately identify the type of probate application you will require.
- Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application.
- Complete the probate or similar Grant application and the relevant HMRC forms.
- Make the application to the probate court on your behalf.
- Obtain the probate or other Grant and secure send the agreed number of copies to you.
- Collect and distribute all assets in the estate.