Our fees are calculated on a ‘time-spent’ basis rather than being based on a percentage of the value of the estate. As such every estate is different and the estimated fees depend very much on the complexity of the estate. We will always give an estimate at our first meeting.
Obtaining a grant of probate only
We estimate that if you require us to obtain a grant of probate only and you are happy to deal with the remainder of the estate, our fees will be between £1,000 – £1,500 plus VAT.
We anticipate that a simple case will take between 6 and 15 hours work at £275 per hour. Total costs would be estimated at between £1,500 – £4,000 (+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.
A simple case would often, but not always, be an estate with no trusts where no inheritance tax is due and the assets pass to a surviving spouse or a small number of beneficiaries. The average number and type of assets in this kind of estate would range from including; a property, a couple of bank accounts, a couple of shareholdings, a life policy and a private pension.
More complex cases
We anticipate that the majority of more complex cases will take between 15 hours and 25 hours work at £275 per hour. Total costs would be estimated at £4,000 – £7,000 (+VAT). The most complex cases taking longer than 25 hours work will cost more than £7,000 (+VAT).
The complexity of an estate will depend on many of the following factors: whether inheritance tax is payable, if there is a large number of beneficiaries or assets, if there are labour intensive assets (for example a property that we need to clear), if there are a large number of individual shareholdings outside of a portfolio, if there is more than one property or rental properties, if there are foreign assets, if there is a business, if there are related trusts, if there are negotiations required with DWP or HM Revenue & Customs or the District Valuer, if there are complex tax calculations (for example income or capital gains tax).
These are costs that will be incurred by the estate that have to be paid to a third party, such as the Land Registry or court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
The likely disbursements in an estate administration matter are:
- Probate application fee of £155 plus 50p per copy of the grant required
- £5 Swearing of the oath (per executor) and £2 per exhibit
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
- £150 -200 Post in The London Gazette and a local newspaper – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
- Land Registry search fee of £3.60 per copy of Register of Title for a property
The timescales for finalising an estate are difficult to predict accurately, particularly if there is a property that needs to be sold, but as a guide a simple case can often be finalised within 3 – 6 months, most more complex estate between 6 months to a year, and many of the most complicated estates will take over a year.
None of the above fee estimates include conveyancing fees which are estimated separately, and the estimates are made assuming that there are no claims against the estate or disagreements between beneficiaries or executors, we are able to easily contact and/or trace all assets and beneficiaries, and we receive timely responses from executors, beneficiaries, HMRC and other third parties.
Employment Tribunals (Claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal)
Debt Recovery (Up to £100k)
Employment Tribunals (defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal)