Probate Services and Price Information
Wills, Trusts, Tax & Probate
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:
VAT (charged at the current rate of 20%)
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 £273 and £1.50 per sealed copy of the Grant (anticipate four being required).
Therefore the total costs are likely to be £1,719 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 (charged at the current rate of 20%). 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 £273.00 plus £1.50 per sealed copy of the Grant
- 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.
Susan Owens – Solicitor, Partner and Head of Department ( Qualified in 1998)
Susan 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.
Susan charges £290 per hour plus £58 VAT (charged at the current rate of 20%). The total hourly rate including VAT is £348.00.
Anna Fowler-Guest – Associate Solicitor (Qualified in 2004)
Anna is based at our Northampton Office.
She provides specialist advise on will drafting, estate planning, declarations of trusts, discretionary trusts, lasting power of attorney and administration services.
Anna charges £265 per hour plus £53 VAT (charged at the current rate of 20%). The total hourly rate including VAT is £318.00.
Michael Osborne – Associate Solicitor (Qualified in 2001)
Michael is based at our Northampton Office.
He is an Associate with 20 years’ experience in the areas of company & commercial, money & tax, wills and trusts & probate.
Michael charges £265 per hour plus £53 VAT (charged at the current rate of 20%). The total hourly rate including VAT is £318.00.
Shannon Carpenter – Solicitor (Qualified in 2023)
Shannon is based at the Northampton Office.
She is a newly qualified Solicitor and is supervised by Susan Owens. Shannon is able to advise on will drafting, estate planning, probate and lasting power of attorney.
Shannon charges £200 per hour plus £40 VAT (charged at the current rate of 20%). The total hourly rate including VAT is £240.00.