Hourly Rate Probate and Estate Administration Service
There are two main elements to the legal costs of obtaining a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and the Administration of the Estate.
- Our charges;
- Expenses we must pay out on your behalf.
Our hourly rates for obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and the Administration of the Estate are:
Senior Solicitor – £250.00
Solicitor/Paralegal – £156.00
On average, this type of work takes anything from 7 to 220 hours to complete. This means that on average, our charges will be anywhere between £1,500.00 and £50,000.00 dependent upon the complexity of the Estate.
The exact number of hours it will take depends on the circumstances of your case, such as:
- Whether there is a valid Will
- Whether the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax or any Nil Rate or Residential Nil Rate Bands need to be claimed
- There is property to be sold and ongoing utilities to pay
- The number of beneficiaries including Residual, Specific or Pecuniary Legatees within the Will and whether any of the beneficiaries live outside the UK
- The number of asset holders and debtors to be estate including any shareholdings.
- There are missing beneficiaries
- There is a missing Will
- There is a dispute over the Will
If there is a valid Will, no Inheritance Tax to pay, only a couple of beneficiaries and the Estate does not include any shareholdings, our charges are likely to be at the lower end of this range.
We reserve the right to increase the hourly rates if the work done is particularly complex or urgent, or the nature of your instructions require us to work outside of normal office hours. If this happens, we will notify you in advance and agree an appropriate rate.
We will review our hourly rates on a periodic basis. This is usually done each January. We will give you advance notice of any change to our hourly rates.
Our charges do not include VAT, which we will add to your bill at the prevailing rate.
Even where our charges are fixed, we would usually expect to incur certain expenses your behalf which we will also add to your bill. The amount of expenses can vary and the following is an estimate only:
|Expense||Estimated amount||VAT chargeable|
|Electronic ID Verification (Smart Search)||£5.00 per person||Yes|
|Bankruptcy Search||£2.00 per person (including Deceased)||No|
|Probate Court Fee||£155||No|
|Sealed copies of the Grant||50p each copy||No|
|Bank Transfer Administration fee (BACS)||£25.00||Yes|
|Bank Transfer Administration fee (TT)||£25.00 (per transfer)||Yes|
Estimated total legal costs
Based on an Estate where there are two Executors who are also the main beneficiaries of the Estate, one property to sell and two bank accounts to close, we estimate that the total cost of obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and Administration of the Estate, will be £3,237.00including our charges, the expenses we expect to pay on your behalf and VAT.
This estimate includes:
- Face to face or telephone consultation explaining the process.
- Opening of the file, client care documentation and ID verification.
- Valuations of the assets within the Estate.
- Advice relating to the validity of the Will
- Advice relating to the distribution of the Estate
- Advice relating to the Executors
- Advice regarding Beneficiaries
- Preparation of the Inheritance Tax Form (IHT205)
- Completion of the Oath or Statement in Support of the application
- Obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
- Dealing with any property related matter e.g. insurance, utilities, council tax
- Payment of any Specific or Pecuniary Legacies in the Will
- Payment of debts and liabilities in the Estate
- Collection of assets
- Preparation of Estate Accounts
- Any Estate expenses such as Probate Court Fees
The ‘Estimated total legal costs’ shown above assumes we are instructed simply to obtain the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and administer the Estate with a net worth of less than £325,000.00 and where it is relatively straightforward with no complications. Additional amounts may be payable for our charges and/or expenses if there are complications arising from the Will. These additional costs will be discussed and agreed with you prior to the commencement of any work on your behalf.
The ‘Estimated total legal costs’ specifically does not include:
- Matters where there is no valid Will and the deceased left no surviving spouse or adult children.
- Where the deceased was domiciled abroad
- Registration of the death
- A Will Search
- Advertising of statutory notices i.e. Section 27 notices
- Transfer of the IHT Nil Rate Band and Residential Nil Rate Band
- Completion of the IHT400 form when the IHT205 is not appropriate
- Any conveyancing which may be required to deal with the property
- Inheritance tax, income tax or capital gains tax issues.
- Advice in connection with the variation of the estate
- Dealing with any disputes which may arise
Likely timescale and key stages
The Administration of an Estate can take anywhere from 3 months to 3 years to complete depending on the complexity of the estate from receiving your instructions to finalisation of the Estate and final distribution.
On the example above, the administration would take between 3 to 9 months depending on the length of time it takes for the property to sell. If any complications of this or any other nature arise, the matter will take longer. We will advise you if and when this occurs.
Most matters of this nature involve the following key stages:
- Initial meeting
- Contacting all asset holders and debtors to gain Estate information
- Preparation of IHT205 and Oath
- Approval and Execution of the IHT205 and Oath
- Send Application to Probate Registry
- Receipt of the formal Grant and sealed copies
- Send sealed copies of the Grant to all asset holders
- Property placed on the market for sale (where appropriate)
- Receipt of all asset funds
- Payment of all debts and ongoing utilities
- Sale of property
- Payment of final utilities
- Drafting final Estate Accounts for approval
- Final distribution of the Estate
Our team has over 40 years of collective experience in delivering high-quality work in all matters relating to probate administration. The team has particular expertise in Wills, Probate, Estate Administration, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection and Trusts matters.
For details of the members of the team who may work on your matter, please see our Wills, Trusts and Probate page. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Darren McGuinness, a Solicitor/Director with over 20 years’ post qualification experience.
If you feel that you will need some assistance with the management and distribution of the Estate, it may be that our Probate and Estate Administration option is the right choice for you. We are of course happy to discuss all pricing options with you in more detail. Please contact us on 01457 835597or complete our contact us form on this page.