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Probate Pricing

We deliver straightforward legal advice in relation to Wills, Probates, Trusts and Powers, in a clear and friendly manner.  We like to focus on developing long-term relationships with our clients and this means that many of our new clients come through the recommendations of existing clients.  We endeavour to explore all of your options and tailor our advice accordingly. 

As discussed, we are able to provide you with as little or as much assistance as you would like, and all costs are generally charged at an hourly rate of £225.00 per hour plus VAT.  We can be here to simply complete the relevant inheritance tax return and obtain the Grant of Probate, or we can provide a fuller service by dealing with the whole estate to include obtaining probate valuations, completing the relevant inheritance tax return, obtaining the Grant of Probate, dealing with all assets and liabilities, dealing with Income Tax and Capital Gains tax affairs, preparing estate accounts and organising distributions to beneficiaries.

How much will it cost me?

Charges will greatly depend on the simplicity or complexity of the estate and the amount of time spent on the file. 

The straightforward preparation of an inheritance tax return and probate application will often take between 3 and 5 hours of time.  Costs estimated at £675.00-£1,125.00 plus VAT.  Any additional work will be charged separately at an hourly rate of £225.00 per hour plus VAT.

When we are dealing with providing a full estate service, typically straightforward matters take between 15 and 25 hours work at an hourly rate of £225.00 per hour plus VAT.  Costs estimated at £3,375.00-£5,625.00 plus VAT.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter.  Even a typical estate may have factors or issues which make it more complicated.  For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range.  If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.  Once we have a clear overview of the estate, and the assets within it, we will provide you with a tailored quote of the likely charges.

VAT will be applied at the rate applicable at the time and this is currently 20%.

This time estimate for straightforward estates is generally where:

  • There is a valid Will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than five bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are only a few beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets.  If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Factors which are likely to add to the cost of the administration of an estate:

  • There is no Will
  • The Will contains numerous beneficiaries or complex trust provisions
  • There is more than one property
  • There are shareholdings/investments forming part of the estate
  • There is inheritance tax to pay
  • There is a dispute between the beneficiaries
  • There is no relative or friend who can register the death, make the funeral arrangements or liaise with concerning matters


Disbursements will also be incurred as follows:

  • Probate application fee of £155.00 (plus 50p per additional copy) (no VAT payable)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary) (no VAT payable)
  • Between £170.00 plus VAT  and £210.00 plus VAT  Advert Fee for posting in The London Gazette and in a Local Newspaper – protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees.  We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Dealing with the sale of any property in the estate is not included in these costs estimates, and a separate quote can be obtained for this from the conveyancing department.

Please note that all Probate and Estate Administration matters will be handled by Philippa Byam-Cook who is a Partner in the firm and is also a Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

How long will the administration take?

On average estates that fall within this range are dealt with within four to eight months.  Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes two to three months. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between one to two months.  Once this has been done, we can prepare estate accounts and distribute the assets, which normally takes in the region of one to two months.  These timescales can be delayed though, typically if there is a property to be sold within the estate as the distribution of assets can often take a bit longer.

In the case of a complex estate, it can take up to six months to obtain the Grant of Probate.  Collecting in the assets is likely to take in the region of two months, and then the distribution can take a further two months, but if there are assets which are difficult to ascertain or to dispose of, or if there are any disputes arising in connection with the administration of the estate then this can delay matters by as much as a further 6-12 months.

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For further information or to speak to one of our experts please call us on 020 8940 8115