Uncontested probate

The collection and distribution of assets belonging to a deceased person, where all assets are in the UK and matters are not contested

Our fees

We will never charge a percentage of the value of the gross or net estate.  All work undertaken will be charged on an hourly basis as set out below.

Our fee includes undertaking the following services:

  • ascertaining the assets and liabilities of the estate
  • completing the necessary short form Inheritance Tax form(s)
  • applying for a Grant of Probate
  • collecting in the assets of the deceased
  • paying liabilities from estate funds
  • identifying any need for completion of a tax return for the deceased or the estate
  • distributing the assets to the beneficiaries

We anticipate that this work will typically take between 8 and 12 hours and will be charged at between £160 and £250 per hour dependant on the fee earner undertaking the work. Total costs are estimated at between £1,500 and £3,000, plus VAT at 20%.

The exact costs will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary of the estate and no property (house or flat owned by the deceased), costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts and / or investments, costs will be at the higher end or greater.

We will handle the full process for you. The fee range above is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than a total of 3 bank / building society accounts / shares/ ISAs / other investments
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 1 – 3 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 (“IHT”) payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements

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

The following will be payable in addition to our above fee:

  • Current Probate application fee of £155 (This will change in April 2019)
  • Any additional copies of the grant of probate required will cost £0.50 (if ordered at the same time as applying for the grant, otherwise £1) (1 per asset usually required)
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor) unless providing a Statement of Truth
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £78 Statutory Notice in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • Typically £70 to £100 Statutory Notice in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.
  • VAT at 20% is payable for Statutory Notices but not for the other disbursements described above.

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no Will or if the estate contains in excess of 3 share holdings, stocks and bonds including ISAs and similar, there are likely to be additional costs that could vary significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with.
  • If a trust is established by the Will and / or a variation of the Will is required for the purpose of IHT benefit to the estate or for other reasons then this work is not covered by the fee range above.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.  This will be treated as a separate conveyancing matter.
  • Dealing with foreign assets, business and agricultural assets is not included in the fee range above.

We will always provide a full fee quotation prior to accepting instructions to act once we have more information about the above matters.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within the above fee range are normally dealt with within 6 and 8 months from receipt of the instructions. However, tax issues, particularly income tax returns where third parties such as accountants and HMRC are involved may have a bearing on the timing.

Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes between 6 and 12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4 and 8 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets. This normally takes between 4 and 6 weeks.