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. The fee earners who deal with probate are John Goodchild (hourly rate £525 plus VAT), Roderick Smith (hourly rate £450 plus VAT) and Josephine Russen (hourly rate £295 plus VAT). Most of the work would be undertaken by Josephine and total costs are estimated to be between £4,000 and £9,000 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; and if the estate is more complex, the costs will be at the higher end of the range.
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 an Executor
- 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 beneficiaries who are resident and domiciled in the UK
- there are no on-going court proceedings to 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 plus VAT
- there are no tax investigations
- there are no challenges or enquiries raised by HMRC over the submission of the simple inheritance tax form IHT205 (for deaths on or after 6 April 2011 and on or before 31 December 2021) 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. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process overall.
- Probate application fee of £273 if the estate is over £5,000
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
- Trustee Act Notices placed in the London Gazette and 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 be in line with the estimates above, but there might be added costs for identifying the person(s) entitled to act as the personal representative(s) of the estate, and for identifying and locating beneficiaries.
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 was non-UK resident or non-UK domiciled
- 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
- if the deceased’s property is occupied by another
- 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
- the administration of overseas assets
- administration of certificated shareholdings
- administration of the deceased’s pension
- administration of business interests
- distribution to non-UK residents
- 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 Representation are required, they will cost £1.50 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 50p for further copies. These fees also apply for non-sealed copies.
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate
- Completing income tax and capital gains tax self-assessment returns from 6 April to the date of death and the estate administration period.
- 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 6 to 12 months. Typically, obtaining the Grant of Representation takes 14 to 28 weeks and collecting assets then follows which can take between 6 and 12 weeks, dependant upon the requirements of the relevant asset holder.
Once the assets have been collected in, all liabilities and legacies will be paid. Final estate accounts will then be prepared before the residuary estate is distributed. We estimate that this final stage of the process will take between 6 and 12 weeks.
Our team members who carry out this work: