These are provided on a fixed fee basis and will involve us in drafting the probate papers from the information that we receive from you. The fixed fee excludes any investigative work by us which we will be pleased to assist with and we will agree the costs of any additional work with you should you require our help.
• Excepted estates – our normal charge for obtaining a Grant and completing an IHT205 is £1,750 excluding VAT + the probate court fee of £155.00 plus £1.50 per copy. An additional fixed fee of £250 + VAT is chargeable where a transferable nil rate band is claimed.
• Non-taxable estate - Our normal charge for obtaining a Grant in a non-excepted estate where no Inheritance Tax (IHT) is payable and an IHT400 is required is £3,300 excluding VAT + the probate court fee of £155.00 plus £1.50 per copy.
• Taxable estate - Our normal charge for obtaining a Grant in a taxable estate requiring an IHT400 is £4,500 excluding VAT + the probate court fee of £155.00 plus £1.50 per copy.
The fixed fees assume that the personal representatives are able to provide full information in the Grant-only probate questionnaire together with all relevant documentation referred to in the above links, and that there is no requirement to undertake further investigation of the deceased’s estate.
In some cases, the replies given in the questionnaire may necessitate investigative work for which an additional charge will be made and we will confirm what our costs will be for any additional work.
How long does it take?
For an excepted estate using our grant only service, once we have been given all of the information the time period to extract the grant is about 4-6 weeks.
For taxable and non taxable estates once we have been given all of the information the time period to extract the grant is about 7 – 10 weeks. These time periods are not precise because we are reliant on third parties (for example to settle inheritance tax) but are an illustration of duration.
Full estate administration
Probate costs depend on the complexity of the estate. At the outset, we will provide an estimate of our costs based on the information we have. The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances and time spent on the file. Typically, for example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range of our estimate. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end of our estimate. In some cases our fees may be higher due to the nature of the assets to be dealt with or negotiated with HMRC or because of the relationship between family members. If our estimate needs reviewing, we will advise you at the earliest opportunity and explain why our charges need to be increased. We will handle the full process for you.
Before we begin each stage of the process, we will give you clarity on costs, explaining what work will be covered. This fee example is for estates where:
• There is a valid will
• There is only one property
• There are only three bank or building society accounts
• There are only five investments
• There are no other intangible assets
• There are up to four beneficiaries
• There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets
• There are no enquiries by HMRC into the Inheritance Tax Account
• There are no trusts under the will
• There are no claims made against the estate
• There are no tax planning exercises to be carried out in terms of the disposal of assets.
For more information, have a look at our Probate process infographic.
Additional fees and disbursements
Disbursements are expenses of your matter that are payable to third parties, like those listed below. Not all may be applicable.
• Probate Registry fee – currently £155 plus £1.50 for each copy of the grant
• Unclaimed Asset Register search fees - £25
• Statutory Advertisements – in the region of £250 - protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
How long does it take to administer an estate?
On average, estates can take up to 12 – 14 months, depending on whether there are any enquiries into the Inheritance Tax Account and assuming third parties provide relevant clearances. The first step is to obtain the grant of probate, which confirms that you, as the executor, have the required authority that allows you to handle the assets of the person who is deceased. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate can takes up to 3 months from when we are instructed; collecting assets then follows and can take 3 – 6 weeks, if straightforward. If there is a property to be sold, it will take as long as it takes to find a purchaser and the conveyancing transaction to complete. Revenue clearances then have to be obtained which may take several months, after which the estate can be distributed. The distribution is dependent on advice concerning the Inheritance Act claims time limit which might alter the date upon which the executors can distribute the estate.
A full list of what is included as part of our full administration service can be found here: Probate summary of work.
IHT enquiries and disputes are outside our scope of being able to estimate costs and these areas will increase costs and lengthen the time that it takes to complete the estate administration.
We can offer additional services, such as after death tax planning e.g. deeds or variations, planning estate disposals for CGT purposes, conveyancing for the estate property, advice on trusts contained within wills including trust management and also wills for the beneficiaries.