Pricing

Probate Pricing

Who will work on my Matter?

We have a team of experienced solicitors, a number of whom are STEP qualified, supported by paralegals who will work on your matter.

We work as a team to ensure that the right work is done by the right person but will always let you know who is primarily working on your matter and who can contact with any queries.

Full details of the team, including individual profiles can be found here https://www.fdrlaw.co.uk/site/for-you/wills-trusts-and-probate/

What will you do and how much will it cost?

Applying for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration only

What we will do

  • Obtain details of the estate’s assets and liabilities.
  • Prepare an Inheritance Tax account.
  • Prepare an Oath for Executors/Administrators.
  • Submit your application for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration to the Probate Registry.
  • Send the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration to you once received from the Probate Registry.

What it might cost

Ordinarily we anticipate that this work will take approximately 4 to 6 hours work.  The hourly rate will vary depending on the person carrying out the work but will usually be between £195 and £225 per hour excluding VAT.  Total costs are therefore likely to be in the region of £780 to £1,350 plus VAT.  At current rates of VAT, the total, VAT inclusive cost, is likely to be in the region of £936 to £1,620.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter.  We will be able to provide you with a better estimate once we have full details from you.  Matters which are likely to cost more include, but are not limited to, estate where :

  • There are numerous assets.
  • There are assets outside England and Wales.
  • There is an Inheritance Tax liability.
  • Claims need to be made for Inheritance Tax reliefs.

In addition to our fees, the following disbursements are likely to apply :

  • £155 Probate Registry fee.
  • £0.50 for each additional copy of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
  • £5 Oath swearing fee per executor/administrator.
  • £2 Oath swearing fee per document (eg Will or Codicil).

Disbursements are costs related to your matter which are payable to third parties.  They are payable in addition to our fees and we ask that you let us have a payment on account of them at the beginning of the matter.

How long it might take

If there are no complicating factors, we would expect to obtain the Grant for you within 3 – 6 months.

Tax

Inheritance Tax may also be payable.  This will depend on the specific circumstances of the matter.  If Inheritance Tax is payable, it will be your responsibility to pay it as we cannot fund it on your behalf.

Applying for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, collecting and distributing the estate’s assets

What we will do

  • Obtain details of the estate’s assets and liabilities.
  • Prepare an Inheritance Tax account.
  • Prepare an Oath for Executors/Administrators.
  • Submit your application for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration to the Probate Registry.
  • Register the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration with relevant third parties once received from the Probate Registry.
  • Prepare estate accounts.
  • Register the estate with HMRC and submit income tax returns for the estate if required.
  • Arrange statutory advertisements for creditors if required.
  • Arrange distributions to beneficiaries.

More detail about the work we will do is included in our client guide which can be accessed here https://www.fdrlaw.co.uk/cms/document/PC_EA1_Estate_Administration.pdf

The extent of the work and the time it takes can vary considerably depending on a large number of factors including, but not limited to :

  • the value of the estate
  • the nature and location of assets
  • the number of executors/administrators and beneficiaries
  • whether we act as professional executors
  • whether any trusts are established
  • whether Inheritance Tax needs to be paid

What it might cost

We charge for estate administration based on a combination of the time taken and the value of the estate.  Our charges are also higher if we act as Executors.

  • If we do not act as Executors, the value element of our charges is :
    • 0.5% of the value of the deceased’s share in their home; plus
    • 1% of the balance of the gross value of the estate.
  • If we act as Executors, the value element of our charges is :
    • 0.75% of the value of the deceased’s home; plus
    • 1.5% of the balance of the gross value of the estate.
  • If the total value of the estate exceeds £1 million, a different value element will apply as follows :
    • 1 ½% of the first £1 million
    • ½% of the next £1 million to £4 million
    • 1/6% of the next £4 million to £8 million
    • 1/12% of the next £8 million to £12 million
    • 1/24% of the balance above £12 million

For an average matter we anticipate that the estate administration will take between 15 and 20 hours work.  The hourly rate will vary depending on the person carrying out the work but will usually be between £195 and £225 per hour excluding VAT. 

Total costs are therefore likely to be in the region of £2,925 to £4,500 plus VAT plus the value element.  At current rates of VAT, the total, VAT inclusive cost, is likely to be in the region of £3,510 to £5,400 plus the value element.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter.  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.

As an example, in a matter where we did not act as executors and the value of the estate was £250,000 comprising a house in the deceased’s sole name worth £200,000 and savings of £50,000 in a single bank account, our charges might be :

  • Time costs £2,925 plus VAT of £585
  • Value element on the house of £200,000 x 0.5% = £1,000 plus VAT of £200
  • Value element on the savings f £50,000 x 1% = £500 plus VAT of £100
  • Total, VAT inclusive cost, £5,310

In addition to our fees, the following disbursements are likely to apply :

  • £155 Probate Registry fee.
  • £0.50 for each additional copy of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
  • £5 Oath swearing fee per executor/administrator.
  • £2 Oath swearing fee per document (eg Will or Codicil).
  • £2 bankruptcy search fee for each beneficiary
  • £275 fee for statutory advertisements for creditors

How long it might take

Executors have a statutory period of at least 12 months to administer an estate and complex matters can take significantly longer.

It can take several months to obtain all of the details needed to prepare the application for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. 

If Inheritance Tax needs to be paid and an account submitted to HMRC, this must usually be done before we can apply for the Grant.  HMRC often take at least a month to process accounts.

The Probate Registry usually issues the Grant within 2 weeks of receiving all of the necessary papers.

Once the Grant is available we will collect in the estate’s assets and settle liabilities.  The length of time this takes varies considerably depending on the nature of the assets but can take several months. 

Once all assets have been collected in and liabilities settled, we will ask the Executors to approve the estate accounts.  Once that has been done, we will arrange distribution of assets.  This usually only takes 1 – 2 weeks but can be significantly longer if there are any difficulties contacting beneficiaries or if they do not supply details we need from them.

Settling the estate’s tax affairs and obtaining tax clearance from HMRC can take considerable time.  It is not possible to provide an estimate as it will depend on the complexity of the estate and HMRC’s own processes.

Tax

Inheritance Tax may also be payable.  This will depend on the specific circumstances of the matter.  If Inheritance Tax is payable, it will be your responsibility to pay it as we cannot fund it on your behalf.

Additional Costs

The following gives examples of matters which are not included in the above estimates and would need to be dealt with separately.  In many cases, if any of these matters applied, the estate administration could take much longer and the costs could be significantly higher :

  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any estate property
  • Dealing with any assets located outside England and Wales
  • Disputes between beneficiaries
  • Any contentious matters including disputes between beneficiaries, claims against the estate or the validity of the Will.
  • Insolvent estates
  • HMRC compliance checks, negotiations with HMRC or submission of additional or corrective accounts.

Important Note

The above scenarios are examples and the costs and timescales are for guidance only, they are not quotes and will not form the basis of any engagement between us.  We will provide full details of likely costs and timescales for your individual matter at the beginning of your matter.  Those specific details will supersede the general information provided here.

Useful links

Further information about Inheritance Tax can be found here https://www.gov.uk/browse/tax/inheritance-tax

Further information about the estate administration process can be found here https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance