Probate Costs

Introduction

Sarah Dixon & Co Solicitors offer a range of services in relation to probate and the administration of estates and we can help you where someone has died either with or without leaving a Will.

When someone dies, there will be a number of issues that need to be sorted out. This can include dealing with banks accountants and savings, dealing with the sale or transfer of a house, paying debts and making gifts to beneficiaries. In most cases in order to do this it is necessary to obtain what is known as a grant of probate (where there is a Will) or a grant of letters of administration (where there is no Will).

Although it is possible for anyone to deal with a person’s estate, in reality there is often a great deal to do including finding out what assets and liabilities exist, dealing with inheritance tax, paying debtors, getting in money from banks and investments, selling shares or a property and finally paying out gifts and legacies to those who are beneficiaries under the Will.

Sarah Dixon & Co Solicitors can help you by dealing with many of these issues on your behalf at this difficult time by either dealing with the administration of the estate as a whole (in which case we will deal with all of the administrative issues), or alternatively just obtaining the grant of probate for you, with you dealing with the remainder of the administration.

We are proud to offer an excellent service to all clients and can guarantee that you will receive the same high level of care whichever option you choose.

Our Costs

The amount of our costs can vary according to the size and complexity of the estate we are dealing with and whether or not we experience difficulties in identifying, contacting or dealing with executors, administrators and beneficiaries. It will also be affected by whether we undertake all of the administration of the estate or simply elements of it and whether there are, and the complexity of, any trusts.

The following is a quick summary of an example of our charges with more detail appearing below. Please note that these are sample prices. If a matter were to prove to be very complicated or there were disputes between the parties involved or the parties involved were uncooperative in how the matter is dealt with then we might need to consider revising these costs.

Type of Matter Our Costs Estimate VAT
Grant of probate only £550.00 £110.00
Small probate matter – no inheritance tax £1,500.00 £300.00
Medium probate matter – no inheritance tax £2,500.00 £500.00
Larger probate matter – with inheritance tax £4,500.00 £900.00
Other charge out rate £200 per hour

Grant of Probate Only

This price will apply if we are instructed only to obtain the grant of probate, there are no complications (such as locating the Will, disputes between executors/beneficiaries, questions as to the validity of the Will etc.) and only if the estate is valued at less than £325,00.00 (the Inheritance Tax threshold). That means we will NOT be getting involved in dealing with the detail of the estate, for example we will not be dealing with banks and savings providers, dealing with insurers or company registrars or paying off debts or accounting to beneficiaries.

Small Probate Matter

This price applies where you want us to deal with all of the aspects of an estate and that estate is quite straightforward – in other words estates where there is a Will and its whereabouts is known, the whereabouts of all of the beneficiaries and executors is known, there are no disputes between any executors or beneficiaries, the estate is valued at less than £150,000.00 and there is no property to be sold. It is also assumed that there are no more than 3-4 bank or building society accounts, no other intangible assets, no more than 3-4 beneficiaries and no claims made against the estate.

Medium Probate Matter

This price is for when you want us to deal with all of the aspects of an estate and it is not quite as straightforward as in the previous example. It applies both to the situation where there is or there is not a Will or where the Will needs to be tracked down, but still assumes that there are no disputes between any executors or beneficiaries, and the estate is valued at less than £325,000.00 (the Inheritance Tax Threshold). It takes account of the fact that the estate may include one property which needs to be sold but does not include the legal or estate agency costs and disbursements of the sale.

It also assumes that there are no more than 8 bank or building society accounts, no more than 10 separate sets of shares or other investments, no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC, no more than 8 beneficiaries and there are no claims made against the estate.

Larger Probate Matter

This price is for when you want us to deal with all of the aspects of an estate and it is a larger estate attracting inheritance tax and/or where there are complications including lost share certificates, missing beneficiaries or other complications. It applies both to the situation where there is or there is not a Will or where the Will needs to be tracked down. It assumes that there are no disputes between any executors or beneficiaries, and the estate is valued at between than £325,000.00 (the Inheritance Tax Threshold) and £1,000,000.00. It takes account of the fact that the estate is likely to include a property which needs to be sold but does not include the legal or estate agency costs and disbursements of the sale.

Complicated Estates

Please note that if there are complications in relation to any of the above examples then the costs may be higher. This includes where there are disputes between executors or beneficiaries, documents have to be tracked down, the deceased had business interests which need to be resolved, there are claims against the estate, specific legacies (i.e. items of property which have been given away by the Will) cannot be fulfilled, parties do not reply to correspondence or third party organisations are uncooperative.

Disbursements

In addition to our costs need to be added the Probate Court Fee of £155.00 (+ 50p per additional copy of the Grant. There may also be bankruptcy searches at £4.00 each. Land Registry fee for official copy of title deeds – £3 per title and £3 per plan. There is no VAT on these items.

In most cases oath fees have been replaced with statements of truth so that generally there will no longer need to be an oath by executors before before making an application for probate. Where additional charges apply, we will ensure that you are informed.
We may also need to submit Trustee Act Notices in the London Gazette and local newspapers for unknown creditors. Here the costs vary from newspaper to newspaper but are usually in the region of £200 – £300 plus VAT.

Example 1

Deceased died leaving a Will appointing his younger brother (still alive) to be the executor and giving everything equally to his two children.

  • Deceased lived in rented accommodation.
  • Bank/Building Society assets of £80,000.
  • Insurance policy of £100,000.
  • No other investments

Our charges to administer the estate would be in the region of £1,500.00 + VAT.

Disbursements (currently) would be:

  • Probate Court fee of £155 + 50p per copy
  • Bankruptcy searches of £4.00

Example 2

Deceased died leaving a Will appointing his brother and a friend (both still alive) to be the executors, giving various gifts to family members and then leaving the residue of the estate (i.e. what is left after the gifts have been given and the debts have been paid) equally between his four grandchildren all of whom live locally.

  • Deceased’s house valued at £175,000.00 – none of the grandchildren want the house.
  • Deceased’s antique silver collection valued at £40,000.00
  • Bank/Building Society assets of £30,000.00
  • Insurance policy of £25,000.00
  • Shares valued at £25,000.00

Our charges to administer the estate would be in the region of £2,500.00 + VAT.

Disbursements (currently) would be:

  • Probate Court fee of £155 + 50p per copy
  • Bankruptcy searches of £4.00
  • Valuation fee for silver (dependent upon costs charged by valuer)
  • Valuation fee for the house.
  • Land registry fee £3.00.

In addition, there would be the costs of selling the house which would include the estate agent’s charges and the charges of a solicitor/conveyancer that undertakes property sales.