CALL 0800 437 0322 FREE 24 hours a day
Submit enquiry

Probate and estate administration – Fee structure

Probate is the process required to obtain the legal authority to deal with the estate of a deceased’s person and consists of reporting to H M Revenue & Customs and applying for a grant of probate or administration (on intestacy). The estate is then administered in accordance with the Will (or the intestacy rules) by collecting, distributing and accounting for the assets. Our services are limited to grants issued in the courts of England and Wales. Details of the principal members of the Private Client Team are noted below.

In cases where a full report is required to be produced to H M Revenue & Customs on Form IHT400 we charge as set out in Section A.

In cases where the short form procedure using HMRC Form IHT205 is available and the matter is very straightforward fixed fees may be appropriate and these are set out in Section B.

Section A:

Simple Estates

We anticipate the probate process (on the basis detailed below) will take, on average, between 10 and 20 hours work. The rate of charge will depend on the seniority and experience of the person responsible for the work.

Rates for qualified staff vary between £195 per hour plus VAT to £290 per hour plus VAT. The person allocated to assist you will depend on the complexity of the estate.

The following is only an estimate and it is based on a relatively simple estate as described below. At £195 per hour total costs would be between £1,950 to £3,900 plus VAT and disbursements and at £290 per hour between £2,900 to £5,800 plus VAT and disbursements. For likely disbursements see below.

This estimate is only 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 5-10 beneficiaries and their addresses are known.
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this will likely lead to an increase in costs.
  • There are no claims made against the estate.
  • There are no assets outside England and Wales.

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.

In addition, all or some of the following disbursements may be payable: –

  • Probate application fee currently £155.00.
  • Official copies of the Grant currently £0.50 per copy.
  • Swearing of the oath (per executor) – £5 plus £2 per each exhibit (Will and any codicils).
  • H M Land Registry Search fees – £3.00 per item.
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2.00 per beneficiary).
  • Advertisements in The London Gazette and a local newspaper to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. The cost will depend on the adverting costs of the local newspaper but is usually between £150 and £300.

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.

The work we have to do may include all, or some, of the following: –

  • collecting in details of the value of assets and liabilities in the estate
  • arranging a valuation of the property and personal effects
  • preparing the tax return to the date of death
  • contacting the utility companies
  • preparing the Inheritance Tax account IHT400 and all supplementary pages
  • preparing the oath for executors
  • calculating Inheritance Tax
  • advising on availability of any applicable exemptions
  • arranging to release funds to pay IHT
  • dealing with all correspondence throughout
  • contacting beneficiaries
  • advertising for creditors
  • collecting in assets
  • paying debts
  • preparing tax returns for the administration period
  • preparing estate accounts
  • preparing statements of income for beneficiaries
  • making interim and final distributions to residuary beneficiaries.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with in about 6 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 8-10 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2-3 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 3-4 weeks.

What the above estimate does not include:

  • Dealing with shareholdings (stocks and bonds)
  • The sale or transfer of any property in the estate. We have no conveyancing department so external solicitors would have to be engaged.
  • Advice on, and accounting for, lifetime giving.
  • Tax planning advice.
  • Advice on trusts in the Will.
  • Advice on, and the preparation of, Deeds of Variation.
  • Will disputes or other potential claims against the estate (These are dealt with by our dispute resolution team).

Complex Estates

The estimate for a simple estate above is limited as shown and any potential additional matters such as those not included in that estimate will give rise to additional fees and disbursements. In those circumstances we would provide you with a specific estimate of our proposed fees and any additional disbursements.

Section B

Fixed Fees

In very straightforward, non-taxable estates using the IHT205 procedure only, we can either: –

  1. Obtain the Grant of Probate only and the Executors can administer the estate; or
  2. Obtain the Grant of Probate and administer and distribute the estate.

How much do these services cost?

1. To obtain the Grant of Probate only: –

Fee – £1,500 plus VAT (Total £1,800).

Disbursements – The likely disbursements are the same as set out in Section A above.

To commence this work on a fixed fee basis we would require from you the following: –

• The original Will and any codicils to it.
• The Death Certificate or the Coroners Certificate of Proof of Death.
• Any required birth and/or marriage certificates.
• Your identification documents (Passport/Driving License and proof of address).
• Statements of the Deceased’s assets such as bank statements or similar.
As part of our fixed fee we will:
• Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter.
• Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require.
• Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms.
• Draft a legal oath for you to swear.
• Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf.
• Obtain the Probate and securely send the official copies of the Grant to you.

2. To obtain the Grant, administer the assets and distribute the estate: –

Fee – £3,000 plus VAT (Total £3,600)

Disbursements – The potential disbursements are as stated above in Option 1.
To commence this work on a fixed fee basis we would require from you the following: –

  • The original Will and any codicils to it.
  • The Death Certificate or the Coroners Certificate of Proof of Death.
  • Any required birth and/or marriage certificates.
  • Your identification documents (Passport/Driving License and proof of address).
  • Statements of the Deceased’s assets such as bank statements or similar.
  • As part of our fixed fee we will:
  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter.
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application.
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms.
  • Draft a legal oath for you to swear.
  • 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.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 3-6 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 8-10 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2-3 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 3-4 weeks.

Team members

The principal members of the Private Client team, all of whom are Solicitors, are:

Philippa BartonQualified 01.10.1987
Nicola WaldmanQualified 15.06.1989
Ian LaneQualified15.10.1997
Nicola StoneQualified 15.10.2014
James BerryQualified 15.09.2017

 

The team also has a Trainee Solicitor who assists with Probate and Estate administration and paralegals and assistants who also assist in this work but who are not legally qualified.

Request a FREE consultation

Fill out this form and one of the team will get back to you:


By ticking the following box I am giving Hodge Jones and Allen consent to process my personal data for the purpose of this enquiry.

Full details of our privacy policy is available here

Call us on:

Our offices are open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm.

Phone:0800 437 0322
Fax:020 7388 2106
Address:Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors
180 North Gower Street
London
NW1 2NB