Our Fees

Pricing Guide in relation to uncontested probate where assets are all situated in the UK

When someone dies usually there will be certain formalities that you will need to deal with to administer their estate and make sure their assets pass to the correct beneficiaries. This process is referred to as 'Probate' work.

Many firms and banks carrying out probate work will charge clients on a “value element” basis – which means that they charge a fee based upon a percentage of the value of the deceased's estate. At Neves, we do not believe that this is a fair way to charge for our fees and instead we charge our clients on a time spent basis by our experienced probate solicitors and executives. Each probate matter is different and therefore we provide a cost quote at the start of the matter to give you a good indication of what the final cost will be. We will then update you on the ongoing costs on a regular basis and let you know if the quote needs amending.  In some circumstances we can also offer a fixed fee service where we are simply obtaining the Grant of Probate for you. In almost all cases the probate costs are paid by the deceased’s estate.

Details of our team are available by clicking on the images at the bottom of the page. Most of our team members are qualified members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets if No Full Inheritance Tax Return Required

Our Charges

For estates where a full Inheritance Tax return is not required and it is an uncontested estate administration we anticipate the time that we will spend in dealing with this for you this will take between 5 and 20 hours work.

The rates charged by our probate solicitors vary on experience however the average fees are £220 per hour plus VAT and by our probate executives £175 per hour plus VAT. Our charges will therefore be between £875 and £4400 plus VAT depending upon the complexity of the matter and which members of our team carry out the work. 

VAT is currently charged at the rate applicable at 20%.

Disbursements

In addition to our charges, certain costs will be payable to third parties, which are called 'disbursements'.  We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Examples of the common disbursements payable in connection with obtaining a Grant of Probate are:

  • Probate application fee of between £155 - £165
  • Swearing of the oath - £7 (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy searches (£3 per beneficiary)
  • Statutory Notices - £180 - £360 Post in The London Gazette and in a local newspaper – This helps to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors

The total costs (including disbursements and VAT at 20%) for estates where a full Inheritance Tax return is not required are therefore in the range of between £1,395.00 - £5,815.00.

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 range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

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

  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this will 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

Potential additional costs

  • If there are assets that require specialist valuation, then this will incur additional cost;
  • If there are overseas assets;
  • If the estate involves complex tax issues then specialist tax advice will be required and additional costs will be incurred;
  • If there are Trusts to administer in the Will; and
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 3-5 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-8 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 3-4 weeks, (excluding dealing with the sale of any property). Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4-8 weeks. Although in some circumstances we advise (in order to protect the executors against third party claims) that the estate assets are not distributed earlier than 10 months from the date of Grant of Probate.

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets if a Full Inheritance Tax Return is Required

Our Charges

If a full Inheritance Tax Return is required then our costs will be higher. We anticipate the time we will spend will be between 15 and 30 hours. Our charges (at the rates mentioned above) therefore will be between £2,625 and £6,600 plus vat depending upon the complexity of the matter and which members of our team carry out the work.

Disbursements

In addition to our charges, certain costs will be payable to third parties, which are called 'disbursements'.  We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Examples of the common disbursements payable in connection with obtaining a Grant of Probate are:

  • Probate application fee of between £155 - £165
  • Swearing of the oath - £7 (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy searches (£3 per beneficiary)
  • Statutory Notices - £180 - £360 Post in The London Gazette and in a local newspaper – This helps to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors

Whilst for more complex estates additional costs may be incurred, such as valuation fees and specialist tax advice, for estates where a full Inheritance Tax return is required, the total costs (including disbursements as detailed above and VAT) are estimated at between £3,495 and £8,455. However, the exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter.

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

  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this will lead to an increase in costs
  • There are no claims made against the estate

We will

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Advise you on your duties as an Executor and on all matters which will need to be completed to fully deal with the administration of the estate
  • Obtain details and valuations of all assets and liabilities in the estate
  • Collect in the assets of the estate
  • Settle any debts and liabilities of the estate
  • Prepare estate accounts
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate

Potential additional costs

  • If there are assets that require specialist valuation, then this will incur additional cost;
  • If there are overseas assets;
  • If the estate involves complex tax issues then specialist tax advice will be required and additional costs will be incurred;
  • If there are Trusts to administer in the Will; and
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-18 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-8 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 3-4 weeks, (excluding dealing with the sale of any property). Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4-8 weeks. Although in some circumstances we advise (in order to protect the executors against third party claims) that the estate assets are not distributed earlier than 10 months from the date of Grant of Probate.

Fixed Fee - obtaining the grant only

If you do not require us to help with the distribution of the estate and if a full Inheritance Tax return is not required then we can help you through the process of obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. You will then deal with the collecting and distributing of assets. (Although we can assist with this if required).

How much does this service cost?

This includes: obtaining the grant only

Legal fees - £750

VAT on legal fees - £150

Disbursements (these 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):

  • Probate court fee of between £155 and £165; and
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor).

Disbursements - £162  to £172 in total.

TOTAL: fixed fee of between £1062 and £1072 (incl. VAT) - where there is a single executor.

As part of our fixed fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced solicitor or probate executive to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors 
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate

We require you to complete a schedule of assets and liabilities and their values as at the date of death.

This does not include:

  • Distributing the assets of the estate
  • Arranging any statutory notice advertisements in the London Gazette or local newspapers
  • Dealing with any disputes
  • Dealing with any inheritance tax

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-8 weeks to obtain the grant of probate.

 

March 2020

 

Members of our Probate Team

Nina Gurra
Senior Associate - Private Client
Maxine Braham
Senior Associate and Head of Private Client Luton
Chris England
Chartered Legal Executive - Private Client
Jennifer Duckett
Solicitor - Private Client
Jennifer Garner
Solicitor - Private Client