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Pricing

Our pricing for applying for a Grant of Probate.

The costs of applying for a Grant of Probate can vary considerably depending on a number of factors including the value and composition of the estate, the complexity of any Will, the number and location of beneficiaries and whether there are any contentious issues.  All costs shown below are exclusive of VAT which will be charged at the applicable rate in force at the time.  Currently that is 20%.

By way of indication only, our charges for applying for a Grant of Probate and administering an estate are likely to be within the following ranges :

  • Simple Case: We anticipate that this will take between 4 – 10 hours work to obtain the grant of probate at the relevant fee-earners’ standard rates of £175.00 / £200.00 / £250.00 (plus VAT) per hour.
  • Medium Complexity Case: We anticipate that this will take between 11 – 25 hours work to obtain the grant of probate at £175.00 / £200.00 / £250.00 (plus VAT) per hour.
  • High Complexity Case: We anticipate that this will take between 25 – 50 hours work to obtain the grant of probate at £175.00 / £200.00 / £250.00 (plus VAT) per hour.

These examples are for guidance only and the exact costs will vary depending on the nature and extent of work required.  For example, if there is only one beneficiary and a small number of assets then the cost is likely to be at the lower end of the range.  If there are multiple beneficiaries, a complex Will and numerous assets of differing types then the cost will be at the higher end.

Some of the factors which could make an application for a Grant of Probate more complicated, and so more time consuming and expensive, are :

  • A large portfolio of shareholdings
  • Multiple properties
  • There is an inheritance tax liability
  • There are income tax or capital gains tax issues to consider
  • Advice in relation to trusts is required
  • There is a requirement to correspond with third parties
  • There are disputes between executors or beneficiaries
  • There are claims against the estate
  • A deed of variation is required
  • There is an overseas asset or other foreign element

In addition to our hourly rates, we may also charge a fee based on the overall value of the estate.  This is known as a “value element” and varies depending on whether or not partners in this firm act as executors.

Where one or more partners act as executors then the value element will typically be :

  • 5% of the gross value of the estate excluding the deceased’s residence (plus VAT); and
  • 75% of the gross value of the deceased’s residence (plus VAT)

Where we do not act as executors then the value element will typically be :

  • 1% of the gross value of the estate excluding the deceased’s residence (plus VAT); and
  • 5% of the gross value of the deceased’s residence (plus VAT)

For large estates, in excess of £1m, the percentage charged on the gross estate will reduce as follows (plus VAT in all cases) :

  • 1 1/2% of the first £1 million (plus VAT)
  • ½% of the next £1 – £4 million
  • 1/6% of the next £4 to £8 million
  • 1/12% of the next £8 to £12 million
  • 1/24% of anything in excess of £12 million

Expenses (also called Disbursements)

In addition to our charges, a number of other expenses may be incurred in making your application.  We will be able to provide full details in each individual case but in general these will include :

  • Probate Court Application Fee                               £155
  • Additional copies of the Grant of Probate 50p each
  • Bankruptcy searches                                              £2 per beneficiary
  • Statutory Advertisements for creditors £275 plus VAT

How long will it take?

The application process can take considerable time.

There is a legal concept called the Executors’ Year which provides a minimum timescale of 12 months from death in which the executors should deal with the estate administration.  However large and/or complex estates can take longer than this.

It would not be unusual for the process of obtaining details of the estate in order to prepare an application for a Grant of Probate to take at least 3 months.

Once the application is submitted the Probate registry will typically take a further 2 – 3 months to process the application.  If Inheritance Tax is payable then a further month is likely to be required in order to pay any tax and obtain confirmation of receipt from HMRC.

Once the Grant of Probate has been issued, a further 3 – 6 months might be required in order to collect in the deceased’s assets, pay any liabilities, prepare accounts and effect distributions.

What work will we do?

We will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced solicitor or probate practitioner 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 required to make the application.
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms.
  • Draft a legal statement oath for you to complete.
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf.

Work undertaken after obtaining the Grant of Probate

  • Our costs estimate above does not include any further work once the Grant of Probate has been obtained. If you instruct us to deal with collecting in and distributing the assets we will provide you with a further estimate of costs. This costs estimate will be based on the hourly rate of the applicable fee earner.
  • We can provide you with a time estimate for collection or transfer of the assets and distribution to the beneficiaries.
    The merits of each case will be different and the estimate of costs will be tailored to each individual case.

What is not included?

Our costs for applying for the Grant of Probate and/or administering an estate do not include any costs associated with the sale of the deceased’s residential or other property.

Should such work be required then we will be able to provide you with a separate estimate for the conveyancing work required.

The above costs are indicative for a non-contentious matter.  Should the Will or estate administration become contested in any way then we will need to provide you with a separate estimate for the additional work required.