Estate Administration (Probate) Fees
We aim to give you an idea as to the likely costs involved in applying for the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration, and administering an estate in full. However please be aware that the costs mentioned herein are simply to provide you with an indication; as all matters vary and each client’s requirements are different.
Fixed Fee Probate/Letters of Administration Application
We can assist you with obtaining the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration only, on a fixed fee basis. This will include identifying the type of Probate application you will require, advising the Executor of the information required and completing the relevant application forms based on the information provided, and thereafter submitting the same to HMCTS and the Probate Registry on the Executors behalf. Once the Grant has been obtained it will be forwarded on to the Executor and the Executor will then be responsible for collecting in and distributing the assets.
The cost for this service
- Applying for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration only on a straightforward estate (utilising the form IHT205) would be legal fees of £850.00 plus VAT on the legal fees of £170.00 and disbursements. This would be where the estate is less than £325,000.00.
- Applying for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration only on a straightforward estate, where we seek to apply for the rollover of an unused nil rate band (utilising form IHT205 and IHT217) would be legal fees of £950 plus VAT on the legal fees of £190.00 and disbursements. This is based on the estate being less than £650,000.00 and 100% of the unused nil rate band of the first spouse is available.
- Applying for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration only where an Inheritance Tax Account is to be delivered (utilising form IHT400) would be legal fees in the region of £1,000 – £2,000 plus VAT (£200.00-£400.00) and disbursements. This may involve a claim for the Residence Nil Rate Band, for example.
What is the time frame?
Obtaining the Grant can take anywhere between 10-14 weeks. Once we have the information from the Executor and have submitted the approved forms, the Probate Registry can take from 6-10 weeks to issue the Grant.
Hourly Rate work
The cost of a full administration of an estate, which would include applying for the Grant, collecting in and distributing the assets; would be based on the hourly rate of the qualified solicitor dealing with your matter.
The hourly rate applied will be dependent on the qualification and experience of your solicitor and these rates are set out below:
- Partner/Member Solicitor: £250
- Senior Solicitor or Head of Dept: (PQE 8yr+) £225
- Assistant Solicitor/Fee Earner: (PQE 3/7yr) £200
- NQ Fee Earner: (PQE 1/3yr) £170
- Paralegals/Trainees: £120
- Support paralegals: £100
You will be notified from the outset of the matter, as to who will be dealing with your matter and the rate(s) applicable.
Whilst every matter turns on its own facts, we would expect most matters to involve between 10- 40 hours of work, with costs in the region of £2,250 – £8,000 plus VAT (£450.00- £1,600.00) and disbursements. We would administer the estate in full, and this estimate is based on there being a valid Will, only one property, five or less bank or building society accounts, no disputes between the beneficiaries, no inheritance tax payable with the completion of the full Inland Revenue Account to HMRC and no claims against the estate.
Please note that we also charge an uplift in line Law Society Guidelines, which takes into account the complexity and value of the deceased’s estate. Accordingly, the rate applied is 0.5% in reference to the real estate (i.e. property) and 1% in relation to the free estate (i.e. cash, investments etc)
All fees are quoted exclusive of VAT, we will charge VAT at the standard rate applied by the government which is 20%.
What is the time frame for dealing with the administration of an estate?
Typically, estates that would be covered in this estimate would be dealt with in 6-12 months. As previously set out obtaining the Grant can take anywhere between 10-14 weeks. Thereafter, we will be liaising with the asset holders to close bank accounts down and this can take between 4-6 weeks. If there is a property to sell this can also impact the timeline. Once the Executors are satisfied that the assets have been drawn in and all liabilities settled and they have approved the estate accounts, the estate will be distributed and this is usually within two weeks of receiving the same.
However, please note whilst we will endeavour to do our best to meet such timelines, we are reliant on third parties and therefore these estimated timelines may be subject to change.
This list is not exhaustive but an indication as to what may be due:
- Court Fee £155.00
- Sealed copies of the Grant £1.50 each
- Bankruptcy searches £2/person
- S27 Trustee Act Notices £200 (Approx)
- Re-issued dividend cheques or fees for lost certificates (these are set by the third party)
Potential additional costs
Further costs could arise in the following situations:
- There is no Will
- The estate consists of numerous shareholdings
- There are international beneficiaries
- There is a Trust in the Will
- The deceased made considerable gifts during the last seven years of their lifetime
- Inheritance Tax is payable
- There is a dispute between beneficiaries and/or Executors
- A missing beneficiary
*Please be aware that where a property is involved, the cost of the transfer or sale thereof is not included*
Please be assured that at your initial appointment, the solicitor will discuss your requirements in full and provide you with a costs estimate.