Cost Information and Timeline
Thank you for considering our firm to assist you with your bereavement.
We understand that a bereavement is a life changing event, and that very often people need more help than they otherwise might require. The emotional side of dealing with a bereavement can often be emotional and exhausting and we are skilled at helping families through the process.
Having a legal advisor who is compassionate, understands the situation and can guide you and other members of the family through it is vital from a support point of view.
In addition, our experts are highly technically trained and can assist you with the practical and procedural side of things, but also financial and tax planning during the process. Our lawyers have often saved estates, families and beneficiaries large amounts of tax.
Our priority is that a member of the team is available to speak to you whenever you need it and answering any queries quickly and effectively and in plain terms.
Our team has decades of experience in dealing with probate and administration of estates. They have experience in dealing with both simple estates and large and highly complex matters, often with assets in multiple jurisdictions with complicated tax considerations.
Our fees on estates vary depending on what is required. We offer an hourly charging rate where you will be charged for each hour of work undertaken and we do not charge a percentage of the estate which many firms of solicitors do. This often leads to considerable savings for the estate.
We usually take our fees from the estate so there are no up-front costs to the executors.
Property sales are subject to a separate fee quote.
Often a telephone conversation before the initial meeting can help us establish a much more accurate fee quote and we encourage you to ring us on this basis. However, the following gives very approximate guidance on our fees.
We offer fixed fees for simple estates and more information can be found on our simple probate service page.
If you only need assistance in applying for the Grant of Representation we offer the following fixed fees (excluding VAT and disbursements):
|Estate type||Fixed fee|
|Non-taxable estate where the deceased has left a Will and we do not need to claim transferable nil rate bands||£1,250|
|Non-taxable estate where the deceased has left a Will and we need to claim transferable nil rate bands||£1,500|
|Non-taxable estate where the has deceased died intestate and we do not need to claim transferable nil rate bands||£1,500|
|Non-taxable estate where the deceased has died intestate and we need to claim transferable nil rate bands||£1,750|
|Taxable estate where the deceased has left a Will||£2,500|
|Taxable estate where the deceased has died intestate||£2,750|
An excepted estate is where there is no inheritance tax due but assets can be up to the value of £1,000,000. Legal fees typically range from £3,000 – £7,000 plus VAT and disbursements.
The main reasons for an estate falling within the definition of an excepted estate are:
- the estate is below the current inheritance tax threshold
- it is an exempt estate – if everything passes to a surviving spouse or a charity and the assets are under £1,000,000 it will be deemed as an exempt estate
- the deceased lived abroad – if the deceased was deemed non-UK domiciled and had minimal UK assets at the date of death it may fall within the definition of an excepted estate. Further discussion would be needed on this as a person’s domicile is not always simple to establish
These are estates which have complexities in addition. So, it might be that the estate is taxable or a “longform” inheritance tax account is required to satisfy HMRC’s requirements. There may be numerous assets which often include shareholdings. There may many beneficiaries, or beneficiaries might need to be located. Our fees typically range from £6,000 to £12,000 for estates like this, but often we are able to reduce inheritance tax or other taxes significantly, so the estate will benefit from an overall saving.
These might be estates where the estate is worth over £1,000,000, where there are numerous assets, offshore assets or beneficiaries who live abroad. The will may contain trusts that need setting up or administering. A deed of variation or multiple deeds of variation might be required to reduce the tax liability of beneficiaries, or to pass down inheritance to the next generation. There may be a large number of personal possessions to distribute or multiple properties to sell.
The following factors are also likely to increase the cost of your matter:
- minor beneficiaries
- not having all of the paperwork available, or having missing or incorrect information that needs investigation and correction
- third parties not responding to our communications promptly
- valuations of property
- dealing with unusual or complex assets or items (for example fine art, timeshares, shares in private companies etc)
- business property relief or agricultural property relief
- complex tax advice
- disagreements or arguments between beneficiaries or family members
In these cases, our fees are likely to be higher than those stated for Involved estates but we can only really give estimates for these on a case by case basis so please get in touch.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable by us to third parties. Typical examples are as follows:
|Probate Registry Fee||£155.00||Nil|
|Office copies for the grant of probate (per copy)||£1.50||Nil|
|Advert in the local newspaper||Start from £150.00||Nil|
|Advert in the London Gazette||Start from £92.00||Nil|
|Bankruptcy searches (per beneficiary)||£3.00||VAT|
|Land Registry search fee (if property involved)||£3.00||VAT|
Timescales and how to proceed
Obtaining a grant of representation and dealing with the administration of an estate can be complicated; it can take several months to make sure everything is done properly. Typical timescales are 3-6 months to obtain a Grant of Probate and 6-12 months for completing the whole administration. We do however offer a complete estate administration service to deal with everything for you.
Every estate is different, which is why we encourage you to contact us so we can provide you with an estimate outlining a range of potential fees to make sure that you get the right amount of support to meet your individual circumstances. We will update you regularly on your costs throughout the matter so you can stay in control throughout.
We are usually able to provide more accurate estimates on fees and likely timescales after the first meeting as there are usually many matters to consider at the outset.