The fees involved in a probate matter will vary depending on the situation and the estate involved. We offer both fixed fees and an hourly rate, whereby you will be charged for each hour of work undertaken.
At the outset, we will provide you with a detailed client care letter setting out who will be working with you and what work will be completed, with information of the costs involved.
We work as a team, with work being completed by an appropriate member of the team. We charge on a time spent basis and your client care letter will detail each persons hourly rate.
Straightforward non-taxable estates – £10,000 – £15,000 plus VAT
- There is a valid, straightforward will
- There is no more than one property and this passes automatically to the joint owner
- There are a small number of bank accounts and certificated shareholdings
- There are a small number of adult beneficiaries and you know them all
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
- There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
The work we do may include:
- Valuing the assets and liabilities of the estate.
- Reporting the inheritance tax position to HMRC on the shorter inheritance tax form.
- Applying to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Probate.
- Collecting in the cash assets of the estate.
- Paying the liabilities of the estate.
- Paying legacies to those named in the Will.
- Dealing with income tax matters where no formal reporting is needed.
Complex estates – £15,000 – £30,000 plus VAT
- There is a more complex Will with for example, trusts are set up and there are multiple legacies or beneficiaries some of whom are minors.
- The assets are numerous and include property, investments, bonds and bank accounts and significant personal possessions which require professional valuation.
- There is inheritance tax payable.
In addition to the work required for a non-taxable estate, the work we do may include:
- Dealing with all aspects of reporting on inheritance tax to HMRC including claiming all available exemptions and allowances, and arranging for payment of the tax to be made to HMRC.
- Dealing with all aspects of the property including liaison with utility companies, managing any maintenance requirements and arranging for insurance.
- Liaising with share registrars to enable the sale or transfer of investments.
- Liaising with accountants regarding formal income tax and capital gains tax reporting.
Highly complex estates – our costs will be from £30,000 plus VAT
In addition to the work required for non-taxable and complex estates, the work we do may include:
- Dealing with overseas assets and advising on any domicile issues arising.
- Dealing with any properties other than the principal residence.
- Dealing with agricultural property.
- Dealing with business property or interests.
- Advising on any associated trusts where the deceased was, for example, a trustee or a beneficiary.
- Liaising with specialist colleagues who deal with any claims arising against the estate, for example, by a person claiming the Will is invalid or that they have not been properly provided for.
In addition to our costs, there will be additional expenses, including:
- Grant of Probate application fee – £273 and £1.50 per copy
- Land Registry search fee – £3 per property
- Bankruptcy search fee – £2 per beneficiary
- Placing Statutory Notices in The London Gazette and a local newspaper – this protects executors against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
How long does it take to finalise an estate?
Our experience shows us that the majority of estates take between 9 and 12 months to finalise. There are exceptions to this, and once we have discussed the circumstances of the estate, we will be able to guide you further.