P E R F E C T L Y   L E G A L   L L P 

0203 602 1016

Probate Process and Charges

 

Who will deal with the matter?

 

Our Wills and Estates specialist, Rachel Mildred will deal with your matter personally throughout. You will always have access to her direct telephone line and email and will never be left feeling unsure who is dealing with your matter, or passed over to secretarial support.

 

Her hourly rate is £260 plus VAT.

 

Rachel is approachable, sympathetic and proactive in dealing with the administration process. With over 7 years’ Post-Qualification experience, Rachel has a wealth of experience in dealing with a range of estates, including unusual and complex matters.

 

Perfectly Legal is regulated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority and has suitable professional indemnity insurance for all such work.

 

What are your charges?

 

Dealing with the affairs of someone who’s died is a very personal matter. During our lifetimes we are all wonderfully unique, and therefore no two Probate & Estate cases are ever the same either.

 

All charges for dealing with estates will vary slightly depending on the individual’s wishes, assets and family situation; whether there is a Will or not and whether the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax, but hopefully the following guidelines will help to prepare you at this difficult time, and provide some useful information about what you can expect from your lawyer. We will always aim to give you an accurate estimate of timescales and costs from the outset and let you choose whether you would prefer for us to work for you on a time-recorded basis or a fixed fee.

 

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

 

A very straightforward estate would require an audit of the assets and liabilities that the deceased left behind. A declaration will then need to be made to HM Revenue & Customs in relation to the Inheritance Tax position of the estate. A Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration will be applied for from the Court, and once this has been obtained, the assets can be collected in and distributed as per the Will or Intestacy Rules.

 

With no complications, the entire process will normally take between 15 and 25 hours work at the appropriate hourly rate. Total costs for this kind of estate would normally be estimated at around £3,500 – £4,500 (+VAT).

 

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.

 

Once we have a clear overview of the assets of the estate and any issues relating to the Will or intestacy we will provide you with a detailed estimate of the likely charges in advance of undertaking any work.

 

The above quote is illustrative of estates where:

 

•There is a valid will

•There is no more than one property

•There are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts

•There are no other intangible assets

•There are 1-4  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

 

Will the estate incur any further charges?

 

Disbursements are additional expenses that are payable to third parties (such as Court fees) that the estate will incur throughout the administration period. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

 

Some examples of usual disbursements include:

 

•£156.00-£165.00 Probate application fee plus copies of the Grant (normally one copy per asset)

•£5.00 - £9.00 Swearing of the oath (per executor)

•£2 per beneficiary Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches

•£79.00 (incl VAT) Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.

•£70-£120 (plus VAT) Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.

 

 

Potential additional costs

 

•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.

•Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included and this will be quoted for separately by our property department.

 

 

How long will this take?

 

On average, simple estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 4-6 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 12-16 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2-4 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2-4 weeks.

 

Please note that for administration of estates valued  at 1 million and over we charge a percentage fee (usually 2%).