We anticipate that applying for the grant and collecting and distributing the assets in such an estate will take between 15 and 30 hours’ work at £200 per hour (exclusive of VAT) (the current cost of our solicitor, Helena Woodhouse), and a further 5 to 10 hours at £350 per hour (exclusive of VAT) (the current cost of our Head of Private Wealth, Carly Russell). Total costs estimated between £5,000 and £9,500 (plus VAT).
The exact cost will of course depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is only one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there is more than 1 beneficiary, a UK property and say, 3 UK bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
We will handle the full process for you. This estimated fee range is for “simple” estates where:
- the deceased was UK domiciled and UK resident
- there is a valid Will and a valid appointment of Executor, the Will having been executed in the UK
- the Probate Registry does not raise any enquiries over the application for the Grant
- the original Will is available to lodge with the Probate Registry
- there is only one UK property, owned solely by the deceased
- there are no more than 2 UK bank or building society accounts
- there are no other intangible assets
- there are between 1 and 3 UK domiciled and UK resident beneficiaries
- all beneficiaries are either UK non-charitable beneficiaries or are UK charitable beneficiaries
- there are no on-going court proceedings of which the deceased is a party at their death
- there are no challenges to the validity of the Will or any other claims against the estate of the deceased
- there is no inheritance tax payable and this is not an estate that would be subject to inheritance tax if not for the application of reliefs or exemptions other than spouse exemption. An analysis and claiming of the inheritance tax reliefs and exemptions and/or completion of the inheritance tax accounts will be at a further cost of between £2,000 and £4,000 (exclusive of VAT)
- there are no tax investigations of the estate of the deceased
- there are no challenges or enquiries raised by HMRC over the submission of the simple inheritance tax form (currently IHT205) filed with the Probate Registry
- there is no requirement for the ongoing administration or winding up of corporate entities in which the deceased held shareholdings (public or private companies) or interests in partnerships.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as the Probate Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process overall.
- Probate application fee of £155 if the estate is over £5,000
- £7 swearing of the oath (per executor)
- Settling of the oath £20
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
- £62.15 (exclusive of VAT) for the Trustee Act Notices (price from 1 January 2018) in the London Gazette
- Trustee Act Notices placed in a newspaper local to the deceased’s usual address; variable.
In the event that there is no Will, or no valid Will, or there is a |Will but no valid appointment of Executors (and a Grant of Letters of Administration is required instead of a Grant of Probate) then our fees will broadly be the same.
We have outlined a very “simple” estate administration. In our experience, the typical complexities that lead to additional costs in an otherwise “simple” estate, which would cause the estate administration to no longer fall within the estimates provided are as follows:
- if the deceased made any lifetime gifts in the 7 years before death
- if there were any trusts settled in the 14 years before death
- there is an inheritance tax liability, or there would be if reliefs and exemptions did not apply
- tax enquiries, pre- and post- death raised by HMRC
- enquiries or further processes out of the normal procedure for the application of the Grant of Representation
- there are challenges to the validity of the Will or in respect generally to the devolution of the estate
- administration of the deceased’s pension
- administration of business interests
- all aspects of the administration of the deceased’s estate explained above as not being included in a “simple” estate administration.
Once we have more information on these issues from you we will be able to give you an accurate quote for dealing with them.
Potential additional costs
- If any additional sealed copies of the Grant of Probate are required, they will cost 50p each if they are ordered when you apply for the Grant of Probate. Additional sealed copies ordered after the Grant has been issued will cost £10 for the first copy and 50 p for further copies. These fees also apply for non-sealed copies.
- Dealing with the conveyancing of any property in the estate
- The administration of any trusts and trusts created under the Will of the deceased and on intestacy.
How long will this take?
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 2.5 to 6 months. Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 4 weeks, collecting assets then follows which can take between 4 and 8 weeks, dependant upon the requirements with whom the assets are held. Once the assets have been realised all liabilities will be settled, estate accounts will be prepared, legacies will be settled and the residuary estate distributed. We estimate that this final stage of the process will take 4-6 weeks.
Our team members who carry out this work: