Winnington Hall, Northwich, Cheshire : 01606 212291

Probate fees and costs

Under SRA rules, Solicitors are required to publish information regarding their fees and services in relation to the administration of a deceased person’s estate (also referred to as “probate”). We are required to publish information regarding our fees and services in relation to uncontested probate cases where all of the assets are in the UK.

Our fees will be based on the time expended on the administration, as outlined in the accompanying terms and conditions leaflet. There may also be expenditure we incur directly on your behalf (disbursements).

(a) Our fees

The exact cost and timescales will depend upon the individual circumstances of each matter, for example if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs and timescales will be at the higher end of the range.

You will appreciate that it is very difficult to estimate a likely fee before we know anything about the nature and complexity of a particular estate. Call us today for one of our specialist solicitors to provide you with an estimate.

  • Excepted estates – We would provisionally estimate in a straightforward matter (usually an estate under £650,000 or on the death of a first spouse), fees range between £950 – £3,000 +VAT up to extraction of the Grant of Representation.
  • Estate requiring full Tax Account (IHT400) – We would provisionally estimate in a more complex estate, needing to expend between 20 and 40 hours work meaning costs would be estimated at between £2,500 and £6,000 +VAT up to extraction of the Grant of Representation.

Our hourly rate is £255.00 +VAT and is subject to general annual review.

The above costs estimates are based on the assumption that we carry out all work in the estate administration.

If we incurred difficulties which could impact the estimates, then we would notify you at that stage.

(b) Relevant Factors

These estimates are for estates where:

  1. There is a valid Will.
  2. There is no more than one property.
  3. There are no more than 15 bank or building society accounts.
  4. There are no other intangible assets.
  5. There are 1-10 beneficiaries.
  6. There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  7. There are no claims against the estate.

(c) Value Element

The Law Society permits solicitors to charge a value element on probate matters. The value element is payable in addition to fees, relevant VAT and disbursements.

The amount of the value element is set by the Law Society and is:

0.5% of the value of the home plus 1% of the value of any remaining estate.  The value element tends to increase overall costs considerably.

We do not always charge the value element. In making a decision, we will consider the circumstances of each case and make an assessment of risk. For examples of relevant factors taken into consideration, please see above.

(d) Disbursements

In addition to our fees, disbursements may also be payable and those relevant could be the following:-

Oath settling fee:                               £10.00

Probate Registry fees:                       £273.00 (plus 1.50p per copy)

Statutory Notices fee:                       £190.00 (approximately)

Property Valuation fee:                    £240.00 if required (approximately)

Household Contents valuation fee:   Varies (if required – usually for taxable estates)

Compulsory bankruptcy fees            £2.00 per person named in a Will

HMLR title information                    £4.00-7.00.

VAT may apply to certain disbursements.

(e) Our Services

We will always agree the services included in our estimated fee and confirm this (in writing) at the outset. However, we have set out below some of the services that are included within the estimates:-

  • Provide you with a dedicated and appropriately experienced member of our team who will be your main point of contact
  • Meet with you to take your instructions and give initial advice
  • Identify whether there is a Will
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Advise the legally appointed executors or administrators on their duties and responsibilities
  • Ascertain whether the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax
  • Determine whether any reliefs from Inheritance Tax could apply
  • Advise you on the type of Probate application you will require and the process
  • Complete the probate application and HMRC forms
  • Draft the legal Oath
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Arrange the payment of Inheritance Tax from the estate
  • Obtain Probate
  • Collect in and distribute all assets in the estate

You may require additional services that are not included in the estimated fee, for example:-

  • Selling or transferring property
  • Preparing Tax Returns
  • Advising on / creating / managing any on-going Trusts
  • Deeds of Variation (used to vary the terms of a Will)

If you require any services not included in the estimated fee, we will always discuss this with you, provide you with a further estimate and / or refer you to someone who can help.

(f) How long will your matter take?

This will depend on a number of factors, such as whether there is a valid Will, the value, number and nature of the assets in the estate and whether inheritance tax is payable. On average, estates that are not subject to inheritance tax are concluded within 3 to 12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of representation takes between 6 to 12 weeks. Collecting assets takes between 2 to 4 weeks (if there is no house or other land or property). Distributing the estate takes between 1 week to 8 months (depending upon the Personal Representatives’ instructions regarding waiting a full 10 months post the date of the Grant of Representation).