We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. We will also undertake the collecting and distributing of assets which is known as the administration of the estate.
How much does this service cost?
Applying for the grant
We will obtain the Grant of Probate for a fixed fee of £800 plus VAT (£960). This service is available only where assets do not exceed £100,000 and no IHT is payable.
Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets
We provide a fixed fee service for undertaking the administration of the estate in which we will obtain a Grant of Probate and realise the estate’s assets. The costs of this service will be based on the gross probate value of the estate as follows:
Gross Probate Value of the Estate Fixed fee Up to £25,000 £1,250 plus VAT (£1,500) Greater than £25,000 but no more than £50,000 £1,750 plus VAT (£2,100) Greater than £50,000 but no more than £200,000 4% plus VAT Greater than £200,000 but no more than £500,000 3% plus VAT Greater than £500,000 but no more than £1,000,000 2.5% plus VAT Greater than £1,000,000 2% plus VAT
We shall add to our fee the cost of any disbursements. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees and statutory notices. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Court fees: these are currently £160 for the grant plus the necessary copies. This will change if the government’s protocols proceed. The proposed probate fees which are expected to come into force from April 2019 are as follows:
Value of estate (before inheritance tax) Proposed Fee Up to £50,000 or exempt from requiring a grant of probate £0 £50,000 – £300,000 £250 £300,000 – £500,000 £750 £500,000 – £1m £2,500 £1m – £1.6m £4,000 £1.6m – £2m £5,000 Above £2m £6,000
Statutory notices: whilst the cost varies, the average is £250-£350. We shall discuss the need for these when instructed.
Certainty search: the cost is £90. We shall advise when this is necessary.
As part of our fixed fee service we will:
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
- Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
- Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
- Obtain the relevant documents and figures required to make the application
- Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
- Make the application to the Probate court on your behalf
- Obtain the Probate and supply a copy to you
- Collect and distribute all assets in the estate
- Prepare and supply estate accounts to show all monies received in and paid out
The scope of our fixed fee service is however limited to circumstances where:
- There is a valid will
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets
- The are no claims made against the estate
- For estates up to £500,000 there is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC (for estates above £500,000 the fixed fee includes preparation of a full IHT return if necessary)
Potential additional costs
In circumstances where your matter falls outside the scope of (i) to (iv) above, it is likely that costs in addition to our fixed fee will be incurred. For example:
- 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
- If any disputes arise between beneficiaries or a claim is made against the estate then significant additional costs may be incurred in dealing with such disputes or claims
- If inheritance tax is payable and extensive correspondence with HMRC becomes necessary, for example where values are disputed by HMRC, this may incur additional costs
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included, please see our table of conveyancing fees
There is therefore a possibility that the exact cost may be greater than our fixed fee which will be dependent on the individual circumstances of your matter.
How long will this take?
On average, estates that fall within the range of our fixed fee service are dealt with within 9-12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-8 weeks. Collecting assets then follows which can take between 2-4 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets which normally takes 2-3 weeks. The overall timescale quoted assumes that the time limits for creditors under the statutory notices (2 months from publication) and other claimants under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (6 months from probate) are adhered to.
Bigger estates may take longer due to protracted negotiations with HMRC or other organisations.
All work is supervised by an experience Private Client Solicitor.