Transparency: Wills and Inheritance / Probate (Uncontested)

probate

Services and Pricing

 

Our approach to fees is open and straightforward. Rather than charging a percentage of the estate regardless of the work that is actually required, we only charge for the work we carry out. This means that you have clear control and flexibility over the extent of our involvement and thus our fees.

As part of this approach, our services range from merely obtaining the Grant of Probate (allowing the Executors to deal with the ongoing administration themselves) through to dealing with all of the work required to ensure the estate is dealt with in a quick and tax-efficient manner.

Grant-Only Applications

For those who are primarily concerned with obtaining the Grant, we offer a Probate-only package where we will prepare the application based upon figures supplied by you.

In cases where the value of the estate means that the application for the Grant can be dealt with without the lodgement of a full Inland Revenue Account (IHT400), our fee is £500 plus VAT. There are also disbursements in the form of:

  • A Probate Court fee of £155.00 (with an additional charge of 50p for each copy).
  • Commissioners' fees of £5.00 (plus £2.00 for each exhibit) for each proving Personal Representative.

Applying for the Grant, Collecting and Distributing the Assets

Some families ask us to deal with the whole of the administration on their behalf. In such a case, we will contact all of the organisations relevant to the estate, collate the information required to apply for the Grant, obtain the Grant and close the accounts concerned.

If the estate involves a house, we will also deal with its sale and, if it looks as though the sale will take some time, we will will arrange for interim distributions from the estate pending the sale of the house.

We will prepare accounts showing how the administration has been dealt with and circulate the accounts amongst the Executors/Beneficiaries for approval. Finally, we will deal with the distribution of the estate in accordance with those accounts.

Because each estate is different, we are unable to give an estimate that will apply to all estates. However, it is possible for us to give you an estimate of our fees when dealing with a straightforward matter where you’ve asked us to deal with the whole of the administration.

Example quote

An estate is worth £350,000 in total and isn’t subject to Inheritance Tax.

We anticipate the administration of the estate would take between seven and ten hours of work at a rate of £210 plus VAT per hour. Consequently, the total cost would then be estimated to be between £1,650 and £2,250 plus VAT.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one Beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the scale. If the estate involves multiple Beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid Will.
  • There is no more than one property.
  • There are no more than four bank or building society accounts.
  • There are no other intangible assets.
  • There are two to four Beneficiaries.
  • There are no disputes between Beneficiaries regarding the 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.

Disbursements not included in this fee

  • Probate application fee of £155.00.
  • Fees for swearing the oath at £7.00 per Executor.
  • Bankruptcy–only Land Charges Department searches at £4.00 per Beneficiary.
  • Post in the London Gazette and local newspaper at £220.00, which protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.

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

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no Will or the estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks and bonds), there are likely to be additional costs that could vary significantly depending on the estate and how it is dealt with. In this case, we can give you a more accurate quote once we receive more information.
  • If any additional copies of the Grant are required, they will cost £0.50 each (usually one per asset).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

Probate – Fixed Fee

As previously highlighted, we do not charge on a percentage basis but rather for the work actually required. The benefit of this approach is that the family are in control of our fees. However, it may mean that if difficulties arise during the administration of the estate, our costs may exceed the initial estimate.

Some families prefer the certainty of knowing what our fee will be. For this reason, we also offer a Fixed Fee service that helps you determine how much our fees will be when handling straightforward estates.

If the estate becomes contentious, or if there is a dispute amongst Beneficiaries, then we will speak with you regarding any potential increase in our fees. In any case, you can rest assured that we will continue to take a sensible and pragmatic approach.

If we take the above quote as an example, then our fixed price would be £2,750 plus VAT and the disbursements set out above.

Because each matter is different, we are unable to give a Fixed Fee estimate without reviewing the work required. We will happily review the required work free of charge to allow you to make an informed decision.

How long will it take?

On average, estates similar to those described above are dealt with within 4-8 months. Obtaining the Grant of Probate typically takes 4-8 weeks. This is followed by the collection of assets, which can take between 4-8 weeks, although it may take longer. The distribution of these assets normally takes 1-2 weeks. The administration of an estate that involves the sale of a house will take longer.

The Team

 

By choosing Smith Partnership, you’ll receive expert legal advice and a first-class service. All of our staff have extensive experience in their respective fields, and we pride ourselves on our open and practical approach. Our Wills and Inheritance team consists of:

  • Darren Perry
    Darren Perry
    Partner
  • Luke Smyth
    Luke Smyth
    Associate
  • Jack Robinson
    Jack Robinson
    Solicitor
  • Sarah Clark
    Sarah Clark
    Legal Executive
  • Lesley Wilson
    Lesley Wilson
    Private Client Adviser
  • Kate George
    Kate George
    Paralegal
  • Liz Cochrane
    Liz Cochrane
    Solicitor
  • Ewelina Zygadlo
    Ewelina Zygadlo
    Solicitor