ProbateThis is the collection and distribution of money, property and other assets belonging to a person following their death. Where these assets are within the UK and the matters are not contested, we will charge £1500 to £3000 plus VAT on average for this work based on the assumption that the estate is relatively simple, all based in the UK and that there are few, if any, assets that would complicate the process or lengthen our time estimates. The charge is based on our hourly charging rate of £150 per hour, which will vary depending on how long it takes to deal with the estate and how many assets and beneficiaries are involved. There will be other costs on top. These are fees and charges we will need to pay on your behalf as part of the process, such as Probate fees (see below), oath swearing fees, statutory advertisements (these protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors) etc. They are likely to be £300 to £400 where relevant.
On average it will take 4-6 weeks for us to gather the information to be able to draft the HMRC forms. After that it takes 3-4 weeks to obtain a Grant of Probate and then the estate can be distributed which can take 2-3 weeks.
Obviously, our fees do not include any external costs and charges that we may incur as part of the administration (e.g. tax, penalties, repayable benefits, fees and charges). You will also be responsible for these items on behalf of the estate.
Probate fees are in the course of changing. At the moment the fee is £155.00 for the issue of the Grant of Probate plus 50p per copy (we usually apply for 10-20 copies, as these need to be sent off to banks etc. before funds are released). However, the fees are due to increase to the following levels from April 2019 (but see below) : -
Where the Estate:
exceeds £50,000 but does not exceed £300,000: £250
exceeds £300,000 but does not exceed £500,000: £750
exceeds £500,000 but does not exceed £1,000,000: £2,500
exceeds £1,000,000 but does not exceed £1,600,000: £4,000
exceeds £1,600,000 but does not exceed £2,000,000: £5,000
exceeds £2,000,000: £6,000No fee is will be payable if the Estate does not exceed £50,000 (up from £5000).
Update on fees -
On 27 March 2019, HMRC confirmed that as a temporary concession Probate Registries will accept applications for Probate before an inheritance tax (IHT) account has been processed by HMRC. The concession will be available while the process for introducing a new Probate fee structure is ongoing. An increase in Probate fees is set to come into force in April 2019 although no specific date has been announced. The Probate application must include a note to say that the appropriate IHT forms will follow shortly.
We charge £500 plus VAT on average for the preparation of one Will, or £800 plus for a “pair” of Wills, e.g. Wills for a couple which are in similar format. The charge is based on our hourly charging rate of £200.00 plus VAT per hour. The charge includes registering the Will with Certainty, the National Register of Wills in the UK . Our costs are based on the assumption that the Will is relatively simple and no complex tax advice is required.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
We charge £200 plus VAT on average for the preparation of a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs or a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare. The charge is based on our hourly charging rate of £200.00 per hour. There will be costs on top which are the registration fees with the Office of the Public Guardian which are currently £82 per Lasting Power of Attorney.
We have a written procedure that sets out how we handle complaints. Please see our page Complaints Procedure.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of these processes, you can take up the matter with the Solicitors Regulation Authority. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.