Fixed Fee Probate

Hourly rate

Our fees will be based on the time we spend carrying out the work required. Time spent will include all meetings with you and others as well as time spent travelling, working on your case and telephone calls. We charge according to hourly rates, which range from £120 + VAT for a trainee solicitor to £325 + VAT for a partner. Total costs are estimated at £5,000 - £8,000 (plus VAT).

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 be at the higher end.Similarly, if inheritance tax is payable this will increase the amount of work required and additional charges will be levied.

As well as our legal fees, you must also pay for any expenses that we incur on your behalf. These expenses are commonly referred to as ‘disbursements’ and sometimes attract VAT. The following disbursements are often payable in probate cases:

  • Probate application fee of £155 (plus 50p for extra additional sealed copy of the Grant of Probate)
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£X per beneficiary)
  • £150/£200 Advert in The London Gazette or in a Local Newspaper – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
  • £3 - £6 per Office Copy entry for each property belonging to the estate

We will confirm which disbursements are payable in your case once we have more information on the estate.

In preparing the fee estimate we have made the following assumptions:

  • There is a valid will / the intestacy rules are clear;
  • There is no more than one property;
  • There are no more than 10 banks or building society accounts;
  • There are no other intangible assets or assets abroad;
  • There are no more than 10 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;
  • All assets and liabilities comprising the estate are based in the UK.

If any of the assumptions are incorrect or if dealing with the estate involves extra, unforeseen work, additional fees will be payable. In such cases, we will agree a fixed fee or provide a fee estimate based on the hourly rates of the lawyers handling the estate.

Our service involves the following work:

  • Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries;
  • Accurately identifying the nature of the probate application required;
  • Obtaining the relevant documents required to make the application;
  • Completing the probate application and the relevant HMRC forms;
  • Advising on potential inheritance tax liabilities;
  • Drafting a legal oath for you to swear;
  • Submitting the application to the Probate Court on your behalf;
  • Obtaining the Probate and securely sending copies to you, as required;
  • Collecting and distributing all estate assets.

Timescales

Whilst the time taken varies from case to case, based on our experience of probate and estate administration we can provide the following indicative timescales:

  • obtaining the grant of probate usually takes 4-12 weeks;
  • collecting assets then follows, which can take 4-6 weeks;
  • once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2-4 weeks;
  • in total therefore, the average estate administration takes 6-9 months.

We will keep you informed of progress throughout, explain the reasons for any delays and advise you if any additional unforeseen work becomes necessary.

Fixed fee

In some cases we may be willing to deal with the probate for a fixed fee. Our fixed fees range from £750 plus VAT - £2,500 plus VAT and are based on us carrying out the following work:

  • Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries;
  • Accurately identifying the nature of the probate application required;
  • Obtaining the relevant documents required to make the application;
  • Completing the probate application and the relevant HMRC forms;
  • Advising on potential inheritance tax liabilities;
  • Drafting a legal oath for you to swear;
  • Submitting the application to the Probate Court on your behalf;
  • Obtaining the Probate and securely sending copies to you, as required;
  • Collecting and distributing all estate assets.

We also offer fixed fees based on the following assumptions:

  • There is a valid will / the intestacy rules are clear;
  • There is no more than one property;
  • There are no more than 10 banks or building society accounts;
  • There are no other intangible assets or assets abroad;
  • There are no more than 10 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;
  • All assets and liabilities comprising the estate are based in the UK.

If any work is required that is outside the summary above, or if any of the assumptions change, we will agree any additional fees with you. Unless we agree otherwise, additional fees will be charged according to our hourly rates, which range from £120 + VAT for a trainee solicitor to £325 + VAT for a partner.

As well as our legal fees, you must also pay for any expenses that we incur on your behalf. These expenses are commonly referred to as ‘disbursements’ and sometimes attract VAT. The following disbursements are often payable in probate cases:

  • Probate application fee of £155 (plus 50p for extra additional sealed copy of the Grant of Probate)
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£X per beneficiary)
  • £150/£200 Advert in The London Gazette or in a Local Newspaper – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
  • £3 - £6 per Office Copy entry for each property belonging to the estate

We will confirm which disbursements are payable in your case once we have more information on the estate.

Timescales

Whilst the time taken varies from case to case, based on our experience of probate and estate administration we can provide the following indicative timescales:

  • obtaining the grant of probate usually takes 4-12 weeks;
  • collecting assets then follows, which can take 4-6 weeks;
  • once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2-4 weeks;
  • in total therefore, the average estate administration takes 6-9 months.

We will keep you informed of progress throughout, explain the reasons for any delays and advise you if any additional unforeseen work becomes necessary.

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