Wills & Probate Fees

The Solicitors Regulatory Authority requires us to provide indicative prices for certain types of work including Probate: Administration of Estates but we are completely transparent about the cost of these services because it is important to us that our clients feel that the cost of the legal services we provide are known and manageable for them.

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Probate Fees

Every client we act for is unique and so is their case – consequently our approach and the services we offer are tailored to you. This means that the work required does vary and consequently so can the cost. There are nevertheless some common components to most cases and, we are able to provide you with the indicative prices and information below based on the average cases we deal with, and highlight the types of factors which may make your matter more complex and/or costly.

We are always happy to discuss costs with you. Although our charges are based on our usual hourly charging rates and we provide you with a written estimate of what these are likely to be at the outset of your case, we will also consider offering fixed fee services, in certain appropriate cases. If you wish to discuss our pricing, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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OUR FEES:
Our fees for dealing with the administration of an estate where the assets are in the UK and the Estate is not contested are based on our hourly charging rates.
The hourly rates of the team who may deal with your matter are from £220 -£265 an hour plus VAT.

We anticipate that our fees for dealing with the whole matter will be in the following
ranges, if we are instructed to deal with the whole of the administration:
- A low complexity case will cost between £2,500 to £6,000 plus VAT
- A medium complexity case will cost between £6,000 to £15,000 plus VAT
- A high complexity case will cost between £15,000 to £65,000 plus vat

The complexity of a case will depend on a variety of factors but include:
- The overall value of the estate
- The number and type of assets
- The number and ages of the beneficiaries
- The complexity and validity of the will
- If the deceased died intestate (without a Will)
- Trust creation and administration
- Missing beneficiaries
- Disputes involving the executors and beneficiaries
- Tax planning advice
- Disabled beneficiaries
- Claims by beneficiaries and non- beneficiaries for provision or additional provision under the terms of the will

DISBURSEMENTS:
Disbursements are expenses usually incurred during the administration of the Estate payable to third parties, such as court fees. We normally pay these on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. We will advise you what disbursements may be required in your particular case, but in a typical estate we would expect the following:

- Probate fee £273 for estates over £5,000 (no fee for estates under £5,000) and £1.50 for each extra sealed copy of the grant required
- Valuer’s fees for valuing property assets which are likely to be in the region of £200 to £1,500 plus VAT (£240 to £1,800 with VAT) per property being valued
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches: £2 (per beneficiary)
- Advert in The London Gazette (Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors): £85
- Advert in a Local Newspaper (This also helps to protect against unexpected claims): The cost varies according to the local publication but estimated: £60

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Our Services

The type of work that will be undertaken during the Administration of an Estate varies but to assist you at this difficult time the work routinely conducted includes:

– Assignment of a dedicated and experienced solicitor to work on your matter. An interview with you to advise on the terms of the deceased’s will/intestacy provisions, identify the Executors/administrators and discuss the duties and powers of personal representatives. Identify the Beneficiaries.
– Advice & assistance with practical measures such as registering the death, arranging the funeral and securing the property (if necessary).
– Obtaining valuations of the estate assets and liabilities.
– Making enquiries and obtaining full details regarding the deceased’s pension and lifetime gifts.
– Consider and calculating (where applicable) any liability in respect of Inheritance Tax or Capital Gains Tax.
– Identify the type of Probate Application required and drafting the application for Probate or Letters of Administration, overseeing signing and filing the documentation with the relevant Probate Registry.
– Collection in of assets and settlement all outstanding liabilities by liaising with relevant third parties
– Advertising for creditors if appropriate.
– Settlement of the deceased’s income tax and/or capital gains tax position to date of death.
– Liaising with beneficiaries regarding payment of legacies and/or interim distributions to legatees and/or residuary beneficiaries.
– Preparation of Estate Accounts detailing transactions in the administration of the estate.
– Settlement of the deceased’s income tax and/or capital gains tax position for the administration period (ie date of death to completion of the administration of the estate).
– Report to Trustees and beneficiaries throughout the administration of the Estate and at its conclusion.

TIMESCALES:
The timescale to complete an Administration of an Estate vary depending on the complexity of the Estate and sometimes unforeseen factors. We try to expedite matters to ensure that all steps are undertaken swiftly but diligently and, on average Estates are dealt with within 3-6 months.

On average, the timescale from taking initial instructions to applying for the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration is 6-10 weeks.

The timescale for collecting in the assets and settling liabilities of the deceased is determined by a number of factors including the number and complexity of the assets, although we estimate on average it will take between 10 – 30 weeks to finalise the estate.

Once the collection of assets and payment of liabilities is complete, the timescale to prepare an estate account (a detailed account of the assets received, funeral, testamentary expenses and debts paid and any specific legacies and calculating the residuary estate for distribution) to the distribution of assets to beneficiaries normally takes 2 – 4 weeks.

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