We provide a range of services for individuals on probate matters. This includes where a person dies with a will in place and also intestacy matters where a person dies without a will in place.
On this page, we have set out our typical range of prices for our services and details of what is included.
How much will advice on probate matters cost?
Charges for probate services vary greatly depending on the nature of the matter. To give an indicative range of costs, here are some examples of what we might advise on:
- A grant-only application: this will depend on what information is readily available and whether there is any inheritance tax to pay. A typical range of costs would be between £3,000 and £10,000+VAT, excluding payments to any third parties
- Estate administration: this will depend on how readily assets are available, the beneficiaries and where the assets are. Typically, costs will start from £5,000+VAT.
How we charge for this work
We usually work on an hourly rate basis. Where VAT is applicable, it will be at 20% (at the present time).
Other fee arrangements
We do not offer any conditional fee agreements, damages based agreements or so-called “no win no fee” agreements for this work.
Disbursements: costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties
- Application for Grant of Probate fees (court) (this will depend on the number of copies ordered which in turn depends on what assets are held)
- Trustee Act advertising fees, to find out if there are creditors and to protect the personal representatives
- Unallocated asset register search (if needed) to see if there are any dormant accounts and shareholdings
- House clearance fees
- House insurance fees
- Missing share certificate indemnity fees
- Surveyors fees for property valuation (if required)
- Experts fees for valuation of items held by the deceased
- Oath fees (in order to apply for Grant of Probate)
- Genealogy fees if tracing people
- Death certificate fees
Services that are included
Typical key stages in a probate matter whether or not there is a will in place:
- Discovery of assets and liabilities
- Preparing papers
- Calculating and paying inheritance tax
- Applying for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
- Obtaining release of funds
- Appropriate taxes – inheritance tax, capital gains tax, income tax
- Establishing any trusts
- Preparing estate accounts
- Liaising with executors or administrators, beneficiaries, appropriate experts, HMRC, Court and any relevant other third parties
- Obtaining property insurance where necessary
Additionally for intestacy
- Discovering beneficiaries and ensuring all have been identified
- Appointing appropriate personal representatives
What’s not included in our prices?
- Dealing with the sale of the property
- If the matter becomes disputed
How long will it take?
There are many factors which can affect how quickly matters can be dealt with. The deceased’s estate may be very complex and there may be many organisations involved in the process (such as banks, share registrars, beneficiaries, insurers, accountants, HMRC and estate agents). We are often dependent on how quickly they deal with matters. In addition, an estate should not be finalised until all claims on the estate have been received. Anyone wishing to make a claim on the estate has six months from the date probate is granted to make such a claim against the estate. So we would always recommend expecting the process to take at least eight months to a year, or longer.
If the deceased did not have a will and the estate needs to be administered under the intestacy rules, the process is likely to take longer. This is due to the extra work involved in establishing the deceased’s estate and identifying the beneficiaries.
The most common factors that increase timescales and so would increase costs are:
- Checking the validity of a will
- The willingness of the family to co-operate
- Extensive enquiries with beneficiaries
- When we are required to obtain the death certificate and/or arrange a funeral
- Dealing with the deceased’s property, to include house clearance, supervision and any insurance claims on the property
- Complicated estates which have multiple accounts or properties and complex financial planning
- Dealing with foreign assets
- Business and farming assets
- Assets held within complicated trust structures
- Dealing with trust structures contained within the deceased’s will
- Locating missing beneficiaries and obtaining missing beneficiary insurance where appropriate
- Preparing tax certificates where required
- Preparing a deed of variation
We have a team of qualified lawyers, of varying levels of seniority and experience that provide advice on probate matters. You can find their profiles here.
Other useful links
We advise on a wide range of family and private legal matters. See further details on our Private Wealth and Family services pages.
If you would like to discuss your matter in more details, please contact a member of our team or your usual Gateley Plc contact.