Thank you for looking at our probate services. Coping with the death of a person can bring a mixture of emotions and the legal side of dealing with a person’s death can often be overwhelming and confusing. Having compassionate, experienced legal advice can make this difficult situation much easier on you and your loved ones.
Where a Will is in existence, in most cases, the Executors will need to apply for the grant of probate which will give them the legal right to administer the estate. Where there is no Will in existence, the Will is invalid or it does not specify Executors, an Administrator will need to be appointed.
In order to provide you with the best service possible we consider every estate on a case by case basis. This is because every estate is different. At the outset of your matter we will consider your objectives and the most suitable options available to you.
We have set out below an indication of average price ranges for the services available. Your personal legal adviser will provide you with a more detailed estimate of costs following your initial meeting.
Grant only – non-taxable estate
Starting from £1000 +VAT
Grant only – non-taxable estate claiming unused spouse allowance
Starting from £1250 + VAT
Grant only – requiring completion of IHT 400
Charged on a time spent basis at the fee earners hourly rate.
Full administration – non-taxable estate
£2,000 to £8,000 + VAT
Full administration – taxable estate
£6,000 to £25,000 + VAT
Costs are based on the time spent dealing with your matter and charged on the basis of an hourly rate.
Peter left a will leaving everything to his two children, he was a widower. At the time of his death he owned a property worth £200,000 and he had a bank account for his day to day banking holding £1,500 and a building society account with savings of £25,000. A grant of probate would be required to deal with his estate but the value of his assets means that inheritance tax is not payable. The house sells quickly for the full value and the money held in the two accounts is collected. After all expenses are paid, the remaining balance is paid to his two children in equal shares. The estimated time required to administer an estate of this nature would usually take from 15 to 30 hours and the cost of administering this estate would be estimated between £3,600 and £7,000 plus VAT.
Imagine Peter's estate contains more assets. The property he lives in worth £500,000. He has a number of bank and building society accounts totalling £100,000. He has investments totalling £150,000 and premium bonds worth £50,000. He also owns a car worth £20,000. Peter's total estate is worth £820,000 and therefore above the inheritance tax free limit and would be subject to inheritance tax. However as Peter is a widow, we can claim any of his late wife's tax free allowances to reduce/alleviate the tax burden. Also, as Peter is leaving his estate to his children, there are additional inheritance tax allowances that can be claimed to bring the estate within the inheritance tax free allowances. The estimated time to administer an estate of this nature and size would be between 20 and 60 hours and the cost of administering this estate would be estimated between £4,500 and £14,000 plus VAT.
This time Peter was divorced prior to his death. In addition to the above assets, he also ran a successful business valued at £1.5 million. His estate would be liable to inheritance tax as he would no longer be able to claim any tax allowances from his ex-wife however there may be relief from inheritance tax for his business assets. Winding up the business takes 2 years. The estimated time to deal with an estate of this nature would be between 50 and 100 hours with estimated fees of £12,000 to £25,000 plus VAT.
Please note the above estates, the time taken to administer them and the fees quoted, are for illustrative purposes only. Your legal adviser will be able to give you a tailored estimate depending on the circumstances of the particular estate as there are many additional factors that can influence the time and costs involved.
We have an experienced team who can assist you with every aspect of the probate process, reducing the administrative burden and advising sensitively on key decisions which need to be made when managing an estate. We are aware that administering an estate comes at a time of grief and high emotion, and that most people do not know the processes and legal requirements involved.
We will give you a clear time frame of how long probate should take and will keep you and any beneficiaries advised throughout.
You will have the confidence that you are our priority, with our aim being that any member of the team is available to speak with you when you need some clarity and certainty at any stage in the process. We feel this provides reassurance and gives you an outlet for any concerns that you may have. Fees are generally paid out of the estate, so there may not be a need for you to fund the administration.