Services and Pricing
Our approach to fees is open and straightforward. This means that you have clear control and flexibility over the extent of our involvement and thus our fees.
As part of this approach, our services range from merely obtaining the Grant of Probate (allowing the Executors to deal with the ongoing administration themselves) through to dealing with all of the work required to ensure the estate is dealt with in a quick and tax-efficient manner.
For those who are primarily concerned with obtaining the Grant, we offer a Probate-only package where we will prepare the application based upon figures supplied by you.
In cases where the value of the estate means that the application for the Grant can be dealt with without the lodgement of a full Inland Revenue Account (IHT400), our fee is £995.00 plus VAT. There are also disbursements in the form of:
- A Probate Court fee of £273.00 (with an additional charge of £1.50 for each copy).
Applying for the Grant, Collecting and Distributing the Assets
Some families ask us to deal with the whole of the administration on their behalf. In such a case, we will contact all of the organisations relevant to the estate, collate the information required to apply for the Grant, obtain the Grant and close the accounts concerned. Our professional services in matters such as this are charged at a combination of a value element plus our hourly charging rate.
If the estate involves a house, we will also deal with its sale and, if it looks as though the sale will take some time, we will arrange for interim distributions from the estate pending the sale of the house.
We will prepare accounts showing how the administration has been dealt with and circulate the accounts amongst the Executors/Beneficiaries for approval. Finally, we will deal with the distribution of the estate in accordance with those accounts.
Because each estate is different, we are unable to give an estimate that will apply to all estates. However, it is possible for us to give you an estimate of our fees when dealing with a straightforward matter where you’ve asked us to deal with the whole of the administration.
In an example estate which comprises of a property valued at £250,000 and cash assets totalling £50,000 (total value of the estate being £300,000), which is not subject to Inheritance Tax.
We would anticipate the administration of the estate would take between eight and twelve hours of work at our hourly charging rate which is currently between £210.00 to £250.00 plus VAT per hour. In addition, there would be the value element uplift. If Smith Partnership Solicitors are not appointed as executors of the estate, this is calculated as follows:
• 0.5% of the value of the residential property plus VAT, plus:
• 1% of the gross value of the estate (less the value of the residential property) plus VAT.
If Smith Partnership Solicitors are appointed as executors of the estate, then the value element uplift would be calculated on the following basis:-
• 0.75% of the value of the residential property plus VAT, plus:
• 1.5% of the gross value of the estate (less the value of the residential property) plus VAT.
Consequently, the total cost would then be estimated to be between £3,430 and £5,625 plus 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 scale. If the estate involves multiple Beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:
- There is a valid Will.
- There is no more than one property.
- There are no more than four bank or building society accounts.
- There are no other intangible assets.
- There are two to four Beneficiaries.
- There are no disputes between Beneficiaries regarding the 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 not included in this fee
- Probate application fee of £273.00.
- Bankruptcy–only Land Charges Department searches at £2.00 per UK beneficiary plus VAT (overseas beneficiaries – costs vary).
- Notices in the London Gazette and local newspaper at approximately £220.00, which protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
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 to ensure a smoother process.
Potential additional costs
- If there is no Will or the estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks and bonds), there are likely to be additional costs that could vary significantly depending on the estate and how it is dealt with. In this case, we can give you a more accurate quote once we receive more information.
- If any additional copies of the Grant are required, they will cost £1.50 each (usually one per asset).
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
Probate – Fixed Fee
Whilst we try to ensure that our initial estimates are correct sometimes difficulties arise during the administration of the estate and our costs may exceed the initial estimate.
Some families prefer the certainty of knowing what our fee will be. For this reason, we also offer a Fixed Fee service that helps you determine what our fees will be when handling an estate. Each fixed Price Fixed Fee Offer is specific to that matter and a quote can be provided on request.
If the estate becomes contentious, or if there is a dispute amongst Beneficiaries, then we will speak with you regarding any potential increase in our fees. In any case, you can rest assured that we will continue to take a sensible and pragmatic approach.
Because each matter is different, we are unable to give a Fixed Fee estimate without reviewing the work required. We will happily review the required work free of charge to allow you to make an informed decision.
How long will it take?
On average, estates similar to those described above are dealt with within 6-12 months. Obtaining the Grant of Probate is currently taking up to 16 weeks. This is followed by the collection of assets, which can take between 4-8 weeks, although it may take longer. The distribution of these assets varies depending on the circumstances as each estate is different for example, the administration of an estate that involves the sale of a house will take longer.