The Solicitors and Lawyers at Granville-West, Chivers & Morgan have for many years been dealing with probate and can help you through this difficult process. We tailor our services to the nature of the estates that we are dealing with. Whether you merely wish us to assist you in obtaining the Grant of Probate or letters of administration or whether you wish us to deal with gathering information, obtaining a grant and calling in the assets and distributing on your behalf. We can provide a service to suit your needs.

How much will the process cost?

The costs will be dependent upon what we are being asked to do. We have broken these down as follows: Legal fees to obtain a grant of representation only There are circumstances where you merely wish for us to obtain the grant of representation on your behalf. We will charge you a fee of £675 plus VAT and disbursements in straightforward cases. In these circumstances we will:

  • meet with you to take your instructions of the assets of the estate;
  • advise you of the type of grant required;
  • prepare the application for a grant and the relevant HMRC forms (IHT205);
  • We will then meet you to approve and execute the forms and make the application on your behalf;
  • Once the grant has been obtained we will provide you with a copy for you to administer the estate.

We estimate that this process will generally take between 3 – 6 months.

Legal fees for full estate administration in a non-taxable estate

Estates of this nature are charged based on the time spent on an hourly rate basis with an additional value element of 0.5% of the value of any property and 1% of the remaining assets of the estate. We anticipate an estate of this nature will take between 8 and 18 hours to complete and estimate the costs to be between £1,200.00- £4,000.00 plus VAT and disbursements as detailed below. The exact cost will 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. We will handle the full process for you. This estimate is for estates where:

  • There is a valid / uncontested Will;
  • There is no more than one property (Dealing with the sale of the property in the estate is not included in this estimate);
  • There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts;
  • There are no other tangible assets;
  • There are no more than 5 beneficiaries (all of whom are in the UK);
  • There are no charitable beneficiaries;
  • There are no disputes. If disputes arise this will 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;
  • There are no claims made against the estate.

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 9 – 15 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 3 – 6 Months. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2 – 6 months. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets. These prices are for a standard case, and a full case specific estimate can be obtained by contacting one of our offices.

Legal fees for full estate administration in a taxable estate

In cases where inheritance tax is likely to be due, these estate will generally include a greater number and often a wider variety of investments. The Inland Revenue return that is required to be filed is more complex and detailed. As a result additional time will be incurred. Once we have met with you and understood the nature and volume of assets we will be able to provide you with a fee estimate tailored to your case.

Estates of this more complex nature are charged based on the time spent on an hourly rate basis with an additional value element of 0.5% of the value of any property and 1% of the remaining assets of the estate. In order to provide some guidance however, the cost could range between £4,000-£10,000 plus VAT and disbursements as detailed below. Some estates of a very complex nature will cost in excess of £10,000 plus VAT and disbursements as detailed below.

As taxable estates vary from case to case it is difficult to provide an accurate timescale, especially as there will need to be calculations approved by HMRC. Inheritance tax is usually payable when an individual estate exceeds £325,000. There are a number of allowances available upon which we can advise you. For more information on how inheritance tax is calculated please visit: https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry and court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

CostVATTotal
Probate fee£155.00£0.00£155.00
Additional copies of probate* Per copy£0.50£0.00£0.50
Oath fee* if required£5.00£0.00£5.00
Bankruptcy searches* Per beneficiary£2.00£0.40£2.40
Advert in London Gazette£70.00£14.00£84.00
Advert in local newspaper* Dependent upon local newspaper used£130.00£26.00£156.00
Land Registry fees* Additional fees apply for subsequent documents£6.00£1.20£7.20
Cost per electronic bank transfer* Per same day transfer * Additional fees apply for foreign payments£35.00£7.00£42.00

As part of our fee we will:

  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries;
  • If instructed to do so gather information about the assets of the estate;
  • Identify the type of Probate application you will require;
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application;
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms;
  • Draft the oath for you to swear or the personal representatives statement;
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf;
  • Obtain the Probate;
  • Collect assets discharge known liabilities and distribute to beneficiaries in the estate.

Exclusions

There are instances where there will be potential additional costs as follows:

  • 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 there is a dispute in relation to an aspect of the estate or a claim is made against the estate.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.