Pricing for Probate Matters
The pricing detailed below is an estimate only. Each case is different and we will agree our charges with you at the outset of the case. In most cases we will be prepared to offer a fixed price for the work involved but this depends upon our assessment of the merits of the particular case.
When dealing with the administration of an estate, we can offer as little or as much assistance as the personal representatives (also called executors or administrators) require. Some people ask us to deal solely with applying for the grant of probate or letters of administration from the Probate Registry on their behalf.
We offer fixed fees for this work as follows:-
Straightforward application for a grant only including completion of IHT 205 (Inheritance Tax: return of estate information) and no administration of the estate
£750 + VAT @ 20%
Disbursements – see below
Straightforward application for a grant including completion of IHT 205 (Inheritance Tax: return of estate information) and IHT 217 (claim for transfer of unused nil rate band) and no administration of the estate
£850 + VAT @ 20%
Disbursements – see below
Application for a grant including completion of IHT400 (Inheritance Tax account) and supporting schedules, no estate administration.
£2,000 + VAT @ 20%
Disbursements – see below
In these cases, you will need provide us with the information required to complete the necessary forms and we will prepare the application for the Probate Registry. Once we have received the grant, we will pass this to you and you will be responsible for gathering the assets, paying off liabilities and distributing the estate.
Alternatively, personal representatives sometimes ask us to deal with the entire estate. Set out below are the average costs of dealing with an estate. These figures will however vary depending on the circumstances of the case. That is why we will always give you an individual costs estimate at the start of the claim which will take into account the individual circumstances of your case.
Our costs are based on the amount of time we spend working on your case. Our hourly rate for this type of work will be charged at £260 + VAT @ 20% per hour.
A few examples:-
For a straightforward estate requiring an application to the Probate Registry, minimal assets and liabilities to deal with, one property involved and only a very small number of beneficiaries our costs would be in the region of £1,250 – 1,500 + VAT @ 20% and disbursements.
For a more complex estate requiring an application to the Probate Registry, possibly with Inheritance Tax to pay, more substantial assets, investments, property or properties, assets abroad and a greater number of beneficiaries our costs would start at £2,500 + VAT @ 20% and disbursements and be charged on a time spent basis.
Examples of factors that could make a case more complex:
A badly drafted will.
Large numbers of beneficiaries.
A complicated family tree if there is no will.
If the deceased owned a business and/or farm.
In all cases you should be aware that the sale of property will be handled separately and will not be included in any quote we give to you.
In most cases there will be very few disbursements. Depending on the nature of the case some examples are:
(a) Oath fees – personal representatives are usually required to swear an oath in front of an independent solicitor – the fee is usually £5/7 per personal representative.
(b) Probate fee – this is a payment to the Court for the grant and is £273 for the original and a further £1.50 for every copy required.
(c) Bankruptcy searches – before we pay any money to beneficiaries, we are required to carry out bankruptcy searches at a cost of £2 + VAT @ 20% per beneficiary..
In every case we will tell you the proposed disbursement and the cost before it is incurred.
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a case whether you have asked us to simply apply to the Probate Registry or deal with the whole estate:
Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on the will and distribution of the estate
Preparing the application for the Probate Registry and forms required by HMRC regarding Inheritance Tax;
If you have asked us to deal with the full estate, our work will also include .
Advising on the will or intestacy rules (if there is no will)
Notifying all relevant companies – banks, building societies, investment companies, utility companies etc
Drafting the application for the Probate Registry and forms required by HMRC
Applying for the grant
Sending the grant to the relevant companies to cash in assets and pay off all liabilities
liaising with HMRC regarding tax as and when needed
Preparing estate accounts and distributing the estate
How long will your matter take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the complexity and the exact work you have asked us to undertake and whether there is Inheritance Tax to pay. We will advise you on the likely timescale at the initial meeting.
Our Probate Dept is headed by Solicitor and Partner, Maria Calvy