The administration of the estate of each deceased person differs in terms of the amount of work that might be required to be carried out in order to complete the job, as each person has their own unique set of assets and liabilities etc.
Including court costs, a probate matter can attract a bill from around £500 plus VAT for the most straightforward of jobs, through to £3000 plus VAT or more for more complicated estates.
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the 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 will increase, as we charge according to the amount of time we spend on a matter .
An average estate will take between 3 to 4 hours in terms of chargeable time, at the rate of £180 per hour. Letters and telephone calls are charged at £18 each. The matter will be dealt with by our senior partner. We do NOT charge a percentage fee (unlike many other firms) – we simply bill you for the work done.
We will handle the full process for you. We will give you an estimate at the commencement of our work.
The estimate for the administration of an estate will be affected by whether:
- There is a valid will
- There is more than one property
- There are one or many bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are few or numerous beneficiaries
- There are disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets (If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
- There is inheritance tax payable and if the executors need to submit a full account to HMRC
- There are claims made against the estate
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.
Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included – there will be additional costs for transferring/selling property which will be a fixed fee made known to you.
Disbursements are charges 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. Certain disbursements will be incurred as follows
- Probate application fee of around £170
- £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
Other disbursements may arise:
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£5 per beneficiary)
- £50 Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
- £30 Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.
- If any additional copies of the grant are required at the time we make the application for a grant, they will cost £0.50 (1 per asset usually).
On average, an estate will take 3-4 months to deal with from start to finish. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6 weeks. Collecting in assets then follows, which can take between 2-3 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2 weeks.
A typical Probate case involves:
- Taking instructions regarding the terms of the will, identifying assets, liabilities , beneficiaries, assessing what else needs to be addressed (e.g. funeral, memorial, pensions, domestic accounts, mortgage/tenancy issues etc ) and requesting any additional information/documentation from client – 1 hour average (£180)
- Dealing with banks, beneficiaries, collating all information so as to ascertain the value of the estate, drawing up HMRC and Probate documentation – 1 hour average (£180) plus 6 letters out (£108)
- Attending on client again to go through paperwork, arranging swear and submitting application for probate – 30 mins average (£90), probate and swear fees £170
- Upon securing probate, dealing with liquidation of assets and providing accounts for approval prior to distributing funds – 1 hour average (£180) plus 6 letters out (£108)
- Total average account in this example – £756 + VAT plus disbursements £170 = £1077.20
The costs information given here is general, and we will give you more precise and personalised information when we have discussed with you your individual matter.
Our fees for this type of work are set on a fixed fee basis:
- Straight forward Single will – £80 plus VAT
- Straightforward Mirror wills – £140 plus VAT
You will be advised at your first appointment whether or not your will can be prepared for this price and if not what the cost will be.
Lasting Power of Attorney
Drafting a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) (financial and/or health and welfare):
- £200 plus VAT for drafting a single LPA
- £350 plus VAT for drafting two LPA’s
- £150 plus VAT our charges for registering each LPA
Other charges and costs that could apply:
- Office of the public Guardian Registration fee £82.00 for each LPA
- Medical expert fees for certifying capacity to give instructions (charge by the Expert)