What will it cost?

Our fees and costs will be dependent upon the size and complexity of the estate being dealt with and the issues we encounter when identifying, contacting and dealing with executors, administrators and beneficiaries. It will also depend upon whether we are dealing with the administration of the whole estate or simply carrying out parts of the requirements and whether there are any trusts.

Therefore, if we are only dealing with obtaining a grant of probate, not only can we provide you with a fixed price but we can also assure you that our charges will be much lower than if we are dealing with a full administration of an estate – in which case we will charge on an hourly basis + an element to reflect the value of the estate.

The following charges are, therefore, dependent upon the work done.  Please check with us so that we can provide you with a more accurate assessment.

Simple Cases

Matter Charge £ VAT (at 20%) £
Grant of Probate only – no inheritance tax (IHT205) £800.00 £160.00
Grant of Probate only – with inheritance tax (IHT400) £1,250.00-£1950.00 £250.00-£390.00
Value element in relation to the above No value element if we are only obtaining the Grant N/A
Straightforward Deed of Variation of the will £150.00-300.00 £30.00-£60.00
Assent of Registered Property £150.00 £30.00

Complex cases

We charge on the basis of the time spent with an hourly rate of £235.00 for a Consultant, £235.00 for an Associate and £200.00 for a Solicitor. The firm’s charges will usually amount to between 1.5% and 2% of the gross value of the estate. VAT at the current rate of 20% will also be chargeable.

The exact cost will also 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.

The firm’s charges will be closer to 1.5% of the gross estate where the estate is more straightforward, for example where:-

  • There is a valid will;
  • There is no more than one property;
  • There are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts;
  • There are no other intangible assets;
  • There are multiple beneficiaries;
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs;
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC; and
  • There are no claims made against the estate

In the event the estate doesn’t fall in line with the above guidance i.e. there are multiple properties, shareholdings and possible Inheritance Tax liability then the firm’s charge will realistically be closer to 2% of the gross value of the estate but we will agree costs with you at the outset before commencing any work on your behalf. We would also be happy to discuss fixed fees for Grant only applications.

Disbursements

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. These include:

  • Probate application fee – approximately £170.00 (to include oath fees, probate court fees and copies of the Grant)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches - £2.00 each
  • £150.00 – £200.00 Adverts in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • £150.00 - £200.00 Adverts in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.
  • Assets Search – comprehensive search for unknown assets - £155.00 plus VAT.
  • Statutory searches - £2.00 per beneficiary
  • Valuation fees - dependent entirely on the type of asset being valued (e.g., realty, shares, chattels, art works)

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £0.50 each.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included. Please see our conveyancing fees for further information.
  • Setting up a trust - £1,000 - £1,500 + VAT
  • Transferring property to trustees - £300 + VAT

As an example of our charges we would estimate that a transaction might cost as follows:

Where there is no inheritance tax - £2,000.00 - £7,000.00 + VAT charged on an hourly basis (although we will agree a fixed fee) at the rate of £235.00 + VAT per hour for a senior solicitor.

With Inheritance Tax – £4,000.00 + VAT is generally the minimum.  It is very difficult to give a precise upper limit as it depends entirely on the estate and whether there are assets abroad and questions of foreign domicile etc.  Again, charged on an hourly basis.

A value element may be added if Whatley Weston & Fox are executors or the estate is complex.  The value element is charged at 1.5% - 2% of the value of the estate.

Examples

Example 1

Deceased died leaving a Will giving everything to a single child.

  • House is worth £350,000.
  • Cash assets of £75,000.

Our charges to administer the estate would be in the region of £4,000.00 - £6,375.00 + VAT.  The fewer assets there are, the less the charges are likely to be as less time will be required.

Disbursements (currently) would be:

  • Probate Court fee of £155 + 50p per copy
  • Bankruptcy searches of £2
  • Statutory notices £150 - £200 (if required)

Examples 2

Deceased died leaving a Will leaving everything to his two children.  The children want to vary the Will.  The property is being retained by the family.

  • House is worth £400,000.
  • Cash assets of £350,000.
  • Lifetime gifts of £200,000

Our charges to administer the estate would be in the region of £14,250.00 + VAT.  There might also be a value element on the house and/or the cash assets depending upon the complexity of the estate of £6,000.00.

In addition:

  • Deed of variation £150.00 + VAT
  • Assent of registered property £150.00 + VAT

Disbursements (currently) would be:

  • Probate Court fee of £155 + 50p per copy
  • Bankruptcy searches of £4
  • Statutory notices £150 - £200 (if required)
  • Land registry fee (depending on the value of the property)
Philippa Pipe, Solicitor

PHILIPPA PIPE

I like to make clients feel that no matter how complex an issue may seem, there is a solution and I can tailor this to their individual needs.

Philippa Pipe

Clare Burden

I enjoy having a personal relationship with families and helping them to plan their long term financial futures to suit their own individual personal circumstances
Clare Regan

NORMAN SNOWBALL

I try to make clients feel comfortable and at ease, so they can speak freely about any difficult legal issues


Norman Snowball