Probate Pricing

Probate Pricing

Thank you for looking at Christopher Davidson Solicitors probate services. When someone dies, somebody has to deal with their "estate" and this process is called Probate. A person's estate is considered to be made up of the money, property and any possessions they had at the time of their death. The process of Probate involves collecting any money that is owed, settling any debts due (including outstanding taxes) and dividing the estate amongst the respective beneficiaries.

Why Us

We have a dedicated Probate team led by Steven Felts who is a Solicitor and a member of STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), the Private Client section of the Law Society and a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly who can assist you with every aspect of the probate process.

We are aware that administering an estate comes at a time of grief and high emotion, and we aim to reduce the administrative burden to you as much as possible whilst advising sensitively on key decisions which need to be made when managing an estate. From the outset we aim to give you a clear time frame of how long the matter should take and will keep you and any beneficiaries advised throughout as appropriate.

Services and Pricing

The fees involved in a probate matter can vary and this will depend on the individual circumstances involved. As a firm we offer two different services in respect of Probate –

  1. Grant only service where we obtain the Grant of Representation for you to administer the estate or
  2. Complete Estate Administration Service whereby we deal with all aspect of the Probate process.

Please see below for further information on both of these services to decide which more appropriately suits your needs.

Grant only Service

We can help you obtain the Grant of Probate on a fixed fee basis and for this service we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors, administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and relevant HM Revenue and Customs Inheritance Tax Forms
  • Prepare a Legal Oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send as many copies as you need to you

The amount of the fixed costs depends on the size of the estate as that will dictate which HM Revenue and Customs Inheritance Tax forms need to be completed.

Where an estate is under £325,000 and no tax is payable on the estate the IHT205 form is generally used, although there are various exceptions to this.

Where the estate is taxable for Inheritance tax, the IHT400 Form and associated schedules are generally required although again there are various exceptions to this.

Item

Amount

VAT

Subtotal

Fixed Legal Fees to obtain a Grant of Probate where the IHT205 form is required to be completed.

 £650

£130

£780

Fixed Legal Fees to obtain a Grant of Probate where the IHT400 form and associated schedules are required.

 £1500

£300

£1800

In addition to our fees there are various disbursements that are payable to third parties which we detail below.

Disbursements in respect of Grant only Service

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees or court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Probate fee

£155

Copy Grant

£1.50 per copy

Fee for swearing Oath for Probate

(Generally speaking it is no longer necessary to swear an Oath for Probate

and this would now be dealt with via a statement of Truth)

No Will

£5 per administrator

Will

£7 per executor

Will and 1 Codicil

£9 per executor

Timescales for Grant only Service

On average it takes between 4-10 weeks to obtain a Grant of Representation, although it can take longer and it does depend on a number of factors and we would provide a specific timescale estimate to you at the outset of the matter whenever possible. Please be aware as at the 20th August 2019 the Probate Registry are currently 8-12 weeks behind.

Complete Estate Administrations Service

We also offer a complete Estate Administration Service which would include

  • Obtaining the death certificate either from the person who registered the death – or registering the death on your behalf if appropriate
  • Locating the original Will or establishing who is entitled to the estate under the Intestacy Rules if there is no Will.
  • Checking whether there are any funeral arrangements these may be mentioned in the Will.
  • Establishing whether the estate is solvent
  • Obtaining  passbooks, share certificates, insurance policies etc
  • Locating the Deeds to any properties
  • Securing  any specific gifts left in the Will
  • Discovering all the financial details of the estate, that is the assets and debts and any other liabilities. Also calculate whether taxes may be payable, whether Inheritance Tax, Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax
  • Establishing whether Transferable tax allowances are available for Inheritance Tax purposes.
  • Notifying all interested parties that we are dealing with the administration of the estate – asset holders, pension providers, utilities, insurers, mortgage company etc.
  • Obtaining probate valuations of all assets and debts
  • Complete the HM Revenue and Customs  Inheritance Tax Forms as appropriate and preparing the papers leading to the application for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration
  • If the estate is liable for Inheritance Tax arranging the payment of the same from the estate funds.
  • Obtaining the Grant of Probate
  • Collecting in the assets
  • Discharging the liabilities, filing tax returns and settling tax liabilities
  • Paying the pecuniary legacies and distributing specific gifts
  • Preparing estate accounts
  • Distributing the estate to the residuary beneficiaries and
  • Dealing with any other aspects of the administration as they rise.

