Probate Work

Our normal method of charging for probate work is at our standard hourly rates.  A list of rates is set out below:

Standard hourly rate (excluding VAT):

Partner - £425 to £575 (Depending on experience)
Associate - £225 to £350 (Depending on experience)
Trainee - £175

At the outset of each probate matter, we will try to give our clients an estimate of the time we expect to spend on any particular estate either in total or stage-by-stage.  We will also keep our clients up-to-date on costs regularly as the matter progresses.

The costs for advising on the administration of an estate vary widely, depending on the complexity and size of the estate.  We specialise in dealing with larger and more complex estates involving international elements, intangible property (such as copyrights), disputes and other matters not normally dealt with in a simple estate administration.  For dealing with such complex estates, please contact us for a fee quote.  At that time, we will also be able to advise on exactly what our costs will cover and how long the process might take.

For simple estates, we set out below the typical range of our costs, together with information on what is included in our fees and how long you might expect the process to take.

Sample costs – simple estates

We set out below what our charges might typically be for acting in relation to uncontested probate cases on a simple estate where all the assets are in the UK.   This pricing will apply only to small estates, for example, where the value of the estate is less than £325,000, or the value of the estate is less than £1m and a spouse inherits the bulk of the assets.  

We expect our fees for such a matter to be in the range of £3,500 to £10,000 plus VAT.

Please remember, 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 of obtaining a grant of probate, collecting in the assets and distributing them.  

We have assumed, for the purpose of this price guide, the following:

  • There is a valid will and no dispute as to its terms.
  • There is no more than one property.
  • There are no more than three bank or building society accounts.
  • There are no shareholdings.
  • There are no other intangible assets.
  • There are between one and five beneficiaries.
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on 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

In addition to the above fees, the following disbursements are payable:

  • Probate application fee: £273.00.
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches: £2.00 per beneficiary.
  • Notices in The London Gazette and a local newspaper (for protection against unexpected claims from unknown creditors): Usually, £300.00 to £350.00 (including VAT).

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.

Please note that the above price information is for a simple estate.  If the estate is more complex (for example, there is no will, the estate includes shares or other intangible property, or there are more than five beneficiaries), we can give a more accurate fee quote when we have more information.

Please note that each additional copy of the grant of probate will cost £0.50.  A copy of the grant will usually be required for each major asset in the estate.

Please also note that dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

Other charges

In addition to our fees and disbursements, we make charges for electronic bank transfers, photocopying, printing and faxes.  

  • UK electronic money transfer fee – Priority Payment: £40.00 plus VAT.
  • International or foreign currency electronic money transfer fee: £60.00 plus VAT.
  • Electronic money transfer fee – BACS (three-day transfer): £6.00 plus VAT.
  • Issuing a cheque: £25.00 plus VAT per cheque.
  • Photocopying, printing and scanning at 25p plus VAT per A4 page (black & white), 75p plus VAT per A4 page (colour).  Larger format jobs priced on request.
  • Anti-money laundering checks: £10.00 plus VAT per individual person.
  • Administration fee for deeds retrieval: £20.00 plus VAT.
  • Administration fee for file retrieval: £50.00 plus VAT.

Time for payment

We bill on a monthly basis and bills are payable upon presentation.

We also reserve the right to ask for money on account of our fees before starting work.

How long will it take to deal with the administration of a simple estate?

On average, simple estates as described above are dealt with within three to nine months.  Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes one to two months. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between one to four months. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets – this normally takes one to three months.