Price and service information – probate
Obtaining a grant of representation and dealing with the administration of an estate can be complicated. It may take many months to make sure everything is done properly.
We offer a complete estate administration service to deal with everything for you or an alternative grant only service where we just deal with the technical aspects of obtaining the grant and you do the rest of the work before and after.
Prices will vary according to what needs to be done, how much time we need to spend on it and who needs to do that work, from our most experienced lawyers to junior assistants.
Every estate is different, which is why we ask you to contact us so we can provide you with an estimate of the costs to make sure that you get the right amount of support to meet your individual circumstances.
Once you instruct us, we will update you regularly on your costs throughout the matter so you can stay in control. We can’t predict exactly what will happen in any case we handle and sometimes there are surprises and unforeseen problems that demand more time and add to the cost. Examples (and they are only examples) are:
- not having all of the paperwork available, or having missing or incorrect information
- third parties not responding to our communications promptly
- dealing with unusual or more complex assets e.g. fine art, timeshares, private company shares
If complications arise we will tell you and try to forecast the additional cost of the extra work as well as considering if there is any other way around the problem.
Grant only service
We’ll give you an estimate based on the information you can tell us in answer to a few short questions but as a guide the cost of our services is likely to be in a bracket between £1,000 and £2,500 excluding VAT.
What’s usually included?
- Preparation of the formal oath for the personal representatives to swear
- Completion of the accompanying HMRC Inheritance Tax return
- Application to the court for the grant of representation
- Replies to routine queries from the probate registry following the application
- Advice on steps to minimise your liabilities as executor or administrator.
- Regular reviews and updates
- Probate court fees – currently £155 - £160 (no VAT), to include additional copies of probate
- Gathering information about assets and liabilities from third parties
- Advice on the specific provisions of the will including the beneficiaries’ entitlements
- Complex enquiries from the probate registry
- Any steps beyond obtaining the grant
- Asset valuations
Full administration service
This is more difficult to forecast than the grant only option but again we’ll give you an estimate based on the replies to a few simple questions and making some basic assumptions about the assets and potential tasks involved. The cost of our services is likely to be in a bracket between £2,000 and £7,500 excluding VAT.
What’s usually included?
- Advice on the provisions and effects of the will.
- Discovery or verification of values and locations of assets and liabilities.
- Arranging valuations of assets where necessary.
- Completion and submission of HMRC inheritance tax forms.
- Dealing with HMRC in relation to other tax liabilities or entitlements.
- Paying the inheritance tax, if any (from the estate or funds provided by you).
- Dealing with pensions or benefits entitlements and liabilities.
- Advice on utilities, insurance and other continuing property outgoings.
- Advice on limitation of your liabilities as representatives.
- Preparation of legal notices where required.
- Obtaining money laundering identification from the beneficiaries and financial checks.
- Completion and submission of the application for the formal grant of representation.
- Dealing with any enquiries raised by the Probate Registry
- Collection of assets following the grant
- Safe retention of estate assets pending distribution
- Advice on and dealing with income tax and capital gains tax issues
- Payment of estate liabilities including funeral expenses
- Payment of specific legacies and interim distributions to beneficiaries
- Transfer of land or shares to beneficiaries (not third parties)
- Preparation of estate accounts
- Final distribution to beneficiaries including calculation of any interest that may be due and solvency checks
- Advising you generally throughout the whole process where necessary
- Dealing with enquiries from beneficiaries
- Regular reviews and updates.
- Probate court fees – currently £155 - £160 (incl. VAT), to include additional copies of probate
- Costs of official notices – possibly in the region of £250 plus VAT
- Overseas assets
- Farms and other business assets.
- Complex trusts.
- Share or property sales and transfers to third parties.
- More than ten separate shareholdings or other substantial assets.
- Claims or potential litigation against or by the estate.
- Personal tax advice to beneficiaries.
- Intestacies (no will).
- Other exceptional circumstances.
We can deal with all of these matters and it may not cost a great deal more. Just ask us !
Personnel and hourly rates
Our estimates take into account the hourly rates (excl. VAT) at which the time spent on the case by various personnel will be charged. Typically the work may be spread between the following:
- Experienced trust and probate practitioner (STEP member) - £180
- Graduate legal executive/assistant solicitor - £150
- Trainee solicitor/paralegal - £120