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Pricing for Probate services

At Hepburn Delaney, we charge for the time taken to administer an Estate rather than the value of an Estate.  Managing the Estate of a loved one is a very personal process and every Estate is individual.  Because of the complexities involved, Probate requires a personalised quote and we always recommend arranging a meeting with either Alison or Claire our Wills, Trust and Probate Solicitors to discuss the Estate.  They will provide you with a detailed estimate of costs and is an opportunity to learn more about us.  This meeting is free of charge and can be booked by:

To help you understand the costs involved, we have provided a guide to our Probate pricing for a simple Estate below.  If we spend less time on your matter, we will charge you less than the estimates below.  For more complicated Estates where we spend more time, the cost will be more than the estimates below.

Two key factors are whether you require us to undertake just the Probate application, or if you need us to carry out further work, such as paying bills and legacies and notifying third parties. Our fee will also be slightly more if the estate is subject to an Inheritance Tax payment. To find out if the Inheritance Tax applies, we recommend reading the HMRC Bereavement Guide.

We also offer services for Wills and Trusts amongst our Probate department. Take a look at our service page for more information.

Our Fees and work undertaken

There are two services we offer for Probate:

orangeleaf1 To apply and obtain a Grant.  This involves:

  • Obtaining date of death valuations for the assets of the Estate
  • Determining any debts and liabilities of the Estate
  • Filling out necessary HRMC forms
  • Preparing the Oath to obtain the Grant of Probate
  • We would then give the Grant to the Executor who would then deal with the administration of the Estate themselves

orangeleaf1 A full administration of the Estate which would include obtaining Grant of Probate, gathering in the assets of the Estate and distributing the Estate to the beneficiaries.  This involves:

  • To do all the above plus;
  • Once the Grant is obtained, to then arrange for the release of funds from bank accounts, investments, premium bonds, sell shares and instruct conveyances for the sale of the property
  • Once all the assets have been gathered and Hepburn Delaney hold all of the funds on client account, any debts and liabilities of the Estate will be paid, bankruptcy searches against the names of the beneficiaries.
  • Final distribution of the Estate is made.

If we assume all the paperwork is provided to Hepburn Delaney and;

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 2 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 1 to 2 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

To obtain the Grant only service, we anticipate this will take between 5 and 6 hours at £250 per hour. Total fee estimated at between £1,250 and £1,500 + VAT.  This is an estimate and not a fixed fee.

For a full administration of the Estate, we anticipate this will take between 10 and 12 hours at £250 per hour.  Total fee estimated between £2,500 – £3,000 + VAT to conclude the full administration of the Estate.  This is an estimate and not a fixed fee.

The above scenario is the most straight forward example of Probate we can give.

However many probates are more involved. For example, the deceased may have held shares, premium bonds, investment funds, private pensions etc.  We would expect to be obtaining a date of death valuation for such assets on your behalf.

We are finding that for this type of estate Grant of Probate costs are ranging between £3,500 and £5,000. For full administration costs are ranging between £7,000 and £10,000.

For estates where Hepburn Delaney find the deceased affairs are not known to others and have to investigate all the assets and liabilities ourselves then the costs will be higher.  As an example, Hepburn Delaney has recently completed a Probate where our tasks not only included establishing the extent of the estate, but also registering the deceased’s death, arranging the funeral/memorial service, house clearance, auction of valuables and arranging the sale of the property.  The cost to obtain grant of probate was £14,000. with the full administration concluding at £20,000.

Disbursements

In addition to our fees, the following Disbursements will be payable.  Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We manage the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

  • Probate application fee of £155 (plus 50p per extra copy)
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary) This applies to full administration only.
  • Post in The London Gazette and Local Newspaper which protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors – £200 (varies on agent fees for each publication)

 

How long will it take?

The timescales below are approximate and often depend on timely responses from HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions.

For the example we have given typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 2-3 months.

For a full administration of the Estate can take between 6-12 months based on the example we have given.  Our example includes the need for a property to be sold which depending on the market can the delay the conclusion of the administration.

Who will undertake the work?

Hepburn Delaney’s probate and estate administration services are undertaken by Alison Rowley and Claire Patterson.

                       

Alison Rowley                                                 Claire Patterson

Partner | Wills & Probate Team                 Solicitor | Wills & Probate Team