Probate – Process and Costs

Probate – Process and Costs

These prices are a guide, as of September 2020 when the page was last updated. For an individual costestimate, please call 01628 533444 or email info@black-law.co.uk

Every probate case is different, from the simple to the more complex estate with a Will, to the estates that have no Will. We can discuss your requirements once we speak with you and have ascertained the type of estate we are dealing with. We will then be able to send out our Terms of Business to you, which will detail our charges before we start working upon your matter.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances. 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, then costs will be at the higher end. Please note – dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included and will be quoted for separately.

In some cases we charge our hourly rate of £295 +VAT in order to obtain the grant and administer the estate. In other cases we may be able to provide a fixed fee, which could range between £1,500 and £20,000 +VAT, or a percentage (normally 0.75% – 1.5% of the gross value of the estate +VAT). In addition to our costs there will be disbursements, which will be advised to you in advance.

The process is as follows:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate

We anticipate for a much smaller estate, this will take between 5 and 12 hours work at £295 per hour. Total costs estimated between £1,500 – £3,600 (+ VAT and disbursements). In medium estates it is on average 20 – 40 hours, and for complex cases this can exceed 40 hours. In some cases we can therefore provide a fixed fee for obtaining the grant, and thereafter our hourly rate + VAT for the administration of the estate. In other matters we can cap fees at a stated percentage of the gross estate value + VAT.

We will handle the full process for you. These quotes are for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 2 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 2-4 beneficiaries
  • 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
  • There are no claims made against the estate

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

  • Probate application fee of £155
  • Additional copies of the grant cost £0.50 (1 per asset usually required).
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • Notice in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. Approximately £175-£195.
  • Notice in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims. Approximately £150-£175.
  • Registered post delivery (price dependent on weight & size of letter).

If there is no Will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.

On average, most estates are dealt with within 5 – 18 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes around 3 months. Collecting and distributing the assets then follows, which can take from 6-12 months.