Probate is the term used to describe the administration of a person’s assets after their death, known as their estate.
The time needed to administer a deceased person’s estate is dependent on whether the estate is straightforward and basic, or complex and taxable. The fee will also vary depending on whether any unforeseen issues arise during the administration period, such as a claim being brought against the estate, though this is rare. It also depends on the number of third parties involved who we would need to correspond with, as well as the number of beneficiaries in the estate.
Because every estate is different, it is difficult to give an accurate indication of our fees in advance. However, our fee earners are happy to have an initial conversation to gain an understanding of the size and nature of an estate in order to provide the most accurate fee estimate possible at the outset of a matter. Once we are instructed, we will keep you updated of likely ongoing costs at every stage of the process.
As a guide, a simple estate, where there is a single beneficiary and no property to sell, may take 10 -12 hours of work and would cost around £3000 plus VAT, plus administration expenses, known as disbursements.
A larger, taxable estate ie where Inheritance Tax is payable, with multiple beneficiaries, involving the disposal of residential and / or commercial property, a number of bank accounts and some investments, may take 30 or 40 hours of work, costing £7000 to £10000 plus VAT. A very large and complex estate may take considerably longer and cost more to administer.
These time and cost estimates are for illustration purposes only, as each estate is unique.
Please note that dealing with the sale or transfer of property is not included in these estimates and we would charge a separate conveyancing fee for this service. Please refer to our prices for Conveyancing Services.
It is difficult to estimate how long the administration of an estate may take, as each estate is different and involves different levels of work and complexity.
As a guide, we would expect to finalise the administration of a straightforward estate in around six months, but it can take much longer, depending on the size and complexity of the estate, and any unforeseen issues that may arise during the administration period.
If the estate is taxable, we also have to allow time for the Inland Revenue to review and approve the accounts. If the estate includes property to be sold, we cannot know in advance how long it will take to find a buyer and complete the sale. It also depends on how quickly any third parties involve take to respond to enquiries or requests.
Disbursements are the costs payable to third parties in the course of your matter.
Below is an approximate indication of the disbursements that may be involved in the administration of an estate
|Grant of Probate application fee||£155 plus £1.50 per copy of the grant|
|Fee for swearing of oath||Between £5 and £7 per executor|
|Land Registry Search fees||£3 for each title search and £3 for each plan search|
|Bankruptcy search||£1 or £2 per beneficiary|
|Local newspaper / London Gazette notices||£200 to £300 (depending on which notices are placed)|
|Landmark Financial Asset Search Fee||£155 plus VAT|
|Probate valuation fees for investments (typically shares)||These will vary depending on the size and number of holdings involved|
|Probate valuation fees for house contents or specific items of value, such as jewellery||These will vary depending on the quantity and value of the items involved|
|Accountancy fees||These vary and may be payable if tax returns become due during the administration of the estate or a personal tax return must be submitted on behalf of the deceased|
We charge for dealing with probate matters on an hourly basis, at the following rates:
|Name and Position||Qualification Year||Accreditations||Hourly Rate|
|Chris Mills, |
Solicitor & Director
|1994||STEP* Full Member||£250 per hour plus VAT|
|Anita Arora, |
|1998||STEP* Affiliate Member||£235 per hour plus VAT|
|1993||£250 per hour plus VAT|
|* Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners|