I charge for probate work by the time taken to do the work. The hourly rate is £200 + VAT and the cost will vary depending on what work you ask me to do. I will handle the full process for you.
Applying for the grant of probate
For example, to apply for and obtain the grant of probate for a simple estate will usually be between two and five hours work, i.e a total of £400 to £1,000 + VAT.
This estimate applies to estates where:
- There is a valid will
- There is no more than one property
- There are no more than five bank accounts
- There are no other assets
- There are between one and three beneficiaries
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets such as personal possessions. Any disputes will increase the cost
- There is no inheritance tax payable and executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
- No claims are made against the estate
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances. For example, a simple estate with one beneficiary and no property will be at the lower end of the range and an estate with many beneficiaries, a property and many bank accounts will be at the higher end
In addition there will be the following charges to other organisations:
- Probate court fee of £155 plus 50p for each copy of the grant
- £7 for each executor to swear the oath
Completing the administration of a simple estate
After probate has been granted we can complete the administration of the estate by collecting in the assets and distributing the estate. This will be usually between two and five hours work, i.e. a further £400 to £1,000 + VAT.
More complex estates
If the estate is liable for inheritance tax then the cost will be higher and the work to prepare the inheritance tax account and pay the initial tax, liaise with HMRC, collect in the assets and distribute them to the beneficiaries will usually be in the region of ten to fifteen hours work, i.e. £2,000 to £3,000 + VAT.
Potential additional costs
If there is no will or if the estate consists of shareholdings then there is likely to be an additional cost which can vary significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. I can give you a more accurate estimate when I have more information.
These estimates do not include conveyancing costs for the sale or transfer of property.
How long will it take?
On average dealing with a straightforward estate will take between six and nine months. Typically to obtain the grant of probate takes three months, after which the assets are collected which takes a further six weeks to two months and the estate can then be distributed.
A more complex estate, in which inheritance tax is payable, will take longer, around six months to obtain the grant of probate. Generally most of the work will be complete within one year.