Price Information – Probate work
The following information applies to simple estates i.e. estates where a grant of probate is required and:
- All assets are in England or Wales;
- The Will is valid and is the last Will made by the deceased;
- There is no more than one property and that property is registered with HM Land Registry;
- There are no more than four bank/building society/post office/NS&I accounts;
- The only other assets are personal belongings;
- All assets are known to the executors and there is no requirement to make online or other searches for assets;
- There are no more than four beneficiaries;
- None of the beneficiaries are charities;
- There is no requirement for online searches for missing assets
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of the estate or between executors as to the administration of the estate;
- There are no claims against the estate either from creditors or from people who believe that they have been left out of the Will;
- There is no inheritance tax payable and/or no events that require disclosure to HMRC and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC; and
- There is no pre-death or administration income tax or capital gains tax reporting required.
If in these circumstances, we are instructed to obtain the grant of probate for you and administer the estate (i.e. handle the whole process for you), then our fees are likely to be in the region of £3,000 – £5,500 plus VAT. If the estate is a small one (e.g. only one property and one small bank account or only a few cash assets and no property), then our fees are likely to be at the lower end of the range.
If the estate comprises a property, then there will be an additional fee to transfer it to the beneficiary/ies of £375 plus VAT. If the property is to be sold, please refer to our price information for residential property transactions here for an indication of fees payable.
There will be other expenses to be paid in addition to the above. These will include some or all of the following all of which are paid to outside providers (i.e. they are not part of the fees payable to us for the legal work that we are doing):
- Probate court fee – £273.00;
- Copies of the grant of probate – £1.50 per copy;
- Land Charges Department searches – £2.00 + VAT per search (bankruptcy checks);
- Notices in local newspaper and London Gazette – about £200.00 (including VAT) – dependent on what the local newspaper charges (these protect the executors against unexpected claims);
- Land Registry fees of £6 + VAT to obtain title of a property in the estate;
- Land Registry fees to transfer the property to the beneficiary/ies – these are calculated according to the value of the property (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hm-land-registry-registration-services-fees)
In order to comply with the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 and our professional rules regarding money laundering and proceeds of crime, we need to obtain evidence of our clients’ identity and that of other relevant people involved in the matter as soon as is practicable. We are also required to undertake verification of identity documents provided as proof of identity (and those of any other person involved in the transaction such a beneficiary. We will tell you in advance how much this expense will be for the individual matter. We charge £3.14/£8.98 + VAT for each electronic verification check undertaken on each individual involved in the matter. The actual cost depends upon the type of verification check we undertake, which will be confirmed in our formal quote (these costs are correct for quotes issued after 28 August 2023).
All fees and expenses are paid from the estate and not by you personally.
It is hard to estimate how long the administration of a simple estate will take as a lot depends on the response of others and the availability of the executors, but assuming that all information is provided at the first meeting and that there is no need to contact other sources for further information, then it is usually possible to have probate papers ready for signature within four weeks of that meeting. It then takes a couple of weeks to obtain the grant of probate and a further four weeks or so to collect in all the assets. It is sometimes the case that we have to wait for Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to confirm that there are no repayments due to it, but assuming that this is not the case, once the estate accounts have been approved by the executors and final distributions have been made, it will usually have taken something in the region of three to four months from the date of the first meeting. We will advise you at our meeting of the likely timescale and of anything that may mean that it will take longer.
We will always discuss the procedure and cost of a probate with you at the outset and will confirm that information in the form of a letter of engagement to you. Unless agreed otherwise, we will not start work on the matter, and you will not have committed the estate to paying any fees, until you have returned the letter of engagement to us duly signed.
We have an experienced team of lawyers who specialise in work of this type. Collectively they have been doing probate work for over 60 years and the firm as a whole has specialised in private client work for approaching 200 years. You can find out more about our team on this website (Meet the Team). Regardless of who does the work, they will be supervised by Louise Davies or Laura Carter, both of whom are partners.
For further information about the administration of a simple estate or to discuss the process and costs of administering a more complex estate, please do not hesitate to contact us. You may also find the following links helpful:-
(information current as at 29 August 2023)