Legal Fee Information for Uncontested Probate
Probate is the court-supervised process of gathering a deceased person’s assets, paying debts and taxes and distributing what is left to those who are named as inheritors, in the Will.
Uncontested probate is where there is no dispute over the Will and distribution of assets.
Below we provide you with information on our Legal Fees, disbursements and the length of time it will take to complete your matter.
Legal Fees and Disbursements
Legal Fees is the amount you will be required to pay for all of the work performed by us in actioning your instructions, from the commencement of your case to conclusion.
- OUR average standard legal fee for OBTAINING A GRANT OF PROBATE OR LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION IN an uncontested probate matter is £1000+VAT (a total of £1,200.00 Inc. VAT).
- Should your instructions require us to take your matter out of the fixed fee rate (see below for what our fixed fee covers) we will charge an hourly rate of £120 – £200 + VAT (£144 – £240 inc VAT) which will depend on the experience and qualification of the case handler as follows: –
- Partner/Director – £200 + VAT (£240 inc VAT)
- Senior Probate Executive / Assistant Solicitor £180 + VAT (£216 inc VAT)
- Probate Executive / Paralegal £150 (£180 inc VAT)
- Trainee Solicitor £120 + VAT (£144 inc VAT)
- These hourly rates are approximately 25% less than the standard hourly rates that apply on non-probate matters. This is because we also charge an element based on the value of the Estate. The value is a reflection of the importance of the matter and, consequently, the responsibility assumed by the firm.
- The value element is calculated as follows:
|A. Standard Rate (Estates valued up to £1m) 1% of the gross value of the Estate (excluding any jointly owned residence or matrimonial home when the rate will be ½ % of the value of the property)||1% of the gross value of the Estate (excluding any jointly owned residence or matrimonial home when the rate will be ½ % of the value of the property)|
|B. On Estates valued from £1m to 4m||as in ‘A’ with excess over £1m at ½ %|
|C. On Estates value in
excess of 4m
|As in ‘B’ with excess over £5m at ¼ %|
|D. Where a partner(s) is appointed as Executor under a Will an additional charge||Additional 1% of the gross value of the Estate (excluding any jointly owned residence or matrimonial home when the addition will be ½% of the value of the property)|
- We will charge the sum of £36 + VAT (a total of £43.20 Inc. VAT) for Electronic money transfers.
- 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. Below we detail what services are covered in our standard fee.
We will handle the full ADMINISTRATION process for you.
Our Standard Fee estimate above is for estates where: –
- There is a valid will.
- There is no more than one property.
- There are no more than £325,000 in the bank or building society accounts.
- There are no other intangible assets.
- There are 1 – 2 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.
- There is no tax clearance awaited for either inheritance or income tax.
If at any stage our fees change, we will notify you and discuss the reason for any changes. This would typically occur if you change your instructions or your case involves an unforeseen complexity.
Our average fees assume that:
- The transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise.
- All parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from any parties providing documentation.
Disbursements and Other Costs
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf, to ensure a smoother process.
You will be provided with a full list of disbursements in our formal quotation. If you need to incur any further disbursements during your case, you will be notified in advance of the reason and the amount.
Typical disbursements will include: –
- Probate application fee (Probate Court Fee: £155 plus 50p for every office copy).
- Swearing of the oath (per executor): £7
- Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department searches: £2.90 + VAT (£3.48 Inc. VAT) for each beneficiary
- Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. £70+VAT (£84.00 Inc. VAT)
- Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims. £100+VAT (£120.00 Inc. VAT)
How long will this take?
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6 – 12 months.
Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6 – 8 weeks.
Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 16 – 32 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 32 – 48 weeks.
Stages of the Process
The precise stages involved in uncontested probate vary according to the circumstances. We have set out the key stages of a standard transaction: –
- Providing you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter.
- Undertaking regulatory checks.
- Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries.
- Accurately identifying the type of Probate application you will require.
- Obtaining the relevant documents required to make the application.
- Completing the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms.
- Drafting a legal oath for you to swear.
- Making the application to the Probate Court on your behalf.
- Obtaining the Probate and securely send two copies to you.
- Collecting and distributing all assets in the estate.
Potential additional costs
Further potential costs may arise where: –
- If there is no will or the estate consists of any shareholdings (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.
- If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 + VAT (£1.80 inc VAT) (1 per asset usually).
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
Fixed Fee Services
- We can also provide the following fixed fee services:
- Simple Single Will £200 +VAT (£240 Inc. VAT)
- Couples Will £300 + VAT (£360 Inc. VAT)
- For a standard Trust Will our fees range from £300 – £700+ VAT (£360 – £840 Inc. VAT)
- Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney £350 + VAT (£420 Inc VAT) + £100+ VAT(£120 Inc VAT) for each additional copy + Disbursements
- Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney £350 + VAT (£420 Inc VAT) + £100+ VAT(£120 Inc VAT) for each additional copy + Disbursements
- Court of Registration Fee £80 + VAT (£96 Inc. VAT)
The following fee earner handles Uncontested Probate matters:
Mark Pendleton is a Partner at Parker Arrenberg and the Head of our Private Client department. Mark is a qualified Solicitor with 10 years PQE, who qualified in 2010. Mark specialises in all Private Client matters including Will drafting, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate matters.