Probate Costs and Timescales

Have a chat with our expert Estate Administration Team on 01284 767766 and they’ll be happy to talk through the process with you, explain what we do, and answer any questions you have. There’s no obligation. Or email Nicola Clayton on nicola.clayton@atkinsthomson.com. Nicola is a Senior Associate solicitor and she’ll be happy to help.

 

What will it cost?

Every estate is different, so once we have enough information from you to establish the scope of our instructions we can either give you a fixed quote or an estimate based on our assessment of the likely time involved whichever you prefer. When we give you a quote or an estimate we’ll clearly set out what is and what isn’t included in that pricing.

Our charges are based on the time spent working for you and the hourly rate(s) of the person(s) carrying out the work.  (Estate Administration Team Hourly Rates). The quote or estimate we give will be tailored specifically to your requirements and the circumstances of the estate. This includes advice, assistance, meetings, calls and emails. Should unforeseen circumstances mean that we discover that there is a lot more work involved than initially anticipated which is outside the scope of what we said was included, then we’ll notify you as soon as practically possible and provide you with a costing for the additional work.

 

Straightforward estates

All estates are different and the work required for each administration is different, so the legal costs will vary from one estate to another depending on the circumstances.

Typically our fees for the work set out in the Probate process relating to an estate are between £2,600 and £8,400 (including VAT) for ‘straight forward estates’ valued in the range of £100,000 to £500,000 (gross) where:

  • All assets are situated in the UK and the deceased and beneficiaries are all UK domiciled.
  • There’s a valid Will.
  • There’s only one property.
  • There are no more than two bank accounts.
  • There are no other tangible assets such as shares, fine art, interests under trusts etc.
  • There are no disputes between executors or beneficiaries on division of assets and no claims against the estate.

Remember – this is only a very broad guide and we’ll set out pricing specifically for you based on the details of a particular estate.

 

Grant of Probate only

In some instances, you may instruct us to just obtain the Grant of Probate (and not all the work set out in the Probate Process [link]). Our fees for solely obtaining the Grant of Probate without further advice generally range from £1,200 to £2,400 (including VAT).

 

More complex estates

Estates which don’t fall within the description of ‘straightforward estates’, and those involving more complex factors, such as: a significant Inheritance Tax liability; claims for tax reliefs and a reduced rate of Inheritance Tax; protracted correspondence with institutions such as HMRC, the Probate Registry, financial providers etc.; overseas elements; interests under trust or heritage assets; multiple or untraced beneficiaries, investment portfolios, business interests and so on, are likely to incur higher costs, which we’ll discuss and agree with you at the time.

 

Expenses

In addition to our costs there may be third party fees which are usually payable from the estate, such as:

  • A Probate fee payable to HM Courts and Tribunal Services of £155 (proposed to be changed to a sliding scale of £50 to £6,000 depending on the size of the estate) plus 50p for each copy of the Grant.
  • If the executors wish to protect against unexpected claims, it costs approximately £250 to place a statutory notice in The London Gazette and a local newspaper.
  • There may be other additional expenses, such as valuation fees, Land Registry search fees, bank transfer fees, insurance premiums payable and so on.

Please note that the fees set out above act as a guide to what our fee range may be. Once we’ve met with you and ascertained the full extent of the estate and how we can best help you, we’ll be able to provide you with a more accurate fee estimate or fixed quote.

Where there are properties within the estate that require conveyancing services these will be additional costs. Depending on the type of property, our Commercial Property or Residential Conveyancing teams will provide an estimate for the likely costs involved.

 

Timescales

Timescales are typically dictated by the size and complexity of the estate as factors which affect the amount of work involved. On average it will take between 6 and 18 months to complete the administration of a straight forward estate. A more complex estate can take up to anywhere in the region of 2 to 4 years for full administration. A lot of the Probate process [link] involves liaising with third parties, such as financial institutions and HMRC, whose timescales are outside our control. However, in the same way we provide you with a fee estimate in the beginning and, once we have more details about the estate, we’ll be able to give you a better idea of how long it’s likely to take to administer the estate and continue to keep you updated on timescales as things progresses.

 

Call us on 01284 767766 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have. There’s no obligation. Or email Nicola Clayton on nicola.clayton@atkinsthomson.com. Nicola is a Senior Associate solicitor and she’ll always be happy to help.