Price Guide: Estates and Probate

 

Our costs for assisting you with the administration of an estate

At Lennons Solicitors we can help you through the process of administering an estate on your behalf. This is often called applying for Probate. We can either administer the whole estate for you, which will include obtaining the Grant of Probate and the collection and distribution of assets, or alternatively, we can just apply for the Grant of Probate on your behalf.

 

How we charge:

Full administration of an estate

We charge this on a fixed fee, which is a percentage based on the gross value of the estate.  The percentage charged will be tapered depending on the overall value of the estate.  This is as follows:

1. for the first £500,000 of assets our fees will be 1.5% of the gross value of those assets;

2. for assets in excess of £500,000 and up to £1 million, our fees will be 1% of the gross value of those assets;

3. for assets in excess of £1 million and up to £3 million our fees will be 0.5% of the gross value of those assets; and

4. for assets in excess of £3 million, our fees will be 0.25% of the gross value of those assets.

If your matter is likely to exceed these costs, you will be informed as early as possible.

 

To illustrate our fees, we include three examples:

(1)     estate worth £400,000

£400,000 x 1.5%                             £6,000.00

 

(2)     estate worth £900,000

First £500,000 x 1.5%                     £7,500.00

Remaining £400,000 x 1%              £4,000.00

Total fee                                          £11,500.00

(3)     estate worth £1.5 million

First £500,000 x 1.5%                     £7,500.00

From £500,000 to £1m x 1%           £5,000.00

Remaining £500,000 x 0.5%           £2,500.00

Total fee                                          £15,000.00

Please note, all these fees are exclusive of VAT

 

What will our fees include?

When administering an estate, we will carry out the following:

  • provide you with a dedicated and experienced private client lawyer or private client executive to work on your matter;
  • identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries;
  • accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require;
  • obtain the relevant information required to make the application for Grant of Probate;
  • complete the Probate application and relevant HMRC forms;
  • prepare the legal Oath for the executors or administrators;
  • make the application to the Probate court on behalf of the executors or administrators;
  • obtain Probate; and
  • collect in and distribute all assets relating to the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will or, if there is no Will, the laws of intestacy.

 

What the above fees will not include

Our fees are for carrying out the administration of an estate in relation to an uncontested estate where all of the assets are based in the UK.

If there is no Will, or if the estate consists of any shareholdings (such as stocks or bonds), or if there are assets overseas, there are likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and the advice we will need to provide. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.

The estate may be subject to Inheritance Tax, or other taxes.  If so, this, and any additional related costs to advise on or deal with these, will be discussed with you. Taxes will normally need to be paid from the estate’s assets.

In addition to our legal fees, there will be various disbursements that will also need to be paid when administering an estate. (Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees). These will need to be paid initially by the executors or administrators, but can then be reclaimed from the estate. These include:

  • probate application fee, which is currently £155. (This is likely to be increased by the government shortly and we will update our website once these have been changed);
  • extra copies of the Grant of Probate, which are currently £0.50 for each copy;
  • swear fees for executors or administrators, which are currently £5 per person, together with £2 for each document which has to be sworn, for example, the Will and any Codicils. (These fees are likely to be removed by the government shortly and we will update our website once this has been changed);
  • Bankruptcy Only Land Charges Department searches, which are currently £2 for each beneficiary;
  • possibly, Statutory Notices in the London Gazette and the local newspaper, which protect executors and administrators against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.  These costs vary depending on papers but are currently often in the region of £250.

 

How long will this take?

The time taken to administer an estate depends on many factors, some outside of our control, such as having to deal with other parties – possibly HMRC, stockbrokers and others. The time taken will also depend on matters such as the complexity of the estate, whether it is subject to Inheritance Tax and whether there are any difficulties tracing beneficiaries. We will discuss such matters with you on a case by case basis.

However, as a guideline, it will normally take between 3 and 6 months to obtain the Grant of Probate. The time to administer an estate fully can take between 12 and 18 months. Matters can take less, or more, time depending on the individual circumstances and we will discuss this with you on a case by case basis.

 

Fixed fee for Grant Only application

If we are only instructed to apply for the Grant of Probate, and the executors or administrators will then administer the estate themselves, we can offer a fixed fee to apply for the Grant.  This is dependent on our being provided with all of the information and details that we will require to complete the forms to apply for Probate, and the estate not being subject to Inheritance Tax, or requiring a more detailed Inland Revenue account (IHT400).

(We are happy to discuss this with you at our initial discussion to confirm whether the work required to be carried out would fall into this category).

Our costs for a Grant Only application are currently £850 plus VAT.

The following disbursements will apply:

  • probate application fee, which is currently £155. (This is likely to be increased by the government shortly and we will update our website once these have been changed);
  • extra copies of the Grant of Probate, which are currently £0.50 for each copy;
  • swear fees for executors or administrators, which are currently £5 per person, together with £2 for each document which has to be sworn, for example, the Will and any Codicils. (These fees are likely to be removed by the government shortly and we will update our website once this has been changed).

 

What will our fees include?

When carrying out a Grant Only application we will do the following:

  • provide you with a dedicated and experienced private client lawyer or private client executive to work on your matter;
  • identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries;
  • accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require;
  • advise you of all the information we require in order to complete the necessary documentation to apply for Grant of Probate;
  • complete the Probate application and relevant HMRC form (IHT205);
  • prepare the legal Oath for you;
  • make the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf;
  • obtain Probate; and
  • send you the Grant of Probate and copies.

If at the outset of our instructions the plan is to carry out a Grant Only application and it is then wished for us to carry out more work than covered above, such as our writing to third parties or to administer the estate, the fixed fees for the full administration of an estate referred to above will apply.

 

How long will this take?

The time taken to obtain the Grant of Probate on your behalf will depend on a number of factors, such as your collating and providing us with all of the information and details that we will need in order to complete the application documents for you.  Once we have received all of the necessary details, it would normally take between 4 to 6 weeks to obtain the Grant of Probate for you.  If it is likely to take longer than this, we will discuss this with you as early as possible.

 

Who will deal with matters for me?

Details of the individual members of our specialist Will, Probate and Life Planning Department at Lennons are set out on the left hand side of the “Our People” page of our website.

If you have any questions regarding the process for administering estates or our costs, please contact a member of the Wills, Probate and Life Planning Department at Lennons, who will be very happy to assist.