Probate pricing

At Leeds Day we offer a range of probate services so that our clients can decide which option will best suit them. We offer a fixed fee ‘grant of probate only’ service where we obtain the grant of probate for our clients on the basis that they will then deal with the administration of the estate themselves. We can also assist with other specific aspects of the estate administration if our clients wish us to. We can also provide a full service where we deal with all aspects of the estate administration on behalf of our clients. For this work we charge on our standard hourly rates for the time spent on the matter.

For administering an estate in full

Our charges are based on the time we spend which would include meeting with you and others as necessary, considering and preparing paperwork, correspondence and telephone calls.

For administering an estate in full, this would involve collecting information for the application for the grant of probate, applying for the grant of probate, collecting and distributing the assets. We anticipate that in most cases this will take between 6 and 50 hours of work at between £190 and £220 per hour (subject to review on 1 April each year) and therefore the total costs are estimated at between £1,140 - £11,000 plus VAT and disbursements (see below).

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary, no property and no inheritance tax liability, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a number of properties, multiple bank accounts and other investments, business interests and inheritance tax is payable, costs will be at the higher end.

The costs information provided above is for general use and we will provide more precise and personalised costs information when we receive an enquiry for us to act on a probate matter.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Probate Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

  • Probate application fee of £155 and 50 pence for each additional copy requested
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor if there are no Codicils to the Will)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • Land Registry search if there is a property (£3 per search)
  • £200 Statutory Notice fee placed in The London Gazette and a local newspaper. This can protect executors from liability for unexpected claims from unknown creditors.

How long will this take?

On average, for a simple case we aim to complete the administration within 6 - 12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 3 - 4 months from the point we are instructed. Collecting assets then follows, which can take a further 3 – 4 months. Once this has been done, distribution of the assets normally takes a further 2 -3 months. These time estimates are for guidance only and vary depending upon the work involved.

Fixed fee for obtaining a grant of probate only

We can help with this process by obtaining the grant of probate so that our clients can deal with the rest of the administration of the estate personally. Our clients will supply details to us of the assets and liabilities of the estate to enable us to apply for the grant of probate for them. If the information supplied incorrect or if circumstances change and further assets are found, additional charges may apply.

How much does this service cost?

The pricing details below relate to estates where:

  • There is a valid will or a simple intestacy (where there is no will)
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HM Revenue and Customs

A fixed fee of £600 plus VAT and disbursements (see above).

How long will this take?

On average, cases that fall within this category are dealt with within 3 - 6 months.

If inheritance tax is payable additional fees will apply and the case will take longer to complete.

Factors that can increase the costs of the administration of an estate

  • If the terms of the will are not clear or it is a complicated intestacy and beneficiaries must be traced
  • If inheritance tax is payable and arrangements need to be made for the payment of the tax
  • If there are disputes between beneficiaries
  • If there are claims made against the estate by a third party
  • If there are assets outside the UK
  • If we are required to arrange the funeral, clearance of a property and/or the marketing of a property for sale

As part of our fees we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor or legal executive to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of grant application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the grant application and the relevant HM Revenue and Customs forms
  • Draft a legal oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf
  • Obtain the grant of probate and securely send copies to you
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate (if we are administering an estate in full)

EXAMPLES OF CASES

Mrs Smith: We charged £1,140 plus VAT and disbursements.

When Mrs Smith died her husband asked us to deal with probate to her estate. This was a simple matter, handled by an experienced legal executive. We were able to deal with the entire matter in just over three months from being instructed.  Our bill was £1,140 plus VAT and disbursements.

The costs were this amount because:

  • Mrs Smith’s house was in joint names with her husband, so no conveyancing was needed
  • No inheritance tax was payable
  • The assets we had to collect and distribute were just one savings account and one investment account, total value £105,000
  • There were few liabilities to be paid
  • There were only two beneficiaries in addition to her husband (their two children) who were both adults. No trusts or other complexities were involved
  • Her husband was prompt and well-organised in responding to our requests for papers and information

In addition to our bill there were disbursements of £169.

They were made up of:-

  • Probate application fee of £156 including 2 additional copies of the grant
  • £7 for swearing of the oath
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)

Mrs Wright:  We charged £2,420 plus VAT and disbursements.

Mrs Wright’s husband had predeceased her. We acted for the executors, Mrs Wright’s sons. The estate was left equally between her two sons with 10 cash gifts for a number of charities.

The costs were this amount because:

  • Mrs Wright had sold her house before moving into a care home so there was no property to sell
  • Her house sale proceeds were invested with different banks and investment companies, five of them in total
  • We obtained all the valuations of her assets for probate purposes
  • We checked her husband’s will and estate to make sure that we could claim two inheritance tax allowances so that Mrs Wright’s estate was not subject to the payment of inheritance tax
  • Mrs Wright had various shareholdings and some of the share certificates were missing. We had to identify all of the shares and arrange for the shares to be sold

In addition to our bill there were disbursements of £177.

They were made up of:-

  • Probate application fee of £159 including 8 additional copies of the grant
  • £14 for swearing of the oath (£7 per executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)

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