Fees for Uncontested Probate
This guidance applies to the collection and distribution of money, real estate (land and/or buildings), and other assets belonging to a person following their death, where these are in England and Wales and there is no dispute.
Basis of our charges
Because estates (i.e. the affairs of a deceased person) can vary greatly in terms of their size and their complexity (and therefore the amount of work involved in administering them), we do not quote fixed prices but we are able to provide a range of costs (see below). We charge according to the time we spend on the matter.
Our hourly rates are as follows:
£360 - £450*
£265 - £320*
£200 - £300*
£150 - £165*
* all rates are ex. VAT
The amount of time which will be spent on a matter will be influenced by such variables as:
whether the deceased left a valid will
if there was no Will, the terms of the intestacy
the nature and number of assets owned by the deceased and the jurisdiction in which they were held
the number and identity of the beneficiaries
the tax position of the estate
whether there are any debts or liabilities
whether there are claims made against the estate
Range of costs
The range below includes the typical third party expenses set out below but it does not include taxes payable to the Government (as to which see further below).
Typically, the cost of obtaining probate (or, in the case of intestacy, letters of administration) for an estate following death will range from £2,500 (plus VAT) for a straightforward matter to £75,000 (plus VAT) for a complex one.
A straightforward matter might be one where the deceased left a clear will with only one beneficiary and no assets in the form of land or buildings. A more complicated estate might be one with multiple assets (perhaps including real estate) and multiple beneficiaries.
The presence of any one of the following features would render the matter a more complicated one, with costs tending towards the upper end of the range.
If the deceased and/or spouse lived somewhere other than in the UK
Any lack of co-operation between beneficiaries and/or executors
A large number of assets is involved
Any of the assets are works of art, investments, vehicles or real estate
If there is a business or business assets
The existence of liabilities (such as a mortgage)
We would be pleased to provide a firmer estimate upon receipt of further information.
Third Party expenses
In addition to our own fees, it will often be necessary to incur the fees of third parties. Typically, these will include the following:
Probate application fee of £155 fee (plus additional costs for office copies of the Grant) (no VAT)
Oath fee - £5 plus £2 for exhibit (e.g. Will) (no VAT)
Bankruptcy only searches at Land Charges Department; £2 per search (no VAT)
Section 27 of the Trustee Act 1925 Notice fees, in the region of £100 -250 plus VAT
These are included in our range of costs above. Others, which are not typical and which are therefore not included in our range of costs, might include:
Dealing with the Land Registry to check the titles to the jointly owned properties with regard to the way in which they are held jointly
Obtaining new share certificates or other expenses in relating to the transfer or sale of shareholdings
For the sake of convenience, we will generally pay the third party on your behalf, but we will do so on the basis that you pay us in advance of that fee being incurred.
VAT at 20% is charged on our fees and on all third party fees (except Probate application fees and Land Registry fees).
How long will it take to obtain the Grant?
The time it takes to obtain the grant for a very simple estate with no real estate and a Will (or a straightforward intestacy) can be as little as 8 weeks.
As a general rule, the bigger an estate is (or the greater the number of assets within it), the greater its complexity. The more complex an estate is, the more time it will take to prepare the application for probate and to collect and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries. Typically, it will take between 3 and 12 months. Of course, in particularly complex cases (see above), it could take longer.
Matters not included in the fee ranges set out above
The experience and qualifications of anyone carrying out the work
Please refer to the profiles of the members of our private client team.