Wills, Trusts, Tax & Probate

Probate Services and Price Information Legal Services

Probate Services and Prices

Suffering the loss of a loved one is a traumatic experience and our team understand that it is incredibly stressful.  They are empathetic and well used to assisting executors and administrators with the legal processes which are necessary to deal with the administration of an estate whether the person who has passed away died with or without leaving a will.  They also understand that everyone’s situation is different and therefore they are able to tailor their service to fit the need.

Our partner led team of private client lawyers have many years of experience amongst them.  The team is accredited by the Law Society under the Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS).  We also have two lawyers who are accredited by Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), one of who is also qualified by the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

For more information about the services that we offer and our prices, please contact one of our team who will be happy to provide you with more information.

However, please see some guidance about our prices below.

Application for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration only

Generally, we are able to offer this on a fixed fee basis for estates which are worth less than £325,000 or where most or all of the estate (if it exceeds £325,000) is passing to a surviving spouse.  In these cases, only a short form application for a Grant of Probate is required.

As part of our fixed fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter,
  • Review the documentation that you provide to us,
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries,
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require,
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms on your behalf and send them to you for signing or sworn,
  • Make the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf,
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send the sealed copies to you,

We will not: -

  • Contact any organisations to whom money is owed or which owes money to the estate and/or collect in or handle any monies on behalf of the estate except where we need to pay or be paid fees.

Breakdown of basic costs:

Legal Fees

£1000.00

VAT

£200.00

Subtotal

£1,200.00

In addition there are disbursements which have to be paid to third parties.

Based on two executors or administrators applying for the Grant, those will be a fee to the Probate Registry of £155 and 50 pence per sealed copy of the Grant (anticipate four being required) and swear fees which are likely to be £7.00 per executor.

Therefore the total costs are likely to be £1,371 including VAT based on the anticipated disbursements above.

We also advise executors to carry out other processes to protect themselves against claims from creditors once they commence the collecting in and distributing of assets.  Such processes include: -

  • Placing Notices in the London Gazette and local newspaper to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors and claims – approximately £200 including VAT
  • Bankruptcy only searches - £2.00 per beneficiary
  • Search of Certainty the National Will Register to ensure that there are no other wills - £90 plus VAT

If you ask us to undertake these things on your behalf, they will increase the basic costs quoted above.

On average, where we are instructed to obtain a Grant of Probate only and assuming that the executors are able to provide us with information that enables us to complete the application on your behalf, it will take us about 3 – 4 weeks to prepare the application.

Typically, once we have made the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf, we expect to obtain the grant of probate takes 4-6 weeks.

 

If you need advice and assistance in relation to obtaining a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration where a long form Application is needed because the value of the estate exceeds £325,000 please contact us for information.  In these matters, we may be able to offer a fixed fee but the rate will depend on which lawyer is dealing with the matter for you.  Their hourly charges are set out below.

 

Application for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

We charge for this on an hourly basis and the total cost will depend on which member of our team is undertaking the work for you and how long the matter takes.

However, we estimate that our fees will often be in the region of £2,000 to £4,000 plus VAT.  This will be for estates where there is no dispute and no inheritance tax is payable, where the spouse or children are the only beneficiaries, there is not property to be sold and there is only a small number of other assets.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter.

The anticipated disbursements are:

  • Probate application fee of £155.00 plus 50 pence per sealed copy of the Grant
  • Swearing of the oath which is £7.00 per executor
  • Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • Certainty Search to ensure that there are no other wills (£90.00 plus VAT)
  • Notices in The London Gazette and a Local Newspaper to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors – approximately £200.00 including VAT

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

Potential additional costs

Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible for us to identify any issues that may increase your costs when you first instruct us to act for you.  However, our many years of experience means that we know that if the following issues arise, they are likely to increase the legal fees payable and the time the matter will take: -

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information,
  • Where there is property abroad,
  • Where there are existing trusts
  • Where there is Inheritance Tax (IHT) to pay
  • Where the beneficiaries require incidental advice such as varying the terms of the Will for IHT purposes,
  • An investigation by the Department of Work and Pensions,
  • Where there is a business interest,
  • Where we are required to carry out regular inspections of a property,
  • Where there are numerous beneficiaries or beneficiaries that cannot easily be traced,
  • Where there are many bank and/or building society accounts,
  • Where a claim is intimated or brought against the estate,
  • Where the executors cannot work together and agree their instructions to us.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6 - 12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 9- 12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 12 - 26 weeks. Once this has been done, we can prepared Estate Accounts and distribute the assets, which normally takes 26 - 52 weeks.

 

Our Team

Sue Owens – Solicitor, Partner and Head of Department

Sue qualified as a solicitor in 1998 and is based at our Kettering Office.

She is able to advise clients on all aspects of planning for their future; wills, trusts and powers of attorney.  She also assists with the Administration of Estates and Court of Protection matters.

She is a member of the Solicitors for the Elderly and holds an SFE Older Client Care in Practice Award.  This award recognises that in her work with older and vulnerable clients, Sue complies with the SFE Code of Practice.

Sue charges £270 per hour plus VAT.

Clare de Banke - Solicitor and Partner

Clare qualified as a solicitor in 2001.  She is the Firm’s Managing Partner but also advises on wills, probate matters and powers of attorney.  Clare has been involved in the creation of processes and documentation to ensure that clients obtain a high standard of care and expertise from the Private Client Team and this enabled the Firm to obtain accreditation from the Law Society under the Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme which recognises a standard of excellence.

Clare is based at our Northampton Office and charges £240 per hour plus VAT.

Kathryn Frisby – Solicitor and Partner

Kathryn qualified as a solicitor in 2004 before becoming a Partner in January 2016.  She specialises in private client and residential conveyancing. She has particular interest in complex and high value conveyancing transactions as well as routinely advising on Wills, the administration of estates, Court of Protection applications and powers of attorney.  Her combined areas of work assist her greatly in dealing with estates where there is real property involved.

Kathryn is based at our Kettering office and charges £230 per hour plus VAT.

Isobel Mann – Solicitor (TEP)

Isobel qualified as a solicitor in 2007.  She is a fully accredited member of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and is also accredited by Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).  She is the East Midlands regional coordinator for SFE.

Isobel specialises in elderly client law; Wills, probate, mental incapacity issues (including Lasting Power of attorney and Court of Protection work), care fee queries and assisting with assessments for Local Authority and NHS funding.

Isobel is based at our Northampton office and charges £220 per hour plus VAT.

Jean Nixon – Senior Private Client Executive

Jean has over 30 years’ experience in providing comprehensive advice and assistance in wills, probate, trusts, powers of attorney and matters relating to the elderly including shared ownerships.  Jean routinely advises on inheritance tax planning and the creation of lifetime trusts and specialises in dealing with complex estates.

Jean is based at our Northampton Office and charges £200 per hour plus VAT.

If you need advice or assistance please email: advice@bmtclaw.co.uk

Jean Nixon

Senior Private Client Executive

Email Jean

01604 622101

Meet the team

Related articles & news

View all news