Our fees for the Complete Estate Administration Service are charged on a time spent basis and the hourly rates would range from £180-230 plus VAT an hour. Every case is different but in the majority of cases the legal fees for a standard estate administration will range between £1500 to £15,000 plus VAT and disbursements. There are instances where the costs could be much higher than this range, but for an average estate valued at £300,000 consisting of a Property, a couple of bank accounts and other assets with 2/3 beneficiaries and no complications the costs are likely to be around £2500 plus VAT to completely administer the estate.

Ultimately the fees for every estate will vary and be dependent upon the individual circumstances of the matter and amount of fees will depend on a wide range of issues such as the number of beneficiaries , number of gifts, whether the estate includes any property, how much the estate is worth and in particular where it is taxable. The fees will also typically increase, depending on whether there are multiple bank accounts, shares and based on the number and value of any property.

As soon as it is practical you would be given an estimate specific to your matter to deal with the administration of the estate for approval.

If at any time during the course of the matter it looks likely that the costs will exceed the estimate we provide for any reason, we would let you know as soon as possible and discuss the extra costs at that point.

Disbursements for Complete Estate Administrations Service

Disbursements are case dependent so not all of the disbursements listed below will be necessary in each matter.

Probate fee

£155

Copy Grant

£.1.50

 

Fee for swearing Oath for Probate

(Generally speaking it is no longer necessary to swear an Oath for Probate

and this would now be dealt with via a statement of Truth)

No Will

£5 per administrator

Will

£7 per executor

Will and 1 Codicil

£9 per executor

Unclaimed asset search

Circa £160

Section 27 Trustees Act notice fee

£150-£200

Bankruptcy search

£2.40 per person

Land Registry Search fees

£6 per property.

 

 

Time Scales for Complete Estate Administration Service

On average, a complete administration for the typical estate will take between 6 – 15 months. Generally, the time taken to obtain the Grant of Probate will take between 1 – 3 months, followed by the collection of assets and distribution of the assets which can take between 4 -12 months. This range takes into account handling everything from straightforward estate through to more complex estates.

At the outset of the matter we would provide a likely timescale based on the specific aspects of your matter.

Inheritance Tax

In addition to the cost of the estate administration, the estate may be liable for Inheritance Tax and there are various factors that will affect any Inheritance Tax due on an estate, including the size of the estate, any measures that were put in place by the deceased to limit the estates tax liability and who you leave your estate to.

We consequently do not believe that it would be sensible to attempt to provide an estimate of any Inheritance Tax that may be payable on individual estates on our website. As part of our service we would advise you of the Tax liability for your specific matter.

If you would like to be able to calculate what Inheritance Tax may be due there is a calculator on the HMRC website, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-tools-and-calculators#inheritance-tax-and-bereavement

Additional Costs

The costs for Complete Estate Administrations Service do not include

  1. The Conveyancing costs in relation to the selling or transferring any property in the Estate
  2. Specific tax advice in respect of your matter
  3. Third Party costs such as valuation fees for Property, shares and investments
  4. Advice in respect of the initial set up and/or day to day running of any Trust arrangements in the Will
  5. The costs of dealing with any dispute over the terms of the Will/between the beneficiaries or against the Estate
  6. The costs of bringing actions on behalf of the estate i.e. for repossession of property occupied by third parties

This list is not exhaustive and we would give you a specific quote for any additional services that are required as and when it is appropriate to do so.

Key Milestones

With every transaction there are key milestones, which we would guide you through. The key milestones may vary according to individual circumstances in each matter. They may be as follows:

  • Collecting in all of the beneficiaries details and asset information
  • Applying for Grant of Probate
  • Obtaining Grant of Probate
  • Collecting funds ready for distribution
  • Settling liabilities
  • Producing Estate accounts
  • Distributing funds